Barrackpore was the first place where Britishers set up their cantonment and later spread their rules in India. This place is of great historical significance as it was also the first place where the spark to attain I from Britishers was lit. Not to stop at that, this place is also home to some of the most mesmerizing and green parks which are perfect to spend some time lazing around? and relaxing. Pristine temples are also situated in Barrackpore that will purge you soul and invite positive vibes. A visit to Barrackpore will let you enjoy some calm away from the hustle bustle of the city and also give knowledge about one of the most important chapters in the history of India.
Name Barrackpore comes from the English word 'Barracks’. It is named so because of the fact that the first cantonment of the British East India company s. Another reason given for the name is that it comes from the word “Barbakpur” which was penned by Bipradas Piplani in his famous work Manasa Vijaya.
Barrackpore is famous because the first British barrack was built here in the year 1772. After settling here, Britishers spread their control over India conquering different states.
In the 19th century two major revolts took place in Barrackpore for attaining Independence. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 took place here which later ignited the fire among people to fight for their independence.
Places to Visit
1. Mangal Pandey Park
This beautiful park is built in honour of Mangal Pandey who was the first Nationalist to rise against the British oppression. He voiced his thoughts and started an independence movement in Barrackpore. Unfortunately, he was hanged by the Britishers on 8 April, 1857. A splendid statue of him is situated in the park along with verdant trees and blossoming flowers. This place holds historical significance and is visited by travelers and locals to enjoy tranquility and solitude.
2. Gandhi Museum
Gandhi Museum is a grand museum which has five galleries, a study centre and a huge library replete with some of the most rare books. This museum mainly contains information and artifacts of Gandhi. Some of the rare books from Gandhi’s collection are up for display here. Books written by Gandhi are also available for sale. More than 800 photographs of freedom fighters are put up here to honour them. You can visit this museum between 11am to 5pm every day except Wednesday as the museum is closed on wednesday. There is no entry fee for this museum.
3. Tarakeswar Temple
This pristine temple was built in the 18th century. The temple houses a lingam in the inner sanctum while the open veranda is used to hold congregations. The temple is built using pristine white marbles and the grand architecture of it is what lures people in visiting the temple. This temple is also know to provide solace for the disturbed soul and purge them of negativity.
4. Bartholomew Cathedral
Also known as Garrison Church, Bartholomew Cathedral was built in 1847. The cathedral is beautifully built with illustrations of gothic architecture. Since this church was built by Britishers during their stay in Barrackpore, this church is similar to a lot of churches in Britain. Visiting this church and praying in front of the magnificent pulpit will make you feel calm and pious.
5. Kali Temple
Believed to be 7 centuries old, Kali Temple was built by devotees to honour Goddess Kali. This temple was also a place where nationalist leaders gathered to hold important discussions and meetings. People came in large numbers to this temple to seek blessings before the Rebellion of 1824 and 1857. This temple holds a great deal of historical significance and is not just a place of worship.
6. Jawaharkunja Garden
Jawaharkunja Garden is situated near the Gandhi Ghat. This place is popular amongst people as it is serene and calm which makes it a perfect picnic spot. The garden is filled with verdant trees and shrubs. A lot of colourful flowers and be seen blooming here. A small yet tranquil pond lies right at the centre of the garden which magnifies the beauty of the whole place. This garden is a must to relax and spend quality time with your loved ones.
7. Gandhi Ghat
Gandhi Ghat is built as a memorial to honour the “Father of the Nation.” This ghat comprises of a lot murals which depicts the works that Gandhi did throughout his life. Some of Gandhi’s ashes after his death was spread here. The ghat also provides visitors with a mesmerizing view of the Ganga River. This ghat is filled with tranquility and serenity and is a must visit.
8. Nishan Ghat
The construction of Nishant Ghat was undertaken by the Britishers for the purpose of their Governor General. This ghat was visited by a lot of guests of the Governor General and senior officers of East India Company. This ghat is close to River Hooghly and provides mesmerizing landscapes. The ghat is surrounded by verdant trees. If possible try to witness either a sunrise or a sunset from here as the scenic beauty during this time is splendid.
9. Dhobi Ghat
Dhobi Ghat is also located on the banks of river Hooghly. This ghat was especially built near the houses of the dhobis where they washed clothes. But now when you visit Dhobi Ghat you won't be able to see any dhobi is washing clothes as now the ghat is only used to take people to Serampore through boats. This ghat is placed amidst lush green trees and is a must visit to experience serenity and spend some peaceful time.
10. Flag Staff House
Flag Staff House was constructed by Britishers in 1863. This house was used by the secretary as his private home. The house came to be known as Flag Staff because of flagstaff was built near it. After Independence the house was transformed into a weekend retreat where people can spend some time relaxing and rejuvenate themselves.
11. Barrackpore Cantonment
Barrackpore is the oldest cantonment in India. The cantonment has a lot of warehouses and is surrounded by rich green trees and creepers. A lazy stroll is the cantonment will make you feel close to nature.
Things to Do
Boating facilities are available in Barrackpore. You can spend some peaceful time paddling in the serene water of River Hooghly. Boating will give you a glimpse into the colourful lives that people live as it will pass through small villages whose banks are lively and cheerful.
Being a place filled with gardens, Barrackpore provides travelers with ample places where. You can relax under verdant trees and enjoy some quiet time amidst blooming flowers and green shrubs. Spend an evening having a picnic and maybe unleash your inner child by playing frisbee.
Barrackpore makes for a great weekend getaway as it proffers a perfect blend of history and culture. Barrackpore is a quiet place nestled in the state of West Bengal which saw a lot of turbulence but stood still.