History of Kalyani
Kalyani is situated along the northern fringe of the Kolkata Metropolitan Region and was planned as an industrial and residential base to take on the excess population of the already crowded city of Kolkata. Its present look owes its existence to the decision to construct a town to convene the Indian National Congress meeting post independence. So get a glimpse of the fascinating historical background of the city in the chronology of events described below:
Kalyani in the Ancient Period
This area converges with the current areas of Central Park, Buddha Park, Market No.2, western Kalyani University, Ghoshpara Station and the Sati Ma estate. The third section of human occupation consisted of Sautal Palli (colony where Santhal tribe lived) and the extended areas of the Kalyani railway station like Uttarpara, Kulia and Joydebatti settlements. These mostly rural areas are becoming urbanized following independence and rapid industrialization of Kalyani, and yet they have not lost their old world charm.
Kalyani in the Medieval Period
Rathtala Krishna Rai Temple in Kalyani
Some of the religious structures which came up during the medieval period in Kalyani and which you can observe even today include the Krishna Rai Jiu temple in Rathtala which was renovated by the Kanchrapara Mullick family in 1886. The dargah of Manik Pir is another important historical and religious landmark in the Gayeshpur Dogachiya hamlet of Kalyani.
Kalyani in the Modern Period
Kalyani was the U.S. military base during the World War II and became known as Roosevelt Town, after the American President who was a crucial figure in the world events of that period. Even today, the virile past of Kalyani can be glimpsed in some if its military remain like the air force station in Kapa, military barracks in Dharampur, truck as well as tractor garages, and the army hospital in Uttarborath (currently known as TB hospital).
Post independence, Kalyani was developed into a planned modern township according to the vision of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second Chief Minister of West Bengal. He strove to make Kalyani a satellite town of Kolkata and relieve the existing population pressure in the metropolitan city. As a result this modern green city of Kalyani which was also deeply intertwined with its past history came into being. In 1954, the Indian National Congress held its Congress session in this newly developed township in the Bee House of present day sub block 1 of sub block 1 of Congress Road.
From the vestiges of the erstwhile Roosevelt Town and many other ancient and medieval rural habitations are compiled the present feature of a vibrant Kalyani, encased in its historical landmarks and yet glowing in its new industrialized metamorphosis.
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