Cossimbazar is a small town, about 4 km from Berhampore. It was famous for its silk and muslin. As a result it was a big trading center for the British. The British established their factory in Cossimbazar (1658 – 1659 AD). It was one of the first places selected for a station which was subordinate to the agency at Hooghly. In 1658, Job Charnock was the Assistant to the first officer-in-charge of the ‘Kuthi’ of the British there. The French had also a factory at Cossimbazar at that time and the Armenians had made a settlement at Saidabad under the authority of a ‘farman’ granted by Aurangzeb in 1665. Also the Dutch had a factory at Kalkapur. As a result of all these factories, Cossimbazar annually exported about 22,000 bales of silk of 100 lbs. each.
One of the famous places here is the New Palace or ‘Choto Rajbari’.
The New Palace or ‘Choto Rajbari’:
This majestic palace situated close to Cossimbazar railway station was established in 1740 AD by Dinobondhu Roy during the reign of Alivardi Khan.
The family of Cossimbazar New palace had their patrimonial title of ‘Chattopadhyay’ or ‘Chatterjee’. They were the descendant of ‘Daksha‘, one of the five Brahmins, learned in Vedas brought by King Adisur.
Ajodhya Narayan Roy, the founder of the family, had the hereditary title of ‘Rai’ conferred upon him by the then Nawab Nazim in appreciation of his meritorious services. His son Dinobondhu Roy first settled in Cossimbazar. The Palace is well maintained by the decedents of this noble family . Inside the Palace there is a small museum and a beautiful Durga mandir and Lakshmi Narayan temple. One can get a beautiful view of the horizon from the palace watch tower.
Durga Puja at the Cossimbazar Rajbari:
Durga Puja at the Cossimbazar Rajbari (Royal Palace) still remains a royal affair even after 300 years. The Roy’s of Cossimbazar Rajbari continue the puja with equal solemnity and grandeur of their past. Thousands throng the Rajbari on each day of the five-day festivities from different corners of the district. Ajodhya Narayan Roy first started the Durga Puja in the family around 1710-1712 AD. The grandeur of the puja increased, when Dinobondhu Roy constructed the magnificent Cossimbazar Palace (known as New Palace or Choto Rajbari) in 1740 AD.
The Durga Puja here starts on the day of ‘Rath Yatra’ with the worship of the wooden structure of the idol called ‘Kathamo‘. After completion of the earthen work, the chief artisan starts painting the idol on ‘Anant Chaturdashi‘. The idol is placed on the temple dias on the day of Mahalaya but the durga puja of the family starts from ‘Shukla Pratipad of Devipaksha’, the day after Mahalaya.
The uniqueness of this puja is, here you will see a sea lion instead of the lion as Durga’s ‘Bahon or vahan’. Also the dias is made with five skulls of different animals and placed at corners. The practice of sacrificing animals was stopped by Raja Kamala Ranjan Roy. The immersion of the idol is done with great grandeur in the Bhagirathi . There was also a custom of freeing a ‘neelkanth; bird (The Indian Roller, Coracias benghalensis) after the immersion of the idol (bisarjan) every year.
This video contains some rare footages of ‘Bonedi Durga Puja 2017′ at ‘Cossimbazar Choto Rajbari‘ on ‘Bijoya Dashami‘, during ‘Sindur Khela‘.