About Ghatal

Ghatal is one of the ancient and prominent towns in the Paschim Medinpur district of West Bengal. It is the subdivisional headquarters of the Ghatal Subdivision which comprises of a total of five municipalities and mainly five community development blocks. The city has been the birthplace of many nationalists, social reformers and freedom fighters like, Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Patriot Pradyot Bhattacharya, Patriot Pravangsu Paul, Patriot Mohini Mondal, Raja Narendralal Khan, and Patriot Manabendranath Roy and many others which make this town one of the important towns of India’s history. Also, the subdivision has been the place of the cotton, silk, utensils industries during the British rule in India. The culture of Ghatal itself reflects the patriotism of its sons that fought for India’s Independence.
About Ghatal
Pontoon Bridge in Ghatal

History of Ghatal

Ghatal played an important role as in the freedom of the country. There is port at a distance of 3km east from this town where Darakeshwar and Shilibati rivers join with Jhumi and Damodar rivers. This port has been a main port which is used for putting goods in the ships and anchoring these boats and ships to the major port of Tamralipta. This was a port of the export and import business involving Bengal and some countries such as, Sri Lanka etc. It has been a chief town used for making of cotton, tusser silk, bell-metal utensils and earthen ware etc. and Dutch also established a factory here at Ghatal Headquarters during that time. This factory is now serves as the sub divisional courts of the administration. Also in the early British rule, British constructed three commercial residences to administer the trade activities in the town. The industries created in that time for the cultivating and weaving of the silk and cotton which made this town extremely popular were strategically disappeared due to the strict and greedy policy of trade created by the British East India Company. The reasons behind these were taking out of investments that were done in the company, reduction in the business of these textile produce in India and Britain and the increased competitiveness of the foreign items, all these resulted in the disappearance of the textile industries from Ghatal as well as other areas that are involved in manufacturing of these textiles and Radhanagar area, Khirpai, Chandrokona, and Khrar were also the part of them. Some of these like Radhanagar were involved in the sugar business at that time.

In 2002, West Bengal Government divided Medinipur district mainly in two divisions, i.e. Purba (East) Medinipur and Paschim (West) Medinipur to speed the governmental effectiveness and convenience. Paschim Medinipur has a total of four sub divisions in it mainly Kharagpur, Medinipur Sadar, Ghatal, and Jhargram while Ghatal Sub Division possesses five blocks under it, i.e. Kharagpur, Medinipur Sadar, Ghatal, and Jhargram and also five municipalities which are Ramjibanpur, Khirpai, Chandrokona, Kharar and Ghatal.

Geography and Climate of Ghatal

Ghatal is a flood prone region as it has been many times flooded by the flow of Rupnarayan River. It is situated at the geographical coordinates of 22.67°N 87.72°E and standard altitude of 5m. River Shilabati lies on the south, Dwarkareswar on the east and Jhumi lies on the third side of Ghatal. This city experiences a moderate climate and has witnessed floods in past due to various rivers like, Boti, Jhumi, Kethiya, Kansaboti and Rupnarayan.

Demography of Ghatal

Ghatal Subdivision possesses a total population of 54,591in which there are 27,882 males and 26,709 females according to the information by census 2011. Female sex ratio was found to be 958 as compared to state average ratio of 950 and child sex ratio is about 939 against state average child sex ratio of 956. Literacy rate is 89.48% which is actually higher than that of state which is 76.26% in which there are 94.14% male literates and female literates are 84.62%. Also, the total populace of children under the age of 6 is 5399 or 9.89% of the whole inhabitants.

Economy of Ghatal

Residents of Ghatal are found mainly involved in agriculture activities like, Rice, Potato and other Vegetable farming. Further, some other inhabitants are also involved in fishing, hawking and weaving. Many often migrate to other states like Maharashtra and Gujarat in search of decent living. A small number of inhabitants are government employees, employees at school and some other work in private sectors. The town is home to middle and upper middle class residents. The city is mainly popular for the production of bell metal articles which is a specialty in the Kharar town of this subdivision.

Transportation in Ghatal

The town of Ghatal is very well linked to the other major cities by rail transports and road highways such as Kolkata, Howrah, Midnapore, Kanthi, Digha, Burdwan, and Bankura. The closest railway station to Ghatal is Panskura Railway Station which is at a distance of 40.7 km from Ghatal and can be covered in about 49 minutes of time. Bus, Minibus and cycle rickshaws are used for roaming around and exploring the city. Also for international visitors, the nearest airport to Ghatal is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata located at a distance of 72.7 km.

