Durga Puja at Raipur's Historic Zamindar House: Unveiling the Legacy

The time of the Zamindari has faded away, but the tales of many Zamindar houses still echo in our memories. Today, we unveil the story of the Raipur Zamindar house and its transformation into the ‘Barowari Durgotsav’, a revered Durga Puja celebration.

This once magnificent mansion now stands amidst overgrown jungles, holding on to the remnants of its illustrious past. However, the torchbearers of this estate are the villagers, who have preserved its history and continue to celebrate Durga Puja on its premises.


Raipur Zamindar House played a significant role in the founding of Shantiketan Ashram. From 1855 to 1863, it was a regular abode for none other than Rabindranath Tagore. Members of the Sinhabari family respectfully called Rabindranath "Gurudev," and he also had a separate house within the estate. Whenever he visited Raipur, Gurudev stayed in that house.

With the decline of Zamindari, the grandeur of the forested Durga Puja also faded. However, the spirit lives on as the Barowari Puja now carries the legacy forward.

To preserve the memories of the Puja, the descendants and villagers have taken the initiative to organise everything according to tradition. The banks of the Ajay River used to be the dwelling place of the residents of Adamapur before Raipur emerged due to the encroachment of the jungle. The Sinhaa Chowdhurys from Medinipur brought their family, along with a thousand looms, to Bolpur to establish their new home. The name "Raipur" came into being when they received the title of "Rai" from the Bardhaman Maharaja's family during the following period.

Raipur Zamindar House and its Durga Puja tradition have a history of approximately 250 years. Initially, the mansion was habitable for about 150 years. During the turbulent days of the Maratha invasions, three sons of the family, along with their own families and a thousand weavers, established themselves in Bolpur under the leadership of Zamindar Lal Chand Sinha.

After about 40 years, in 1780, Lal Chand Sinha's son Shyam kishore Sinha took the initiative to build the Zamindar house, spanning nearly 60 to 70 acres of land with five ponds surrounding it. At that time, this was the only four-story house in Bolpur. To protect against invasions, various types of entrances and a separate inner courtyard were built inside the mansion. However, today, not much remains, and the house has deteriorated.

In 1863, Lord Satyendranath Sinha, the first Advocate General of Bengal and a member of the Executive Council of the then British Indian government, was born in this mansion. His name still lives on in the name of Lord S.P. Sinha Road in Kolkata.

Although there are no more Zamindars in the family, the memories of the Raipur Zamindar house live on. The Sinha family, along with the villagers, continues to participate in Durga Puja, following the ancient customs. The age-old traditions of the Dola and Puja still hold a special place in their hearts. The Durga Puja at Raipur Zamindar House continues to be a living testament to history.

The puja may have transformed from a Zamindari tradition to a community celebration, but it remains deeply rooted in its rich heritage. Raipur's Zamindar house and its Durga Puja exemplify the enduring spirit of tradition and community.

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