History of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar
When the entire Bengal, nay India, was under the British rule, inspite of being under the French administration at that time Chandannagar created a distinct tradition. Jagadhatri Puja is a major socio-cultural event in this region. The ancient history of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar is unknown even today. It is heard that Indranarayan Chowdhury introduced the Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in the manner of King Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. The time of beginning of Jagadhatri Puja in Krishnanagore was 1762. Indranarayan Choudhury died in 1756. So Indranarayan Choudhury by no means introduce the Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar. The beginning of Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar probably dates back earlier than 1750. Indranarayan Choudhury performed the Jagadhatri puja at his own house in Chandannagar, at the time Krishna Chandra used to come to borrow money from Indranarayan Choudhury. Perhaps Krishnachandra was attracted to greatness of Jagadhatri at this time. The formal difference between Durga and Jagadhatri occurs in 'Mayatantra' and Jagadhatri is mentioned with reference to Durga in Krishnanda's 'Tantasaar'. The ruling to perform the special puja of the goddess on the ninth lunar day of the light fortnight in the month of Kartick has ben referred in 'Krityatattarnab' by Srinath Acharyachuramoni of the 15th-16th century. The fourhanded goddess is carried by the lion everywhere, an elephantlies of the feet of the lion. The idol has an old fashioned shaping, i.e. the face cutting is of a longish pattern; it has large eyes spread upto the years and the four hands display conch, discus, shaft, and bow respectively. The snake is her sacred thread.One of the main attraction of Jagadhatri idol of Chandannagar is the ornamental decoration of the goddess with sola and beautiful canvas of mats with painting at the back of the image.
The number of community pujas in Chandannagar, Bhadreswar and Champdany Municipal areas crosses 190 mark. Of these, 132 Puja committees in different localities in Chandannagar and Bhadreswar areaffiliated to the Chandannagar Central Jagadhatri Puja Committee. The Central committee renders all possible assistance to its constituents in getting permissions and clearances for holding Puja. The immersion procession is really memorable and enjoyable sight to witness which lakh of people throng in Chandannagar from far and near. The beautiful decorated tall images loaded on trucks are taken around the cityin a procession. This year 51 puja committees will take part in the procession.
By Courtesy : Sri Kalyan Chakravarty; Secretary, Chandannagar Heritage