Culture in Ghatal

The culture of Ghatal is quite diverse. Worship of Maa Sitala Buri and other Maa Sitalasis done by carrying hundreds of Dhaks during procession and by organizing an open opera acting show on the stage which is dragged and pushed by the people mainly men on the pitch road which runs through the town.`Sishu Mela` is the well known festival of the town in which people from the nearby blocks also take part. Further, 'Vidyasagar Mela' is the next famous festival which is celebearted in Birsingha the place of Birth of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar. The other festivals celebrated includes, Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja and Kali Puja and are part of Ghatal’s culture.

Tourist Destinations in Ghatal

Ghatal is famous for its various beautiful temples and sightseeing destinations that are visited frequently by the locals and tourists alike.

Ghatal: Pontoon Bridge (Bhasa Pool)

One of the popular tourist sites of Ghatal is Bhasapool or floating bridge is made on the river by combining few boats which are attached with rope on the two sides of the banks. It was constructed by Dr. Watson who was a British merchant and made this bridge for his own use and it was not open for local people at that time. On 22nd September 1904, it was made accessible for everyone by the introduction of the Bengal Ferry Act.

Birsingha

Birsingha is the well known tourist attraction of Ghatal as it is the Birthplace of the known Bengali reformer and Philosopher Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The place is a village in the Ghatal Subdivision Block and is mainly open of the whole week for the visitors. Also, at this place a semi museum is constructed which displays the various works of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar.

Satsanga Vihar

Satsanga Vihar is an ashram made by Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra (1888-1969). He was a well known Indian Guru and there are many temples dedicated to him which are situated in Kushpata at Ghatal. The Ashram is located next to the bank of Shilabati River and it also has a park named Shishu Udaan for Children.

Archaeological Site at Kheput

This heritage site of Ghatal is situated on the west of the Rupnarayana River in the Daspur-II Block close to Gopigonj. There are many archaeological items found there like, Image of Vishnu, an image of Buddha etc. and there is also a huge mound called as “Finge Rajar Danga”. It was also said that many other historical relics are lying in the deep inside of this place. The site actually requires some excavations to explore its rich archaeological remains.

Narazole

At Narauined Raj Palace situated at this part of Ghatal which was the home palace and a large kingdom of Khan-Raja during ancient times. There are many beautiful Atchala Style made temples located at this place like, “Navaratna” of Govinda Jiu, “Sitarama Temple” founded by Raja Mohanlal Khan (1819), “Siva Temple” in Harinageria. There is also a famous temple called ‘Jalhari’ which is known for its fine architecture and is located in the center of a big pond.

Raj Palace at Chandrakona

This historical place was the capital of Bhana Dynasty in ancient times. There is the structural design which is made of terracotta and laterite soil. Also there are some know temple of this town like, “Pancharatna Temple” at Malleswar, “Atchala”-styled temple, “Jor Bangla”-styled temple at Dakshin Bazar. It also is home to many ancient forts such as, “Ramgarh”, “Lalgarh”, and “Raghunathgarh” which are now left ruined. Thus, this place needs some more importance to restore it rich heritage.

Radhagovinda Jiu Temple

This popular and frequently visited temple is situated in the Belpukur town of Ghatal Subdivision and is known as a ‘Matha’ for all Krishna Devotees. This temple is the part of “Gouriya Vaishanav Association” which is established by Acharya Srila Bhaktiswarup Tirtha Goswami Maharaj.

Apart from these popular destinations of Ghatal, there are also some other must visit places like, British Chimney at Nimtola, Temples of the Radhagovinda and Radharam’s “Pancharatna” in Gobindanagar, Kheputeswari Temple at Kheput and the Uttamananda Temple at Khirpai and these should be visited during a trip to Ghatal to explore the rich historical inheritance of this town.

