History Of Uttarpara

The Year 1704 AD – a Zaminder of famous Sabarnya Chowdhury clan, Shri Ratenswar Roychowdhury left his ancestral village near Barrackpur of 24 pargans district for a new residence on the banks of river Hooghly – Ootarpara. In those days, village Ootarpara was northern part of village Bally (in Bengali, Ootarpara literally means Northern Part), forming part of Sheorafully Zamindary. Shri Ratenswar exchanged his ancestral property for Ootarpara and moved there with his family and followers.

Ootarpara, in those days was marshland – bereft of decent human settlement. Only fishermen of Patni, Malo castes and a few Muslims lived there. Their trade was fishing, marketing fishing equipments, ferry service and dacoity.

The compulsion of Kaulinya system made Ratneswar, who was a Brahmin, to bring other Brahmin families for matrimony. Gradually, many Brahmin families like Durga Charn Banerjee, Ramtanu Chatterjee, Ramnidhi Chatterjee, Nandalal Mukherjee etc. migrated and settled at Ootarpara through matrimonial relation (Ghar jamai system) with decendents of Ratneswar Roychowdhury. Many of these families afterwards took leading role in intellectual and spiritual development of Uttarpara (we do not know how and when ‘Ootarpara’ became more sober sounding Uttarpara).  

During the period 1800-1900, this tiny village gradually turned to a small town of 0.8 sq. mile with the help of Ramhari Roy, great grandson of Ratneswar, Joykrishna Mukherjee, Rajkrishna Mukherjee grandson of Nandalal and others. They constructed or took leading role in the construction of palatial buildings whose majectic contours still dot the skyline of Uttarpara, broad roads, modern sanitary system, tension bridge across Bally Khal, hospitals, schools, municipality, public library, Police Station, Post Office, Uttarpara Railway Station etc. Residents of today’s Uttarpara are now enjoying fruits of that sound foundation.

During this period, Sir Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Welington), John Lawrence, Lord Canning and great Indian personalities Iswar Chandra Vidya Sagar, Sir Surendra Nath Banerjee, Kesab Sen, Swami Vivekananda, Sree Arabindo, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and many others visited this place several times.

Uttarpara, or rather its illustrious sons, took leading role in the struggle for independence during 1900 – 1947. The youth of Uttarpara responded to calls from Gandhi’s non-violence and Surya Sen’s armed struggle with equal enthusiasm. So, we see revolutioneries like Dhrubesh Chattopadhyay, Amarendra Nath Chattopadhyay, Chaitanya Deb Chattopadhay and many others sacrifing their lives in Cellular jail in The Andamans as also Shaheed Smritish Bandopadhyay, who lost his life while preaching Gandhiji’s non-violence during Hindu-Muslim riot in 1945.

Revolutionary Amarendra Nath Chattopadhyay was forerunner in the struggle for independence. Many firebrand youths of Uttarpara and surrounding area got inspired and joined in freedom movement.

Upto 1843, Uttarpara was part of 24-parganas district, under police station Baidybati. In the year 1795 Hooghly District was carved out of Burdwon District. Baidybati Police Station became part of Hooghly District in the year 1814 and thus Uttarpara came under Hooghly District. Baidybati Police Station was latter included to Serampore Police Station. In the year 1916 separate Uttarpara Police Station was established. The geographical location of Uttarpara is 22 degree 40 minutes North latitude and 88 degree 22 minutes longitude.

To relieve hazardous journey by boat and easy communication with Kolkata – a tension bridge was constructed, bringing to an end the boat ferry service from Uttarpara to Bally. The bridge was formally opened for public on 14th February, 1846.

First rays of Bengali Renaissance enlightened Uttarpara. Joykrishna, brother Rajkrishna and many others realised the value of modern education and appealed to the British for an English school in Uttarpara. Zamindars of Uttarpara, specially Joykrishna and his family, never hesitated to donate liberally for just cause. So, in his appeal, Joykrishna offered to donate one of his palatial buildings as also liberal aid for setting up the school. Not just Zamindars, but other residents of Uttarpara were equally forward looking. So, people of Uttarpara and Bhadrakali collected a fund of Rs. 2000 and Rs. 220 respectively for this purpose. The school was opened on 15th May, 1846. Mr. Robert Hord was its first Head Master. Later Sri Ramtanu Lahiri (1852 – 1856) took over as Headmaster and laid the foundation of one of the greatest schools of West Bengal – Uttarpara Govt High School.

In 1848-49 Joykrishna and his brother Rajkrishna approached the government for setting up a modern hospital. True to their spirit – again Joykrishna offered to donate one of his palatial buildings that will earn Rs. 1800 per year for the Hospital. The hospital started from May 1851. Its first incharge was Sub-Assistant Surgeon Dr. Dayalchand Basak.

Uttarpara Municipality was formed on 14th April 1853.

Amit K
Amit K

Born and brought up in Uttarpara, Amit presently is a probasi - lives far away. However, his umbilical chord with Uttarpara has never snapped. He may not physically live in Uttarpara - but emotionally Uttarpara lives within him. This blog dedicates itself to citizens of Uttarpara - their lives, their aspirations, their hopes, their culture. Invite all to please come forward and take part in building this blog - make it as nearer to Uttarpara as possible.