History

Guptipara is the home of Bengal's first Barowari (English: publicly organized) Durga Puja which introduced Sri Bindhabasini Jagaddhatri Puja (Worshipping Devi Durga introduced by Lord Rama), with a club named Bindhyabasini. It is now known as Bindhyabasini Mata. In the 1760s, a group of men were stopped from taking part in the household Durga Puja of the ruling Sen family. In retaliation, twelve of these men formed a committee and organised a modern club culture called "Barowari Puja." (In SanskritBar means Public or community and in Farsi wari means By or for) Opinions vary about the year of commencement of the Barowari puja. Some believe it to be 1760 while others claim it to be 1790.

Guptipara was one of the main places in ancient India where the "Sanskrit Toles" and Pandith lived. "Pathmahal," "Raghu Nath" Mandir, and Mela were situated throughout Guptipara in large numbers. Many old manuscripts and books are preserved in the "Sisir Bani Mandir Pathagar", the government library.

Guptipara is the birthplace of folk singer Bhola Moira, and of Diwan Mohanlal, the Commander in Chief of King Siraj ud-Daulah.

The temple complex at Guptipara houses four Vaishnava Temples: Chaitanya, Brindabanchandra, Ramchandra and Krishnachandra. The Ramchandra Temples contain many terracotta works, and the structures bear characteristics of the Bengal school of architecture, with carvings depicting scenes from the epics and Puranas.

Guptipara was a citadel of Vaishnavite culture. Even today, residents observe Ras, Dol and Ratha-Yatra, which is Guptipara’s greatest festival. The Guptipara ratha (English: ceremonial chariot), one of the tallest and oldest rathas in West Bengal, is said to cover the second-longest distance in India after that of Puri. On the day before the Ultorath (the homecoming of Lord Bridabanchandra), a festival known as "Bhandarloot" is held in Guptipara. Many people across Eastern India come gather there to pull the ropes of the ratha.

Guptipara is the home of the first branded Bengali "Gupo sandesh," a special kind of sweetmeat.
History History Reviewed by Tanmay Roy on August 23, 2020 Rating: 5