Hotels in Ghatal

The accommodation facility available in the town of Ghatal is pretty limited for the visitors. There are five hotels in the city providing all the basic amenities at affordable prices to the tourists that come to explore this historical town. The tourist department is still on its way to build some more hotels and lodges for the visitors. But, till then the present five hotels serve the tourists and have been quite successful in providing satisfactory services to them

Gucchait Lodge
Address: Ghatal Road, Ghatal, Midnapore - 721212, Near Kushpata Bus Stand
Contact: + (91)-9932878034

Balaram Hotel
Address: Ghatal Road, Ghatal, Midnapore - 721212
Contact: + (91)-9933562223

Goutam Hotel
Address: Kushpata, Ghatal, Mindapur, Ghatal Road, Mindapur, Ghatal, Midnapore - 721212
Contact: + (91)-9563961962

Mangal Bhawan
Address: Kushpata, Ghatal, Paschim Medinipur, Ghatal Road, Ghatal, Midnapore - 721212
Contact: + (91)-9434029281

Khaja Baba Hotel
Address: Ghatal, Paschim Medinipur, Khirpai Road, Khirpai, Midnapore - 721232
Contact: + (91)-8001929051

Utility Services in Ghatal

The services provided to the inhabitants of Ghatal are quite self sufficient. As currently there are 7 banks, three hospitals, one nursing home and three police stations situated in the city. All these are adequate for the local public living here and their services have been considered satisfactory by the inhabitants. Also, being a known tourist town of West Bengal, the administration has been considering some schemes to introduce some more hospitals and bank branches in the city to provide tourists with all the a-one facilities on their stay at this place.
Banks in Ghatal

State Bank of India (SBI)
IFSC Code: SBIN0000228
MICR Code: 721002701
Address: Krishnanagar, Distt. Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal-721212
Contact: IP: 505407; TEL: 03225-255056, 257881, 257383

United Bank of India (UBI)
IFSC Code: UTBI0GTL274
Address: Vill & P.O Ghatal, Distt. Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal-721212
Contact: (03481) 236378

UCO Bank
IFSC Code: UCBA0000642
MICR Code: 721028812
Address: P.O Ghatal, Midnapore
Contact: 03225-255013

IndusInd Bank
IFSC Code: INDB0000375
Address: 1st Floor, Raj Palace, Konnagar, Ghatal, Distt. West Medinipur, West Bengal-721212

West Bengal State Coop Bank
IFSC Code: WBSC0TCCB02
Address: Vill & P.O Ghatal, Distt. Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal-721212
Contact: 03225-255058 9732705994

Allahabad Bank
IFSC Code: ALLA0212745
MICR Code: 721010607
Address: Kushpata Ghatal, PS & P.O Ghatal, Distt. Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal-721212
Contact: Satyajit Halder 9748889173, Rajesh Setthy 9564027729

Bank of India (BOI)
IFSC Code: BKID0004191
MICR Code: 721013702
Address: Basari Sriti Bhawan (Opp. Ghatal College), PS & P.O Ghatal, Distt. Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal-721212
Contact: BR MGR 9002299939

Hospitals and Nursing Homes in Ghatal

Ghatal SD Hospital
Contact: 03225-255064

Ghatal Fertility Center Hospital
Address: GFC Building Kush Pata, Ghatal, Ghatal, Midnapore - 721212, Gfc Building
Contact: + (91)-8170004867, 9434413825, 8900020006, 8170004866, + (91)-3225-244400, + (91)-3225-244650
Website: www.ghatalfertility.com

Jibandeep Nursing Home
Address: Kushpata, Ghatal, Paschim Medinipur-721212
Contact: + (91)-3225-244209, + (91)-9434031731
Website: www.jeevandeepnursinghome.com

Chandrakona Rural Hospital
Address: Chandrakona, Midnapore-721201
Contact: + (91)-3225-242189

Police Station in Ghatal

Daspur Police Station
Address: Podampur, Daspur, West Bengal 721211
Contact: 03225 254 239

Ghatal Police Station
Address: Gombhir Nagar, Ghatal, West Bengal 721212
Contact: 03225 255 021

Chandrakona Police Station
Address: Gach Sitala, Chandrakona, West Bengal 721201

Thus, above given was the complete city guide of Ghatal informing you about the extensive history, economy, culture and the tourist places of this historical town and Ghatal, being an important place in India’s history is one of the frequently visited places of West Bengal. So, beautifully built temples and Ashrams of this place will give you a look at India’s inherent spiritual culture and the historical monuments situated at Ghatal will take back you in the ancient times. Therefore, Ghatal is indeed a must visit town to explore India’s rich heritage.

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