Thursday, December 27, 2012

CHANDPUR: Terminus for North Assam Railway, and Waterways to Calcutta

Assam-Bengal Railway
There was a time, in the mid 19th, to mid 20th Centuries, when most of the administrators and business people of Bengal, and Assam, could be reasonably sure of meeting friends and colleagues, most often, in Chandpur.

Still a significant launch terminus on the flourishing river transport of Bangladesh, in the early 20th Century it was connected by some of the private companies that had been developing the railways system of India since the 1840's, via the Assam Bengal Railway, with both the vital tea plantations of Assam, and the important port of Chittagong. Rail connection with Dhaka had to wait until 1937, when the first Meghna Railway Bridge was built!

Unsurprisingly, for such an important commercial and communications centre, the area around Chandpur is rich in history, much of it still, in all likelihood, waiting to be revealed.

Its position on the Ganges/Brahmaputra/ Meghna delta means that, even allowing for river migration which might have left the town itself, at times over the centuries, closer, and further, from the famous waters of that ancient centre of international trade in the delta, its proximity to such great cities of ancient times as Barisal, Vikrampur (and probably a vanished city of Sreepur), Mograpara, the capital of the Khilji, and Sonargaon, the great merchant centre and terminus of the Grand Trunk Road, certainly lent it great importance in itself.
 Surrounded by ancient palaces, temples and mosques, and centre of Mahatma Gandhi’s salt protest, as well his attempts to pacify anti Hindu riots at the time of partition, it is an area and city well worth time exploring. 

**All photographs used in this post were collected from the web.

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