The name Chandannagar is possibly derived from the shape of the bank of the river Hooghly which is bent like a half moon (in Bengali, Chand means moon and Nagar implies city), so originally it was chander nagar. From the river bank it looked like a moon-shaped necklace (crescent moon). Some local people say that once, the place was the major hub of the trade of Sandal (Bengali-chandan). In some old documents the spelling of Chandannagar was Chandernagore which probably came from Chandra Nagar. To mention, Chandra is the Bengali of Moon. One more reason behind the name is, in Chandernagore there is a temple of Goddess 'Chandi'. So it might come from there. But earlier people knew the place by the name Farasdangaor "France donmgi" as it was a French colony (Bengali: Farasi means French, danga means land).The name Pharasdanga appears in Bengali literature.
Chandannagar was established as a French colony in 1673, when the French obtained permission from Ibrahim Khan, the Nawab of Bengal, to establish a trading post on the right bank of the Hughli River. Bengal was then a province of the Mughal Empire. It became a permanent French settlement in 1688, and in 1730 Joseph François Dupleix was appointed governor of the city, during whose administration more than two thousand brick houses were erected in the town and a considerable maritime trade was carried on. For a time, Chandannagar was the main center for European commerce in Bengal.
In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain, and Colonel Robert Clive of the British East India Company and Admiral Charles Watson of the British Navy bombarded and captured Chandannagar on 23 March 1757. The town's fortifications and many houses were demolished thereafter, and Chandannagar's importance as a commercial center was eclipsed by that of Calcutta situated down river. Chandernagore was restored to the French in 1763, but retaken by the British in 1794 in the Napoleonic Wars. The city was returned to France in 1816, along with a 3 sq mi (7.8 km2) enclave of surrounding territory. It was governed as part of French India until 1850, under the political control of the governor-general in Pondicherry. By 1900 the town's former commercial importance was gone, and it was little more than a quiet suburb of Calcutta, with a population of 25,000 (1901). But it was noted for its clean wide thoroughfares, with many elegant residences along the riverbank.
Like the other three French occupied colonies of India, Chandernagore was under Pondicherry. There was only one Governor for the entire French India. He lived in the principal city of Pondicherry, from time to time he would visit the colonies. There was one Administrator under the Governor in each colony. Though there were courts and magistrates here, a separate judge used to come from Pondicherry for session trials. There was a High court in Pondicherry for filing an appeal. The Collectorates, the Education Department, the Housing Department etc. were all under the said department of Pondicherry. One Inspector from France used to come here every year for inspecting all the affairs. The French Consul who lived in Calcutta had no connection with the administration of Chandernagore.
Formerly the government kept a troop of sepoys to help maintenance of peace in the town. It is known that Chandernagore had two divisions of infantry during 1743-45. Under the terms of the treaty it had no alternative but to keep not more than 15 soldiers.
The laws of this place were not separate, laws were the same in regard to all the colonies and they were drawn up by the Minister of the Interior of France. In the councils of Depute and Senateur of France there was one representative elected by the citizens and representatives of French India in each.
Though no Indian ever got a place in the Councils of Depute and Senateur, the citizens of Chandernagore had the right to be elected to those seats.
A Municipality was created here on 1 August 1880. Charles Dumaine became the first Mayor.
There was a post called 'Notaire' like the Registrar of British India. All the deeds as for testament, sale and purchase, debts and dues were registered by him.
The judicial system even passed a few death sentences in the town. Two persons named Sk. Abdul Panjari and Hiru Bagdi were sentenced to death for the first time on 26 January 1883. The guillotine was used to carry out capital punishment and was used in the town for the last time on 22 July 1895.
India became independent from Britain in 1947. In June 1948 the French Government held a plebiscite which found that 97% of Chandannagar's residents wished to become part of India. In May 1950, the French allowed the Indian government to assume de facto control over Chandannagar, officially ceding the city to India on 2 February 1951. De jure transfer took place on 9 June 1952.
On 2 October 1954 Chandannagar was integrated into the state of West Bengal.
The tree-shaded promenade along the river is about 1 km (0.62 mi) in length and 7 meters (23 ft) in width, and there are many buildings of historical importance along the way. It is a popular spot for local people and tourists alike, who love to stroll along enjoying the breeze and watching the small boats sail by. Along the Strand one can find the Vivekananda Mandir (a meditation centre protruding into the river Ganges).
One of the oldest museums of the region. It boasts a collection of French antiques (such as cannons used in Anglo-French war, wooden furniture of the 18th century, etc.) which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world. The institute still teaches French through regular classes. Jogendra Nath Sen, resident of Chandannagar who died in France fighting in the World War I. His personal items were sent to his brother in India who later donated them to the Intitut de Chandernagore in Chandannagar. The Museum is closed on Thursday and Saturday.
The church is situated near the Strand. It was designed by French Architect Jacques Duchatz. The church was inaugurated by Paul Goethals 27 Jan. 1884. The church stands for over two centuries to mark the beauty of the architecture during the French period — a good place to visit for the historians and tourists alike. The remains of the Church of St. Louis is also an attractive tourist spot.
The French Cemetery contains 150 tombs and is located on the Grand Trunk Road opposite Lal Dighi (a large lake). Amongst the remarkable people buried there, one can find the tomb of Duplessis, the founding father of French Chandannagar and also the one of pioneering meteorologist Henry "Storm" Piddington, who is mentioned in Amitav Ghosh's novel The Hungry Tide.
