Saturday, 10 December 2011

Nabadwip, West Bengal

In Bengali, Nabadwip means 'a collection of nine islands'. Just as its name suggests, Nabadwip is a collection of islands, namely Antardwip (Sri Mayapur), Simantadwip, Rudradwip, Madhyadwip, Godrumdwip, Ritudwip, Jahnudwip, Modadrumdwip, and Koladwip. Situated in the Nadia district of West Bengal, the place is considered to be much sanctified, since it is the birth place of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Nabadwip is visited by thousands of pilgrims belonging to Gaudiya Vaishnavism every year, on the occasion of Sri Navadvipa-mandala Parikrama.

The earliest available records of Nabadwip tell us that it was the capital city of Lakshmana Sena of the Hindu Sena Dynasty, around 1179 to 1202 AD. It was then invaded and captured by Baktiyar Khilji, in 1202 AD. The city also serves as a prominent seat of education in India for as long as five centuries. This is the reason that the city was also referred to as the 'Oxford of Bengal'. Nabadwip, as a tourist destination is extremely famous for its religious expeditions. It is visited by a large number of tourists every year, on holidays like Gaura Purnima.

Navadwip was earlier located on the eastern bank of Bhagirathi, along with the rest of the Nadia district. However, as Bhagirathi River changed its course, the city shifted to its western bank. Blessed with numerous old and new temples, the city welcomes people of various sects, like Shaktas, Vaishnavs and Shivaites, with open arms. The month of Agharayan i.e. November (according to Gregorian Calendar) is the best time to visit this place, as during this period, the city gets on into extremely festive and celebration mood with the arrival of the Rash Festival.

Places to See:

Sonar Gouranga Temple

Sonar Gouranga temple is one of the most famous temples in Nawadwip. It is situated besides Sribas Angan and lies opposite to Sri Samajbari Asram. The temple is famous for the Golden Shrine of great social reformer and saint, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His footwear has been kept here, in a glass case. It is said that Pratap Chandra Goswami, a follower of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, constructed this temple. It is now a seat of Gauria Vaishnav.

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is a holy temple founded by the followers of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This temple was established in 1941, by Om Vishnupad Sri Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Maharaj, a disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The headquarters of this temple was established in Nawadwip and after that, many branches of this temple have been opened in other parts of India as well as abroad. 

Dwadas Shib Mandir

Dwadas Shib Mandir is another popular temple in Nawadwip. The presiding deity of this temple is Lord Shiva. This temple was built in 1835. It is basically famous for its exquisite floral designs. It also attracts a large number of pilgrims, especially during Mahashivratri.


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