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Nadia


Nadia also known as Navadwipa (the new island) is the district town of Nadia of West Bengal. Situated at the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Jalangi rivers, the city was reportedly founded by vallalasena (1160-1178). Though old Nadia was initially situated right on the banks of the Bhagirathi and rent in twain by the river, the northern part has now been swept away while the southern part has been increased by accretions and constitutes the new Nadia. In 1869 it has been turned into a municipal city.

Nadia being situated on the Bhagirathi, a river venerated by the Hindus, was considered a more desirable royal residence than gaur. Vallalasena and the members of his family were wont to pay frequent visits to Nadia for the purpose of cleansing their sins by ablution in the waters of the Bhagirathi. On the other side of the river there is a large mound still called after Vallalasena. This Sena king also built a famous temple known as Pancharatna temple and dug a tank called Vallaladighi there. The locations of the temple and the tank are shown in the survey maps of 1922 and 1958.

Nadia served as the capital of laksmanasena (1178-1206) also till its capture by bakhtiyar khalji towards the end of 1204 or the beginning of 1205. The account given by Minhaj in his tabaqat-i-nasiri indicates that the walled city was on the west bank of the Bhagirathi, and comprised the palace, harem, markets and residential zones. The city is reported to have maintained trade links with the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan etc. Bakhtiyar Khalji left Nadia desolated moved to a northwesterly direction and captured lakhnauti and its adjoining areas.

Nadia is also noted for its traditional Sanskrit School. sri chaitanya (1486-1533), a Hindu mystic and the founder of vaisnavism, learnt scriptures there. Called the Varanasi of Bengal, Nadia is an important pilgrimage centre. Some four or five thousand Vaisnavas assemble there in the month of Magh every year, in honour of their great reformer Sri Chaitanya. The festival lasts for twelve days and swing, dancing and singing hymns is kept up all the time. The Pat Purnima fair (worship of idols made of clay) is also held in this town on the day of the full moon in Kartik. It continues for two days and is frequented by five or six thousands worshipers. [Md Akhtaruzzaman]