Bonedi Barir Puja : Sabarna Ray Chaudhury, Barisha, Kolkata

08 Oct


Family Puja of Sabarna Raychaudhury, the Founder of Calcutta. Today the ” Aatchala Bari” still remains. It was built by Laksmikanta Gangopadhyay and Durga Puja started by him in the year 1610. Therefore this Puja is more than 400 years old.

The family of Sabarna Ray Chaudhury has been celebrating Durga Puja since 1610 in their ancestral home at Barisha, Kolkata. It is possibly the oldest organised festival in the Kolkata region. Today eight Durga Pujas are held by branches of the family. Out of these, six are at Barisha, the seventh is at Birati  while the eighth at Nimta. The Pujas held at Barisha are those of Aatchala, Baro Bari, Mejo Bari, Benaki Bari, Kalikingkar Bhawan and Majher Bari. The Pics are the Views of Aatchala Durga Puja of the family at Barisha of 2016.dsc05789-001
dsc05793Close up view of the idoldsc05795


The Sabarna Ray Chaudhury (সাবর্ণ রায় চৌধুরী) family were the Zamindar (superior landlords) of the then Calcutta area, prior to the arrival of the British.  On 10 November 1698, they transferred, by lease, their rights over the three villages – Sutanuti,  Kalikata  and  Gobindapur  –  to the East India Company.  The family is also known as Sabarna Choudhury (সাবর্ণ চৌধুরী ).

The origin is traced back in the 10th Century CE, when Adisura brought five Brahmins to Bengal. Vedagarba was one of them and is regarded as the first in the genealogy of the Sabarna Roy Choudhury Family.

Panchanan Gangopadhyay (Panchu Sakti khan) of the family acquired the Khan title from the Mughal Emperor Humayun in the sixteenth century, for his bravery as a cavalry in charge of Pathan soldiers. Around the middle of that century he constructed a palace at a place which came to be known as Haveli Sahar or Halisahar. It was from Halisahar that the family spread far and wide, including, to UttarparaBiratiBarisha and Kheput

Lakhsmikanta Gangopadhyay alias Laksmikanta Roy Choudhury (the son of Jia Gangopadhyay later known as Saint Kamadeva Brahmachari) was given jagirdari of a vast tract of land by Raja Man Singh, in 1608. Along with the Jaigir he was given the title of ‘Ray’ and ‘Choudhury’ which later became the surname of his descendants.


The three villages of Sutanuti, Govindapur and Kalikata were part of a khas mahal or imperial jagir or an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor himself, whose jagirdari rights were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family. The British settlement was surrounded by thirty-eight villages held by others. Although in 1717, the British East India Company was permitted by the Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar to rent or acquire zamindari rights in them, it was unable to procure the land from the zamindars or local landlords.

Even the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family was not keen to allow the British to settle or do trading on these villages, but the British had paid a bribe at the Mughal Durbar to ensure that the deal did not fail. Just prior to their move to Barisha, the Roy Choudhury family had to transfer their rights over Kalikata in 1698, to the East India Company much against their wishes and protests.

The British ultimately got The ‘Right to Rent’ or lease of three villages for an annual rent of Rs. 1,300. The deed was in Persian. A copy of the deed is kept in the  Sabarna  Sangrahashala at  Barish, Kolkata.


The ‘Sabarna Roy Choudhury Paribar Parishad’, the supreme family organisation and nine other intellectuals of the city filed a public interest litigation before the Kolkata High Court in 2001 demanding a probe into the matter whether Job Charnock can be regarded as the founder of Kolkata. The Court, upon an Expert Committee finding, declared on 16 May 2003, that Job Charnock of East India Company, cannot be regarded as the founder of the city and 24th August also cannot be considered as the city’s birthday.

 Read other stories of “Bonedi Bari” here.

Source : Facts & figures from internet. 

Image credit & Copyright © anil c. mandal 2016, all rights reserved


Posted by on 08/10/2016 in Calcutta, History, Uncategorized


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4 responses to “Bonedi Barir Puja : Sabarna Ray Chaudhury, Barisha, Kolkata

  1. anisioluiz2008

    08/10/2016 at 9:33 PM

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

  2. Margarita

    08/10/2016 at 10:40 PM

    Happy Navaratri, Anil! 😉 xoM

    • Anil

      09/10/2016 at 6:17 AM

      Thank you so much Margarita for the wishes. Let Navaratri bring happiness and joy to you!

      • Margarita

        09/10/2016 at 6:47 AM

        Thank you, Anil! 😉 xoM


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