History of RaiganjThe legend of Raiganj goes back to the days of Mahabharata. It is believed that the Pandavas had taken shelter in some place near Raiganj during their period of exile. That place named as Panchbhaya holds the famous legacy of that era. Some people say that Dinajpur was once ruled by a Hindu king called Ganesh during the period between 1514 and1518. He was also called as Danujmardandeva. Dinajpur was probably named after him.
According to some historians, King Ganesh had gifted the entire land of Dinajpur to Kashi who was his nearest relative. He was a pious Brahmachari who later donated it to his favorite disciple, Srimanta Dutta Chowdhury.
Mughal Era in Raiganj
The soil of Raiganj has also witnessed the rise and fall of many ruling dynasties like Pal dynasty, Afghan and Mughal dynasty. The ancient architecture, art and artifacts found in this place reveal the mythological and historical importance of Raiganj.
During the mughal period (1556-1606) Emperor Akbar divided the entire empire into 15 parts. Raiganj was in the jurisdiction of Dinajpur. However, Raiganj entered its golden era during the rule of Dinajpur Raj Ramnath who reigned from the year 1722 till 1760.
Hindu Revival Period of RaiganjRaiganj also witnessed the revival of Hinduism. When Sri Chaitanya Deva started the movement to revive Hinduism, he visited a place near Gaur called Ramkeli where Hinduism was rejuvenated. Raiganj got its name in this period. The influence of Vaishnava religion also prevailed in Raiganj.
According to some historians, West Dinajpur District was a part of Pundravardhana kingdom also known as Mahasthangarh. Pundranagara was a great Buddhist centre during the Mauryan Period.
Freedom Struggle in RaiganjThe British took over the district of West Dinajpur in 1765. Later in 1905, Bengal was divided by the East India Company. The fight for freedom started in West Dinajpur in 1919. Mahatma Gandhi had also visited Raiganj during his struggle for freedom of the country from the British rule. The Quit India Movement in 1942 saw active participation of both Hindus and Muslims of Raiganj. The British East India Company was overthrown by the Indian Union in 1947.
Raiganj after IndependenceRaiganj was declared "National" on 15th august, 1947. Later Raiganj was included in the partitioned India. The declaration was made on 17th august in 1947. The national flag was then hoisted in Snehalata Park and Independence day was celebrated in Raiganj. That Khadi flag is still preserved here.
Evolution of Raiganj SadaAccording to ancient history, Dinajpur named after King Danuj, was divided into two districts namely Dinajpur that is presently in Bangladesh and West Dinajpur. This took place in 1947. The latter comprised both Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur before April in 1992. The bifurcation of the district West Dinajpur led to the birth of Uttar Dinajpur District. Raiganj and Islampur were the subdivisions of Uttar Dinajpur. After the bifurcation of West Dinajpur, Raiganj became the District Sadar.
Raiganj has occupied a remarkable niche in ancient history and has developed culturally and economically over the past few years.
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