Midnapore Tour

Midnapore (also written as Medinipur and Midnapur). is a town in West Bengal, India. The city is the headquarters of, and gives its name to, the Paschim Medinipur district of the state of West Bengal. The town also gives its name to a subdivision of the district.
The town used to be belong to the Midnapore District until the Partition of Midnapore. The undivided Midnapore district had been, at one time, the largest district in West Bengal and indeed, all of India.
The town has a population of c. 150,000 according to the 2001 census. It is situated on the banks of the Kangsabati River (variously known as Kasai and Cossye). On the opposite bank of the river is the industrial and railway hub Kharagpur.
There are conflicting accounts of how the name Medinipur came to be. One account claims that Medinipur was named after a local deity "Medinimata" (literally "mother of the world", a Shakti incarnation). Another account claims that Midnapur was so named because in the heyday the number of mosques rivalled.

A number of prehistoric sites of great interest are being excavated throughout the West Midnapore district. In ancient times the region seems to be highly influenced by Jainism and Buddhism. Coins issued by Samudragupta have been found in the near vicinity of the town.Originally this region belongs to the Kalinga-Utakala (ancient Orissa) empire. The kingdom of Shashanka and Harshavardhana also included part of undivided Midnapore in their kingdom. However, the most significant archaeological site in the region is the bustling port of Tamralipta near present-day Tamluk, a site noted in the travelogues of Fa Hien and Hiuen Tsang. Later Chaitanya passed through the area on his way from Puri to Varanasi as documented in the Chaitanya Charitamrita.After the fall of last independent Hindu dynasty of Kalinga-Utkala (ancient Orissa) Gajapati Mukunda Deva in 16th century this region was came under one of the five Sarkars of Mughalbandi Orissa i.e. Jaleshawr Sarkar which was ruled by the Subehdar of Orissa.The north boundary of Jalshwar Sarkar was Tamluk & south was Soro & Dhalbhumgarh in the west to bay of bengal(Purva Sagara) in the east.

Bahadur Khan was the ruler of Jaleshwar Sarkar or Hijli (including Midnapore) during the time of Shah Jehan. He was defeated by Shah Shuja, the second son of Shah Jehan, then the subshdar of Bengal.
During the era of the Muslim rulers of Bengal nawab Alivardi Khan's general Mir Jafar fought successfully against Mir Habib's lieutenant Sayyid Nur near Midnapore town in 1746. This was part of his campaign to regain Orissa and thwart the Maratha attacks on Bengal. Mir Habib came up from Balasore and was joined by the Marathas but Mir Jafar fled to Burdwan leaving Mir Habib to retake Midnapore with ease. Alivardi defeated Janoji Bhosle, a Maratha cheftain in a severely contested battle near Burdwan in 1747 and Janoji fled to Midnapore. The Marathas held on to Orissa including Midnapore until 1749 when it was reconquered by Alivardi. The Marathas continued to raid Midnapore which proved disastrous for the residents.

In 1756 Alivardi died and his successor was Siraj-ud-daulah. On June 20, 1757, he was betrayed by Mir Jafar to the East India Company under the command of Lord Robert Clive at Plassey. This consolidated the Company's hold on Bengal and Orissa (along with Midnapore). The district of Midnapore which included Dhalbhum or Ghatshila, now in Singhbhum, Jharkhand was annexed in 1760 along with Burdwan and Chittagong both handed over to the East India Company by Mir Qasim. The last free king of Dhalbhum was imprisoned in Midnapore town.

Some of the Malla kings of Mallabhum centred around Bankura district also held parts of northern Midnapore district, while the Raj rules of Narajole, Jhargram, Lalgarh, Jamboni, and Chandrakona held sway in their local areas. It is generally agreed that the Raj rulers came from Rajasthan to pay homage to Jagannath but stayed back to carve out their own territories under the supremecy of the Hindu empires of Orissa.
Midnapore is famous for its contribution in the history of Indian freedom movement since it has produced a seemingly endless list of martyrs. During the British Raj the town became a centre of revolutionary activities starting from the Santal Revolt (1766-1767) and the Chuar Revolt (1799). The Zilla School, now known as Midnapur Collegiate School was the birthplace of many extremist activities. Teachers like Hemchandra Kanungo inspired and guided the pupils to participate in the Indian Freedom Movement. Three British District Magistrates were assassinated in succession by the revolutionaries Bimal Dasgupta , Jyothi Jibon Ghosh, Pradoot Bhattacharya , Prabhakangsu Pal,Mrigan Dutta,Anath Bandhu Panja,Ramkrishna Roy,Braja Kishor Chakraborty,Nirmal Jibon Ghosh. Khudiram Bose and Satyendranath Basu were some of the young men that liad down their lives for the freedom of India. Kazi Nazrul Islam attended political meetings in Midnapore in the 20s. Even Raja Narendra Lal Khan, ruler of Narajole, who donated his palace on the outskirts of town, for the establishment of Midnapore's first college for women, had been implicated, (although it turned out to be false) for planting a bomb.

Khudiram Bose was born in the Habibpur in 1889 and studied at Midnapore Collegiate School up to the eight standard. He was first caught by a policeman for distributing seditious leaflets in Midnapore in 1906. He was an anarchist at heart and protested against the moderate policies of Surendranath Banerjea. Khudiram was sentenced to death for a failed attempt to kill Magistrate Kingsford. Satyendranath was executed on the 21st November 1908. Noted freedom-fighter and Bengal Province Congress Committee President, Birendranath Sasmal practiced at the Midnapore High Court for a few years.

Rishi Rajnarayan Basu, one-time tutor of Rabindranath Tagore Asia's first Nobel Prize winner, was headmaster of the Zila School in 1850. He founded a girls' school, a night school for workers, and a public library. The Rajnarayan Basu Pathagar (library) is still in existence near Golkuar Chowk.
Not only Hindu activists but Muslim statesman originated or spent time in Midnapore. Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy founder of the Awami League, a prominent political party in Bangladesh, and the 5th Prime Minister of Pakistan hailed from a prominent family of Midnapore.