Bardhaman is the administrative headquarters of Purba Bardhaman District of West Bengal in India. It is the largest agricultural centre in the state, located in what has been traditionally called the "granary of Bengal". It is a major transport centre with rail and road connections all around.
Bardhaman, headquarters of East Bardhaman district, is the fifth largest city in West Bengal and growing fast. Since independence, it has emerged as a higher education hub. Bardhaman gets its name from Vardhamana Mahavira, the last Jain tirthankara in 6th century BC, who is said to have traversed this region.
Located in the fertile plains of Bengal, it has been the target of many an invader and witnessed many battles, the most touching being the battle between Sher Afgan and Qutubuddin Aibak in 1610, to determine the fate of Meherunissa, wife of Sher Afgan, who emerged as Noor Jehan. Sher Afgan and Qutubuddin Aibak lay buried in Bardhaman.
The Badhaman Raj family has played a more dynamic role in shaping the destiny of Bardhaman. Curzon Gate is an important landmark in Bardhaman and the Rajbati now houses Burdwan University.
The Grand Trunk Road runs across the city, NH 2 bypasses the city. South Bengal State Transport Corporation and private operators operate buses from Esplanade and Karunamoyee in Saltlake. It takes around 2-2½ hours. Bardhaman is well connected by bus with numerous places all around. All buses arrive and leave from Uttara (Nababhat) Bus Stand and Alisha Bus Stand.
- 1 Tinkonia Bus Stand. On GT Road, in the heart of the city.
- 2 Uttara Bus Terminal. On NH 2, in the northern outskirts of the city, in the Nababhat neighbourhood.
- 3 Krishak Setu across Damodar River.
The main Howrah-Delhi rail track passes through Bardhaman. One can take a local train from Howrah to reach in 2 hr. One can also travel along the Sahibganj Loop, which branches off, one station after Bardhaman. The narrow gauge line to Katwa is being upgraded (as of 2013) to broad gauge.
- 4 Barddhaman Junction railway station.
Cycle rickshaws and e-rickshaws (toto) are available for travel within the city. As all the tourist attraction are located nearby walking is also a good option. There is no need of booking a cycle rickshaw or toto. They are widely available and a combination of cycle rickshaw or toto and walking is the best way to explore the town.
- 1 Curzon Gate (crossing of Bijoy Chand Road and Grand Trunk Roa). The ceremonial gateway built to commemorate the visit of Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, in Bardhaman in 1903 and was thus named Curzon Gate. It was constructed by Bijay Chand Mahtab, the king of Bardhaman Estate. The arched gateway is supported by eight columns and has two side arches. The side arches are topped with sitting lions and the central arches is crowned with three female figurines, with swords, boats, and sheaves of corn in their hands. On either side of the female figurines are atop the eight columns are eight urs. After independence in 1947 the gateway came to be known as Bijoy Toron (literally meaning "victory gate") and the new name is inscribed in Bengali atop the arch. The old name is still used by locals, who prefer to call it Karjon Gate.
- 2 Bardhamaneswar (Mota Shiv Mandir). A shiva temple housing a huge Shiva Linga. The Shiva Linga is not very high but has a huge circumference and often referred to as the Mota Shiv Mandir. According to legend, the temple was founded by the legendary trader Chand Sadagarh of Mansamangal fame. Today it is an active temple with modified and added structures hardly nothing remains of its history.
- 3 The University of Burdwan, Main campus at Golapbagh. The Burdwan University campus is housed in Golap Bagh (literary meaning rose garden). It was originally a rose garden of the Mughal era. The university contains several ancient structure including a Hawa Mahal, a domed pavilion located on an island.
- 4 Krishnasayer Park (Eco Park). Krishnasayer Park surrounds Krishna Sayer Lake, which was dug way back in 1691. The ancient garden surrounding the 33-acre lake only exists in bits and pieces. The lake offers boating facilities. the lake is a venue for several fairs and carnivals. It is also known as Eco Park.
- 5 Mazhar of Pir Baharam. The Mazhar of Pir Baharam, which houses the tomb of a Persian Sufi saint Pir Bahram. But the place is more known for the resting place of Sher Afghan, the first husband of Noor Jahan (then known as Meherunissa), who later on went on to become the wife of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Buried next to Sher Afghan is Kutub-Uddin Khan. They both died fighting each other in a battle at Bardhaman in 1610. Sher Afghan (originally known as Ali Quli Khan Istajlu) was a jagirdar under Akbar and then under Jahangir. In 1594 he married Meherunissa, a beautiful 19-year-old lady. In 1610 Sher Afghan revolted against Jahangir and Jahangir sent Kutub-Uddin Khan to control the rebellion. The rebellion was brought under control but both Sher Afghan and Kutub-Uddin Khan died in the battle. Today they lie in eternal rest next to each other. In the same compound stands the tomb of Pir Bahram, a Persian Sufi saint. He was known for providing water to thirsty travellers and was called Sakka (Persian word for one who gives water). He spent his last days in Bardhaman and died in 1663 or 64 and his tomb predates that of Sher Afghan and Kutub-Uddin Khan. The grave of Pir Bahram is housed inside a single domed structure while that of Sher Afghan and Kutub-Uddin Khan is housed inside a flat-roofed structure.
