Sunday, March 7, 2010

From Krishnanagar to Chandernagore - Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay

Tradition has it, that our family - the Mukhopadhyay clan of Bromhottor Champa Tola - has been living in Chandernagore for over 250 years - even before the Battle of Plassey (1757). Krishnachandra Mukhopadhyay is claimed to be the first member of this clan and he settled here after coming from Krishnanagar. However as you will soon discover below there are quite a few discrepancies.

The list below shows my straight paternal lineage for 6 generations above me.

1. Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay (~1790 A.D.)*
2. Gobindo Chandra Mukhopadhyay (~1820 A.D.)*
3. Anukul Chandra Mukhopadhyay (~1850 A.D.)*
4. Nalindranath Mukhopadhyay (~1880 A.D.)*
5. Bholanath Mukhopadhyay (1916 A.D.)
6. Gourisankar Mukhopadhyay (1947 A.D.)
7. Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay (1983 A.D.)

* Taking an average of 30 years between the birth of two generations

As with all families, even our family has a number of stories about our origin and I talk about some of those stories below.

Story 1 - Traditional stories in our family say that Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay came from Krishnanagar, Nadia District to Chandernagore before the Battle of Plassey (1757). He is the first member of our clan, the Boro Champatala Bromhottor Mukhopadhyay clan.

a. However, his exact date of arrival to Chandernagore is unknown.
b. His date of birth is unknown - but extrapolating with 30 years per generation it should be circa. 1790 - so he could not have come before 1757.
This leaves us with two explanations:
i. either the story of coming before Battle of Plassey is baseless (as is with most family stories) and his date of arrival is probably much later (early 1800's) or
ii. It was not Krishna Chandra but probably his father or grandfather who had come to Chandernagore and that could very well have been before or around the Battle of Plassey
c. Apart from all this his wife's name is unknown
d. The reason he migrated to Chandernagore is unknown
e. We do not know whether he had any siblings in Krishnanagar
f. We do not know the village that he came from - but again traditional stories say that the village from which he came has been washed away by the river (Jalangi)

Story 2 - Variant (A). Another story has it that Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay (or our first ancestor who came to Chandernagore, in case he is not Krishna Chandra but his ancestor) was one of the 5 Brahmins invited by Zamindar Indranarayan Choudhary to start Jagaddhatri Puja in Chandernagore in the manner of Raja Krishnachandra of Krishnanagar. Again, this is probably just a story, because:

a. Jagaddhatri Puja was celebrated in Chandernagore as early as 1750 or more
b. Jagaddhatri Puja started in Krishnanagar in 1760 or therabouts
c. Indranarayan Choudhary died in 1756
d. My ancestor Krishnachandra Mukhopadhyay was born around 1790 A.D. (+/- 20 years) - so he couldn't have come before 1770 A.D. by any means because he wouldn't have been born by then
e. What was so special about Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay that he had to be invited from Krishnanagar to Chandernagore to perform a Puja that was actually unique to Chandernagore?
f. Finally, the story of the 5 Brahmins sound suspiciously similar to King Adisura's (AdIshUra) invitation of 5 Brahmin' story (which I will talk about in great details later) and I have'nt heard of any such story about Raja Indranarayan Choudhary (but I need to do more research on this)

Story 2 - Variant (B) - A second variant of this story is that Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay (or our first ancestor who came to Chandernagore, in case he is not Krishna Chandra but his ancestor) was one of the 17 Brahmins invited by Zamindar Indranarayan Choudhary once he (the latter) assumed control of some areas of Chandernagore and got involved in regional development. Again all this happened much before Battle of Plassey (1757), as per family stories. As in the cases above, extrapolated dates don't tally with real historical dates.

Story 3. It is said that Krishna Chandra comes from a long line of ancestors with only one son per generation (for seven consecutive generations). But again this story remains unverified.

Story 4. One of my relatives (a distant uncle) claims that it was not Krishna Chandra who came to Chandernagore but actually his father Harish Chandra Mukhopadhyay who actually came from Krishnanagar and set up the clan. However, no one else , including the seniors relatives have heard of this particlar story or about an individual called Harish Chandra.

Apart from all this, we know nothing about Krishna Chandras life, his lifestyle, his personality, his demeanour, his food habits or his spiritual inclinations.

In short, we know next to nothing about our first ancestor in Chandernagore, except that Krishna Chandra Mukhopadhyay might have been that person, and that the first of the clan came from Krishnanagar.

1 comment:

  1. I am able to see Narendranath Mukhopadyay family tree do u have any trace??