General Information about Malda:
Area : 3,733 sq. km.
Population : 3,997,970
Literacy : 62.71 per cent
Languages : Bengali, Hindi & English.
Temperature : Max. 42°C and Min. 27°C in Summer. Max. 27°C and Min. 9°C in Winter.
Best Season : October to March. In winter the temperature varies from 4 °C to 20 °C. In summer temperature rises up to 42°C. April and May are the hottest months. During June to September there are heavy rainfall.
Air : The nearest airport is Bagdogra.
Rail: Direct rail connections with many important cites of the country.
Road: Malda can be reached through a dense network of road connections. Frequent bus and taxi services are available within the states.
Arabic word “mal” means wealth synonym of Maldah. Malda is quite favourite with the tourists. Malda is especially known for different varieties of Mangoes.
At first Dutch, English & the French East India Company built up Kuthis here. In 1656 the first British factory grew in Nimasari. Then, in 1770 the East India Company bought a small village & then built a Kuthi to facilitate the silk trade. The name of which was Englejabad which is now known as English Bazar. For trade purposes, both Hindu and Muslim weavers came here to settle around the kuthi. In 1771, this kuthi was extended to become a fort by the East India Company. This began the British rule in Maldah.
To the south of Malda is Gour and to the north is Pandua. In the past, the capital of Bengal was Gour.
Gaur Capital Of Bengal:
Gour is one of the best historical place to visit in India. According to the local hearsay, in the past, because of flourishing trade in molasses or Gud, the name of the place came to be Gour. However, in the Purana, there is reference to the fact that from the Surjya dynasty, Raja Mandhata’s grandson Gour, was the king of this area and hence the name.
If one takes the NH34 from Malda(Rathbari More) & going 3 km to the south towards Farakka – on the left the border of Bangladesh, on the way to Mahadipur, going 7 km, one comes to Piyasbari. Going another 3km to the right from Piyasbari one comes to the ruins of the past capital of Gour. There is a Zilla Parishad tourist Lodge at Piyasbari. Numerous temples were built in Gour. To the right of Piyasbari is Ramkeli. In 1506, at the time of Jaistha Sankranti, Sree Sree Chaitanyadev came to Gour on his way to Vrindaban. Mahaprabhu stayed there for few days. The footprintof Mahaprabhu could be seen on a stone in the small temple under the Tamal tree. Every year at the time of Jaistha Sankranti a memorial festival is instituted in remembrance of sree chaitanya. There is a colorful fair held for seven days. There are eight kundas or tanks flanking the temple named as Rupsagar, Shyamkunda, Radhakunda, Lalitakunda, Bishakhakunda, Surabhikunda, Ranjakunda and Indulekhakunda. Half km from Ramkeli to the south is Baroduari. This Baroduari is the largest and one of the monuments in Gour. Another sight worth viewing in Gour is five storied Firoze Minar, built in the style of Qutub Minar. Half km from Firoze Minar is the Kadam Rasul Masjid. Emerging from Kadam Rasul & taking a turn to the left, one comes to the Tomb of Nek Bibi. This Nek Bibi was well versed in the occult arts. It is believed that wishes of the devotees are fulfilled here.
The huge domed Chika Masjid was made in 1475 by Sultan Yusuf Shah in honour of a Fakir Chika. In its decoration style, influence of Hindu Temple architecture can also be found. On the left wall after the entrance, signs to scrape off the Ganesh image from the walls can be seen even today. However, the life of imprisonment of Roop and Sanatan passed in this Chamkhana. At last, taming the prison guard Roop and Sanatan reached to Mahaprabhu crossing the Ganga river. There was also a tunnel in those days from the Chika to the Gumti Room. Beside there is Datan Masjid.
To the N-West of Chika is the Gumti Darwaza, built by Hussein Shah in 1512. To the S-East of the Kadam Rasul is the Lukochuri Gate, built in 1655 by Shah Suhja on the architectural pattern followed by the Mughals. During his leisure hours, the Sultan used to play Lukochuri with his Begums here.
Nasiruddin, the Pathan Commander, occupied Gour in 15th century after the death of Jadu or Jalaluddin. His son, Barak Shah built the palace anew at the other side of the dighi. To fortify the security of the palace, a 22 yard high boundary wall was built in 1460, 1/2km to the west of Chika. This unique boundary wall is 15ft wide at the bottom and plinth 8’10” wide at the top.
1 and 1/2 km from the Lukochuri gate is the Tantipara Masjid. It was built by the Sultan Mirshad Khan in 1480 in memory of Umer Qazi. Lotan Masjis is located 1km away from Tantipara on the bus road to Mahadipur. This Quadrangular mosque was built by Sultan Samsuddin Yusuf Shah in 1475. Opposite to Lotan, 1km along the graveled road the Gunamanta Masjid may be visited by walking. In the past, even the Bhagirathi river used to flow below Lotan. On the ways back from Lotan to the city, moving ahead of Tantipara or Lukochuri, 2km to the north is Chamkati Masjid with bow shaped roof. This floral motif decorated mosque was built in 1475 by Sultan Yusuf Shah in memory of a munificient Fakir.
Another achievement of Sultan Yusuf is the mango known as Fajli. Fajal Bibi was a favourite dancer of the king. Yusuf arranged for her a house in the mango garden. Soon she lost herself in luxury and became very fatty. Close to fajal Bibi’s residence, one of the mango trees bore rather large size fruits. Mocking at Fajal Bibi’s body, people used to name the mangoFajal or the Fajli. Fajal Bibi is no longer alive, but huge production of Fajli is there in Maldah.
Interested people may also visit Kalapahar Garh at Malatipur, to the west of NH34 crossing while going towards the city. Similarly, further towards the city turning left of Jadupur – going further 3km towards Shahdullahpur, another achievement of Ballal Sen – the Burra Sagar Dighi may be seen.
Jaharatala Temple :
Jaharatala Temple is situated on the outskirts of Malda Town. It is surrounded by lush green fields on one side and Mango Orchards on the other side. The temple is very near to Bangladesh border. The original temple was built by Raja Ballal Sen who was the third ruler of Sena Dynasty . Here the diety is represented by three faces of Goddess Kali . It is believed that the three faces represent the three goddesses Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati. The temple is that it opens only on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Map of Malda :