- 6 108 Shib Mandir, Nababhat. The complex consists of 108 Shiva temples arranged in a rectangular formation around two ponds. The temples follow the aat chala style of architecture, the four corner temples are octagonal. The Shiva Lingas in all the temples is made of black stone. The temple complex was constructed in 1788 by Maharani Bishnu Kumari Devi wife of Tilak Chandra Bahadur of Bardhaman royal family. The temples were repaired in 1965 by Birla Jana Kalyan Trust. The unscientific repair leads to the temples losing their antiquity along with their grace and beauty. Presently the temple complex is under the 108 Shiv Mandir Trust Board. The complex also houses two statues of Nandi Bull. one white and another black. There is also a waiting shed for pilgrims and devotees. There is also a set of 108 bells near the entrance.
- 7 Ramna Bagan (Golapbag and mini zoo). In the 19th century Gopalbag (literally meaning rose garden) started as a botanical garden. Today apart from the trees of the botanical garden it consists of a deer park and a mini zoo.
- 8 Sarbamangala Temple. Temple dedicated to Ma Sarbamangala, the family deity of the Bardhaman royal family. The temple followed the naba ratna (nine pinnacled) plan. Over the years the temple has largely been modified but many of the temple's beautiful terracotta panels have survived. It is an active temple with several other structures.
- 9 Bardhaman Rajbari. The Bardhaman Rajbari or the royal residence was built by Mahatabchand in the 19th century. It was built on a site of a Mughal Fort. It was constructed by Burn and Company. Later Uday Chand Mahatab handed over the building to the state government and presently it houses an administrative department of Burdwan University.
- 10 Christ Church (Located north of Curzon Gate). The church dates back to 1816 and is the oldest Christian church of the undivided Bardhaman district. It is a small church with a brick-red facade.
- 11 Town Hall. 10AM - 5PM. The Town Hall was built somewhere between 1890 - 94. It preserves the legacy of Lala Bansogopal Nandey. Later it was handed over to the Bardhaman Municipality. The original structure occupied an area of 704 sq, feet. In 1990 the building was restored and extended. The present sitting capacity of the hall is 485 people. There is a children's park in front of the Town Hall.
- 12 Nawab Bari, Khaja Anwar Road. Nawab Bari is a Mughal era tomb complex housing the grave of Khaja Anwar, the amir of Azim-us-shaw. Khaja Anwar was killed in an ambush in 1698. Later in 1715 the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar built a huge tomb in over for Khaja Anwar. Today walled tomb complex along with a mosque and several structures still stands and is popularly known as the Nawab Bari. The complex is centred around a huge tank, which has long dried up. At the centre of the dry tank is an arched pavilion popularly known as Hawa Mahal. The Hawa Mahal is connected to the mainland by an arched causeway. The entrance is through a two-storied gateway in the north. On the western side of the complex is a mosque. The triple dome mosque, which is still functional, has beautiful stucco works on its walls. The star attraction of the complex, the magnificent tomb, lies on the southern end of the complex. The single domed square structure is flanked on the corners by slender minarets. The square structure on the other hand is flanked by two rectangular structures topped with a typical Bengali styled do-chala roof.
- 1 Meghnad Saha Planetarium. Noon-6PM. Named after the famous scientist Meghnath Sahah the planetarium came up in 1994 with the major instruments being gifted from Japan. The planetarium has a capacity of 90. Six shows of 35 minutes duration are held daily. The show happens when there are at least 10 people. Monday Closed. ₹40, ₹20 (3 - 10 years) and below 3 years free.
- 2 Science Centre, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10AM - 6:30PM. Founded in 1994 the Science Centre aims at promoting the amazing facts and mechanisms of science through various models and displays. Some of the popular exhibits includes the mystery behind flying objects, game of energy ball, wonders of chemistry show and many more very interesting exhibits. The main attractions of the centre are 3D Theater, Science Shows , Science Magic & Miracle shows, Taramandal Shows and Sky Observation through Telescope. The centre has galleries on Fun Science, Human Performance and Life Science Corner. The science centre also organises daily shows (with separate tickets), which includes 3D show (₹25), Science show (₹10) and Taramondal show (₹10). ₹25 (only entry).
- Bardhaman town is famous for two sweetmeat items: mihidana and sitabhog. There are plenty of shops selling these items on Grand Trunk Road and elsewhere.
- 1 Hotel Kalyani, Anita Cinema Lane, ☏ , .
- 2 Hotel Kandari (near Tinkonia Bus Stand), ☏ , .
- 3 Hotel Mainak, GT Road, Patal Bazar, ☏ .
- 4 Hotel Samrat, GT Road, Palika Bazar (opposite railway station), ☏ , .
- Natraj Hotel (near Tinkonia Bus Stand), ☏ .
- 5 Hotel Barddhaman Inn, Nawabhat More, Bardhaman (3 km from Barddhaman Rail Station), ☏ . Hotel Barddhaman Inn is near 108 Shiva Temple in Bardhaman. ₹400 - 1300.