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Situated in the Purba Medinipur District, is the district headquarter called Tamluk. A town rich in culture, history and notable places to visit for a satisfactory experience it is situated not very far from Haldia. Another river town in the sate of West Bengal it occupies the banks of Rupnarayan River. Tamluk has great religious significance and has a temple which is a part of 51 Shakti Peeths.
History and Genesis of Tamluk
Historical analysis reveals that the present day Tamluk has ancient roots and was formerly called Tamralipta.It is believed to exist since the time of Mahabharata and was a seaport at that time. It is believed that trade and commerce flourished here during those ancient times as contact with the outside world was made possible by connectivity through the water channels. Trade during Mayura Dynasty is also believed to have been conducted through the present day Tamluk. Buddhist Vihars excavated at some sites also point to the existence of Buddhism.
People and Demographics of Tamluk
Tamluk is no less in diversity of people and culture than the rest of India. One can find people belonging to various castes and sub castes existing peacefully in Tamluk. The most extensively used language is Bengali and Hindus form a predominant part of the population. Muslims are also a part of the population and have a sizable number.
Tamluk is not very densely populated and had a total population of 45,286 according to the 2001 census with males constituting 52% of the total population and females constituting 48%.
Accessibility in Tamluk
Tamluk is well connected by road and rail. It is a railway junction and regular trains are available from Haldia and Howrah to tamluk. Some of the trains running to Tamluk are:
In addition to these trains one can reach Tamluk via Haldia as well. Distance between Tamluk and Haldia is approximately 45 Kms and one would tentatively take 50 minutes by train journey.
Travelling by road is also a good option. Road journey from Haldia to Tamluk is about a 38 km drive and would take close to 50 minutes.
Distance from Kolkata to tamluk by road is 94 kms and there is a decent network of bus plying to and fro.
Places of Interest in Tamluk
Tamluk has great delights to offer to the visiting tourists. An ancient and historic place it is home to some interesting sites and very old temples. The river Rupnarayan provides great geographical and scenic advantage to Tamluk. Some must see and visit places are:
A symbol of revolutionary struggle against the British Empire this place was frequented by freedom fighters during those times.
The Kings abode, it is an ancient palace constructed during
the rule of Mayura Dynasty. It has a rich cultural legacy
which dates as far back as 2,500 years.
Tamralipta Archaelogical Museum
If you want to go through the historical history of glorious Bengal then this is the place which must be at the yop of your list. The museum contains artifacts of Tamra or copper.
Matangini Shahid Smarak
Another symbol of the constant fight against British Empire, this monument was erected to pay homage and respect to Smt Matangini Hazarika who lost her precious life while fighting against the British.
Dedicated to Goddess Kali it is a very important religious place for the Hindus as it is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. It is also believed to be built during the Mayur dynasty.
A nearby tourist place from Tamluk . This place is famous
for its palce called Mahishadal Rajbari.As the name suggests it is a grand palace of yesteryears and stands as an imposing structure.
Tamluk is a great place to visit for anybody visiting Haldia. At a close distance from Haldia, this place offers a great tourist experience and is easily accessible by road and railways. You cannot take the liberty of skipping this place and if you do so it will be at your own cost.
Religious Significance of Tamluk
Tamluk is place of great religious significance. Historical data reveal that multiple religions have shaped the history of Tamluk in some ways or some point of time. Tamluk has strong remnants of the prevalence of Buddhist Religion, Hinduism, Vaishnavism, and Christianity. It is the beauty of Tamluk that it has been an important seat of religion for various beliefs.
Buddhism in Tamluk
There is strong evidence in History that Buddhism had spread its wings in Bengal as it lies very close to Magadha- the epicenter of Buddhism. It is believed that Buddha had visited Tamluk as well during his time. Further, history reveals that the spread of Buddhism had reached its peak in Bengal during Asoka’s reign. Various artifacts and coins of historical importance from Mauryan period have been excavated in this part of the country. In fact, I-Tsing, a Chinese traveler had mentioned of Asoka’s stupas near present day Tamluk.
Tamluk also witnessed some kind of transformation in Buddhism. It was in the medieval times that it came to be related with certain kind of mysticism. Established by the tantric acharyas called Siddhas it centered more on mystical and supernatural powers.
Ancient temples with strong resemblance to Buddhist architecture are a part of temples in Tamluk. Already declared Heritage Sites by the Archaeological Survey of India, the group of 36 temples date back to the Pala dynasty and bear great resemblance to architecture in Vikramshila University.
Christianity in Tamluk
It is believed that Tamluk was also in touch with Christianity at one time. The first Christians to lay feet here were the Portuguese. Shna They married local women and this resulted in the spread of indigenous Christians.
Vaishnav Thirtha in Tamluk
Tamluk has a great significance in the Vaisnava religion as well. The place has been mentioned several times in ancient religious writings and is believed to be a special place of religious significance. Even in Mahabharata, Tamluk has been mentioned as the place where Lord Krishna and Arjun release the horse of Ashwamedha Yagya. The mythological relevance and importance of Tamluk makes it a very important religious place.
Hinduism in Tamluk
Tamluk is equally important for Hindus and holds a very significant place in the hearts of the believers. One can find religious temples and places of interest in Tamluk.
The religiosity of people can also be assessed by the celebration of Hindu festivals. All the major hindu festivals are celebrated with a lot of fervor in Tamluk.
One festival that requires special mention is Makar Sankranti. There is a ghat in Tamluk which is of immense popularity and pilgrims take holy bath in this ghat on the occasion of the festival of Makar Sankranti.
Following temples can be found in Tamluk
Radhamadhav & Radharaman Mandir
Harir Mandir & Mahaprabhur Dalan
Ramkrishna Mission Sevashram
Tamluk is also important for Hindus because it is the place where the left ankle of Sati fell according to the Hindu Mythology. So it is a part of the fifty one sacred places of Shakti Peeth. Religion plays a very important role in a country like India. The world has marveled at the wonderful uniqueness of peaceful co-existence of multiple religions in India. Haldia also forms a deserving part of the unique diversity of India’s religions.