Nadia district has some important centres of pilgrimage and ancient learning like Nabadwip, Santipur and Mayapur, places of historical interest like Ballal Dhipi, Battle ground of Plassey, Krishnanagar Rajbari, Birth place of Poet Krittibas at Fulia and tourist spots like Bethuadahari Forest and Ghurni.
Mayapur is located on the banks of the Ganges river, at the point of its confluence with the Jalangi, near Navadvip, 130 km north of Kolkata. The headquarters of ISKCON are situated in Mayapur and it is considered a holy place by a number of other traditions within Hinduism, but is of special significance to followers of Gaudiya Vaishnavism as the birthplace of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, regarded as a special incarnation of Krishna in the mood of Radha. It is visited by over a million pilgrims annually.
How to Reach Mayapur :
By Air : Mayapur doesn’t have an airport. The nearest airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata. It is 117 km away from Mayapur. From the airport, you can get a taxi to reach Mayapur.
By Train: There is no railway station at Mayapur. You can take a train from Howrah Junction Railway Station. The train passes through Nabadwip Dham. From the Nabadwip Dham Railway Station, you can take a taxi to reach Mayapur. It is at a distance of 30 km from Mayapur.
By Road: Mayapur has a good system of roadways, which connect it to different parts of West Bengal. It makes it easy for the tourists to reach Mayapur. The nearest bus stand to Mayapur is at Krishnanagar. It is 20 km away from Mayapur. Taxi Service is available from different parts of West Bengal to reach Mayapur.
Nabadwip lies on the western side of the river Bhagirathi at a distance of about 20 K.M. from Krishnagar and it is associated with birth of Lord Sri. Chaitanya and the advent of the Vaishnab religion in Bengal. Sri. Chaitanya was not only a religious leader preaching Vaishnab ideas and Bhakti cult but also a social reformer in the 16th Century. Nabadwip was the capital of Lakshman Sena, the famous ruler of Sena dynasty, who ruled from 1179 to 1203. There are a number of temples and pilgrimage centres. Dwadas Shib Mandir built in 1835 with the exquisite floral designs attracts a large number of pilgrims. The images and idols of Lord Sri. Chaitanaya in a few other places are also regarded with reverence.
How to Reach Nabadwip :
By Air: Kolkata Airport is the nearest airport from Nabadwip and is located at a distance of around 125 km.
By Train: There are direct trains available between Nabadwip and Howrah. You can catch a train from Howrah railway station to Nabadwip Junction. It will take you an approximate time of 2 hours to reach your destination.
By Road: With an average distance of around 130 km from Kolkata, Nabadwip can be accessed easily by road. Route 1: Kolkata – Singur – Nabadwip Route 2: Kolkata – Kalyani – Nabadwip However, route 1 is the fastest as it will take around 30 minutes lesser in comparison to route 2. On your way to Nabadwip, you can take a break at Singur and visit its beautiful temples.
Shantipur had been a seat of Sanskrit learning and literature, Vedic texts and scriptures since ninth century. It is located in the Ranaghat Sub-division of the district and is about 18 K.M. away from Krishnagar. The Topkhana Mosque was built by Fauzder Gazi Mohammad Yaar Khan in 1703 – 1704 during the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This mosque consists of a big dome and eight minars.
The Shayam Chand Temple built in traditional “Aatchala” manner, the Jaleswar Temple with its exquisite terracotta designs and the Adwaita Prabhu Temple are the noteworthy temples of Shantipur. The weavers of Shantipur have made themselves famous throughout India by their professional aptitude in making “Tant Saree”. Fulia a township very close to Shantipur, is the birth place of Poet Krittibas, composer of Bangla Ramayan.
Krishnagar Rajbari :
Krishnanagar is the district headquarters situated on the bank of river Jalangi. Krishnanagar is named after Raja Krishna Chandra Rai (1728 – 1782). The Rajbari built here during the reign of Raja Krishna Chandra Rai is a prominent place of tourist attraction though the remnants of the past glory have been eroded and only a dilapidated structure of the exquisite places with carving on its inner walls exists today. Krishnanagar was the birth place of the noted Poet, Composer and Playwright Shri. Dwijendra Lal Roy (1863 – 1913) whose contribution to Bengali Literature needs no mention. The Christian Missionaries attached much importance to Krishnanagar. The Protestant Church was built here during 1840s . The Roman Catholic Cathedral was built in 1898. The origin of famous clay models of Krishnanagar is Ghurni. The clay model artists of Ghurni have won international repute and fame for their excellence in clay modelling.
Palashi is a place of great historical interest. It is situated at a distance of about 50 K.M. from Krishnanagar. The famous Battle of Plassey was fought here on 23rd June, 1757 between the last independent ruler of Bengal, Nawab Siraj Ud-Daula (1756-1757) and the British forces under the command of Lord Clive.
This battle marked the advent of the British rule in the erstwhile Bengal and in India as a whole. A memorial stone to mark the victory of the British was erected here in 1883. The structure which stands even today was built at a later period of Lord Curzon.
Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Nadia district, West Bengal, beside NH-34 (22 km north of Krishnanagar) has a large population of Spotted Deer, Jackal, Bengal fox, Porcupine, Common Langur. Other species includes Parakeets, Indian Cuckoo, Barbets and other smaller birds and Pythons. Many type of trees & small Crocodile, generally known as Gharials. It is located in the Nakashipara area. Spread over an area of 67 hectares. It was established in 1980 to preserve the bio-diversity of the central Gangetic alluvial zone.
How to Reach Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary :
By Air: Nearest airport is at Kolkata (Kolkata Airport), which is airlinked with all major Indian and international cities. Bethuadahari is 155 kilometers by road from Netaji Subhas Bose International airport. From krishnanagar its one hour by road.
By Train : Krishnanagar local train is available from Sealdah Station (Kolkata). To reach this historic place other trains like Lalgola Passenger and Berhampore Passenger are also available. From krishnanagar its one hour by road or there is a railway link also.
By Road: Bethuadahari is on National Highway (NH 34). And is nearly 3 ½ hours drive. It has good bus connectivity to and from Kolkata, Malda, Siliguri, Berhampore, Jalpaiguri, Purulia, Mayapur etc. Private vehicle can also be hired.
Ballal Dhipi :
Ballal Dhipi is located near Bamanpukur Bazar on way to Mayapur at a distance of about 25 K.M. from Krishnanagar. The excavation work was started here by the Archaeological Survey of India in the early 1980s, It revealed a unique structural complex covering nearly 13,000 Sq. meters. Centering around a mound (Dhipi) having a height of 9 meters. This complex identifies itself with the Vikramsila Vihar. Experts say that this side of Stupa (Vihar) of eighth / ninth century was perhaps a seat of learning and pilgrimage up to the eleventh century.