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Mriganka Narayan Mondal | HENB | Kolkata | Dec 1, 2022:: The name of the road which even the British didn’t dare to change, was renamed in a moment by the conspiracy of the Congress after India’s independence. After failing with the appeal to WB CM Mamata Banerjee, the Akhil Bharat Nath Mission has approached Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to change the name of Kolkata’s Jawaharlal Nehru Road to Chowranginath Road on the occasion of Independence Day.
As it is known from the pages of history, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, Calcutta was not developed like now. Today’s Maidan and Esplanade areas were then the habitat of tigers covered in dense forests. At that time, Chowrangi, Birji and Colimba were small villages near this area. Chowrangi is the name of this region from the name of ‘Chowranginath’ of the Nath community. According to history, it was this Chowranginath who established the original Kalighat with a face of Goddess Kali.
Chowrangi village, full of paddy fields and bamboo groves with the small habitations of poor fishermen, wood cutters and weavers. It was separated from Gobindpur village by a dense forest. Some say that Warren Hastings used to hunt tigers and deer in this forest.
In the old maps of Kolkata, the distinct line indicating ‘Road to Chowrangi’ is found from Dharmatala or Esplanade. From that road to today’s Exide Junction to Kalighat – this was Chowrangi. The influence of Yogi Chowranginath for naming Chowrangi as the locality is discussed in detail in Kathleen Blechynden’s book “Calcutta, Past and Present”.
Chowranginath’s memory remains at present only in his tomb temple. Yogi Chowranginath’s Samadhi Temple is located behind the Maidan Police Station in Kolkata, almost hidden from the public eye. There is a lane right next to the Maidan police station, and the Samadhi Temple will come across it just a little further at the left. Baba Chowranginath, disciple of Baba Matsyendranath, a Siddha yogi of Nath panth, is buried there. The search for that history is a far cry. Rather in the joy of independence, the old Chowrangi Road has been changed to the name of the Congress leader and the first Prime Minister of India, forgetting the real history.
There was no one to take care of the Samadhi Mandir of Nath Pantha Siddhacharya Chowranginath behind the big houses occupied by various Government departments. Dharmendra Pathak, the present Pujari (priest) of the Pathak family, which has been taking care of the tomb for three generations, said that there was a darma (made of bamboo sticks) house. Today it has become a kind of small pakka temple.
In 2016, the Nikhil Bharat Rudraja Brahman Sammilani wrote a letter to WB Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requesting that the name of Jawaharlal Nehru Road be changed back to its previous name, along with the Metro Maidan station being renamed as ‘Sadhak Chowranginath’, although there has been no response to the application till date, said Barun Nath, the secretary of Nath Mission.
Barun Das added, “The attempt to make forget Baba Chowranginath, one of Kolkata’s architects, continues today. Several government buildings have been encroached around his mausoleum (Samadhi Mandir). Maidan police station buildings have surrounded this historic place. The pond used by Chowranginath is now a closed water body inside Nandan premises. We immediately demand the preservation of that historical place, to the central and state governments. We have approached Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to demand immediate renaming of Jawaharlal Nehru Road and Maidan Metro Station after Chowranginath. He will come here and take necessary action as assured”.
Recently, Mahant Vijayanath of Kapilani Panth of the Nath sect came to the Chowrangi Nath Samadhi Temple accompanied by Mahant Shivnath Baba of the Odisha Nath Panth. They were saddened by seeing its poor condition. Vijayanath said, “The tomb of Guru Baba Chowranginath, one of the oldest Nath sect of India’s traditional religion, is lying in disrepute. It is a shame. We want to see what steps the administration takes in this regard. The government should remember that there are 45 lakh followers of Nath sect in Bengal. Besides this, it is also associated with the sentiments of the people of Kolkata. But, history cannot be suppressed in any way”.
Biswajit Debnath, President of West Bengal Nath Mission, said, “We are requesting the state government to immediately open the entrance to this Samadhi Temple so that pilgrims can come to this temple without any obstacles from the road. We have taken the initiative to install a statue of Yogi Chowranginath along with a memorial plaque”.
Disagreed to reveal his name and designation, an officer of Maidan police told HENB, “We want development of this Samadhi temple certainly and we also care to protect its sanctity. But, we are unable to take any action from this police station in this regard without the direction of the higher authorities”.
Hindu interlocutor and Hindu Existence Website Editor Upananda Brahmachari demanded the removal of Govt encroachment from historical Chowranginath Samadhi Temple and the renovation of it with due honour.
__Agencies / Pics. by Spl arrangements.