Constructed in 1937, to mark the Fall of Bastille, the gate has the French Revolution slogan "Liberté, égalité, fraternité (Liberty, equality and fraternity)" etched on it.
The building is another beautiful example of the advancement in the knowledge of architecture and the aesthetic sense of the people of those earlier days. Its lowest floor is submerged in the River Ganges. The Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore frequently visited the place and appreciated a lot about the building. He felt that the place influenced him to a large extent and broadened his intellectual capabilities. He mentioned Patal-bari in many of his famous novels. The famous social reformer Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar also stayed in the building. The house was owned by the zemindars of nearby Mankundu.
Nandadulal Temple built in 1740 by Indranarayan Roychoudhury presents an excellent example of ancient Indian sculptures. There are many fascinating temples devoted to Kali, Shiva and other deities which show marks of brilliant craftsmanship and artistic taste.
Built by Sri Harihar Sett, and donated to the people of Chandannagore. This building still serves as a theatre hall and a library. It was first of its kind in the entire locality. It has one of the largest collections of books in French, English and Bengali in the district.
The temple is situated near Brahmin para, Boubazar in the western part of railway station. The history of this ancient temple is not known properly. The deity is worshiped regularly by the local people.
A temple of Lord Jaggannath, Lord of the universe. It is situated on 'Rather Sadak' or the road of Lord Jaggannath's chariot. Mahaprabhu Chaitanya is said to have visited this place in his time. Currently this temple is maintained by the Chattopadhyay family.
Archival materials on the history of Chandernagor and relics of Rabindranath Tagore are available at the Chandernagore Heritage Museum which is located in the vicinity of the Barabazar Auto Stop. (Please note that access to the archive is limited only to research scholars).
The Radhanath Sikdar Himalayan Museum at Ananda Cottage, Bagbazar, sports a fine display of mountaineering equipment and the history associated with such artefacts.
The KMDA Park located West of Chandernagore Railway Station is a popular park and picnic spot. It was made open to the public in 2002 and since then it has served thousands of people who come here for picnics, particularly in the winter months.
Jagaddhatri Puja is a major socio-cultural event in this region.
The ancient history of Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar is unknown even today. It is wrongly believed that Indranarayan Chowdhury introduced the Jagadhatri Puja in Chandannagar in manners similar to Raja Krishnachandra of Krishnanagore. The time of beginning of Jagadhatri Puja in Krishnanagore was 1762. Indranarayan Choudhury died in 1756. So Indranarayan Choudhury by no means introduced the Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar. The beginning of Jagadhatri puja in Chandannagar probably dates back earlier than 1750. Indranarayan Choudhury performed the Jagadhatri puja at his own house in Chandannagar, at the time Krishnachandra used to come to borrow money from Indranarayan Choudhury. The father of Krishnachandra had started the puja of Jagadhatri at Krishna Nagar due to missing out once on the puja of Durga by being locked up in British prison. Once Krishnachandra's ship could not reach Krishna Nagar in time for Jagadhatri puja due to weak winds. So he performed on day of nabami the puja at the Ghat of Nichupoty. Seeing in this the wish of the Goddess to be established as a puja in Chandannagar too, he left funds for its yearly worship on a permamnent basis. n 1780 Bengal Gazette of James August Hickey was the first newspaper of this country. The newspaper was silent about the Jagaddhatri Puja. But the 'Friends of India' published a report on the community Jagaddhatri Puja in 1820. The date of the community Jagaddhatri Puja in Chandernagore was 1790. In those days Robert Clive called Loxmigonj of Chandernagore the 'Granary of Bengal'. The Jagaddhatri Puja at Chaulpotty (Rice Market) in Loxmigonj is probably the historic example of the ancient community Jagaddhatri Puja. The Jagaddhatri Puja of Chandernagore bridges the past and the present.
One of the main attractions of the Jagaddhatri idol of Chandernagore is the ornamental decoration of the goddess with sola and the beautiful canvas of mats with paintings at the back of the image. Also the procession is second longest in the world after Rio de Janeiro's.
Rong O Tuli
This famous Art school running for the last 40 years. This is one of the most famous Art school in town.
ART CLUB OF CHANDERNAGORE
This organization famous for organizing Art and Craft Exhibition every year along with Workshop and Puja Parikrama since 2002.
Chandannagar is located at 22°52′N 88°23′E / 22.87°N 88.38°E / 22.87; 88.38. It has an average elevation of 10 metres (33 ft).
Chandannagar consisted of mainly three parts Khalisani (west), Gondalpara (south) and Boro Kishanganj (north). There are about 30 localities (para) and more than 100 sub-localities. Of them some are Gondalpara, Nutan Telighat, Barasat, Tematha, Hatkhola, Daibokpara, Padripara, Lalbagan, Barabazar, Bagbazar, Fatokgora, Khalisani, Nabagram, Palpara, Urdibazar, Luxmigunj, Panchanantala, Taldanga, Haridradanga etc.
The G.T. Road runs through the middle of the city. The Delhi road runs marking the western limit of the city. Bajra, Bandhagram etc. are some of the village like areas near the borders of the city.
The city is bordered by Chinsurah in the north, Bhadreshwar in the south, the Hooghly river in the east and Dhaniakhali in the west
As per 2011 Census of India Chandannagar had a total population of 166,867 of which 84,009 (50.3%) were males and 82,858 (49.7%) were females. Population below 6 years was 11,826. The total number of literates in Chandannagar was 139,005 (89.65% of the population over 6 years).
Chandannagar police station has jurisdiction over the Chandannagar municipal corporation area.