"Chandannagore- The French Settlement in Bengal !!" Chandannagar by goutammitra

Chandannagar Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 97 photos

History of Chandannagore - French Residency.

At the end of 14th Century and in 15th Century the Europeans started coming to India as traders. Slowly they realized that Indian rulers are divided to the core and were in effeminate against Gun power. The Europeans had greater Gun Power, had cannons, dedicated, well paid, well fed, well trained soldiers. During that time Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal, under Mughal Rule. The Europeans slowly convinced the Mughal Rulars that they were here for trading and to improve Indian economy so they required to have their own Residency. They also offered huge gifts to the Emperor of Delhi and Nawabs( Kings) of Bengal and in return Zamindari Rights at Bengal. Likewise the Frenchs settled at Chandannagar, The Portuguese at Bandel, The Dutch were at Chinsura, The Danes were at Srirampore and the British settled at Kolkata( with three villagesof Govindapur, Sutanuti & Kalikata) all on the banks of the Ganges( Bhagirathi) at a distance of few Kilometers from each other. Those days there were no proper roads and the means of communication was mostly River and those with naval power settled first. Gradually they started increasing their military powers and it was not possible for the Mughal Rulers of Delhi to keep an eye over their activity. The Nawabs of Bengal tried warn them several times even smashed their Residency, But they immediately re- established them with the decree from Delhi after giving assurance to Delhi that they are here to trade and the Military is here to Protect their property and wealth!!
Between 1744 and 1763 The British and The French were involved in two wars in Europe. At the same time their trade interests clashed in India. These factors led to three major wars called the Carnatic wars. The third Carnatic War was a result of the outbreak of even year of War at Europe. The French lost all their Indian possessions but these were restored to them by the treaty of Paris( 1763), which ended the seven year war. As a result the French lost their rights to fortyfy their settlements. Thus the French ceased to be a political power in India.
Siraj Ud Daulah became the Nawab of Bengal in 1756 and he drove the English out of Calcutta for expanding fortifications and not paying trade duties. But the British sent Robert Clive from Madras to Calcutta. Clive decided to overthrow Siraj ud Daulah when Siraj began to favour the French. Clive won over some members of Siraj's court including the commander in chief Mir Jafar. Intrigues followed, leading to the Battle of Plassey in 1757 between Siraj and the English East India Company. Siraj was defeated and killed.
This is how the French could not become the Rulers of India and their settlement at Chandannagore and Pondicherry only as Residency in India!

Chandarnagore is about 48 Kms from Kolkata by road and about 45Kms by rail. Bandel is about 62 Kms from Kolkata by road and 55kms by by rail. Best to travel by car. But train will provide comfortable and faster journey. The EMU local trains are available throughout the day from Howrah station and cycle rickshaws ply everywhere throghout the day. They know most of the places. We missed many places such as Danish settlement, Sriranmpore, Bansberia Hanseshwari temple and others as we started very late from Kolkata and by not taking the Express highway. we thought we travel by the Grand Trunk road to enjoy and explore the beauty of the Ganges. But that was a great mistake as the G.T. road is full of traffic, highly crowded and the road is extremely bad. It took us 2.30hrs to reach Chandernagore, The Delhi road would have taken only 1.3hrs or express highway about an hour or so. I may be off there very soon, well equipped and well researched. The pages or the trips will be upgraded again.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Extremely Beautiful Town
  • Cons:Bad Roads and Bad up keep of the city.
  • In a nutshell:to have a detour of History of Bengal!!!
  • Last visit to Chandannagar: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 2, 2007
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Reviews (21)

Comments (15)

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    Outstanding photos/detail - always with fascinating history. Grazie for a great tour, Carol <(•¿•)>

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    Interesting architecture reminders of early Western influence in India. There is a repeat in your restaurant tips. Excellent enriching page.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2009 at 6:51 PM

    Wonderful pictures and the Chandannagore Church does look great...rich interesting history of French and Portuguese occupation...Norman :)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 24, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    Beautiful page! Lots of wonderful photographs and history. Great tips too!

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2008 at 6:33 AM

    Interesting history here, Goutam. I would like to go there - maybe we can do one day while in Kolkata. We can hire a car & driver. Good pics & tips, as usual!!

  • mallyak's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2008 at 5:31 PM

    No idea of the Freench and Potuguese influence in Bengal till I read these pages.Nice tips and Rasoi sounds my type-nothing fancy , but homely!

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2008 at 3:30 AM

    Wow. I am impressed. Your tips are wonderful, and the photos are great. I've always marveled at evidences of other cultures placed through history...and love the story of the mast.

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 5:46 PM

    A very enjoyable page on an interesting area. I'm glad I returned to see the additions since my previous visit - so many lovely old buildings.

  • Tina-Perth's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2007 at 7:35 PM

    As usual, another great contribution to VT, Goutam!

  • Pat_Bangkok's Profile Photo
    May 2, 2007 at 10:41 PM

    very informative and knowledgeable.. many thanks.


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