The sacred river Bhagirathi flows by Dahapara Ashram and Mandir at a short distance from the premises. Chirping and singing birds are heard intermittently in the trees as the leaves and branches flutter in the wind blowing from across the bosom of the Bhagirathi river. Local and long distance boats with hoisted sails as also motor boats and ferries are seen to ply through the river and 'bhatiyali' songs sung by some of the boatmen soothe the ears of the listeners on the embankment once in a while as the songs of pathos reverberate in the river breeze surrounding the quaint ashram and mandir location.
To the northwest of the Bhagirathi river flowing by Dahapara Ashram premises is located the historic 'Hazarduari Palace' of Murshidabad (1837), 2 1/2 km from Murshidabad Railway Station and the Great Imambara Mosque (1847) on the west bank. To the southeast across from the Bhagirathi river extends the historic battlefield of Plassey (Palashi. 1757) on the east bank. The historic garden-trio (referred as 'bags') of Khosbag-Roshnibag-Farhabag and Motijhil Lake (Pearl Lake) Palace of the time of Siraj-ud-Daulah still echo the cooing of doves and whistling of songbirds to the visitors, and form the extended neighborhoods of the village of Dahapara. Khosbag means 'garden of happiness', while Roshnibag and Farhabag respectively mean 'garden of light' and 'garden of pleasure'. The smallest of the garden-trio Farhabag is beside Dahapara.
From above the skyline of the trees of Dahapara Ashram and Temple premises abd across from the Bhagirathi river the pillar of the famous 'Katra Masjid' (1724) in its present dilapidated state peeks into the sight of the visitors. To the west of Dahapara Ashram at a distance of about 3 km (2 miles) is dominantly visible another historic sight of the Kiriteswari Temple - one of its kind. The temple is about 2 km from Plassey. From the peak of Kiriteswari Temple extends a trident, as if, into the sky!
Thus the diminutive hamlet of Dahapara, the sacred place of birth of SriSri Prabhu Jagadbandhusundar (1871) is a haven of natural beauty and historic sights with green forests and flowery gardens, holy river Bhagirathi, another name of the Ganges, masjids (mosques), temples and palaces spanning Murshidabad city to the north through Plassey to the south.
Prabhu Jagadbandhu Ashram of Dahapara has been highlighted along with the historic sights of Murshidabad in the widely circulating and one of its kind Bengali Travel Book titled 'VRAMAN SANGI' (the travel companion), All India Edition, Asia Volume, in the West Bengal section under Murshidabad.
SriSri Kunjadas Brahmachari
[Click here to view his picture]
was the founder and promoter of Dahapara Prabhu Jagadbandhu Dham. Mahanam Sampraday of India maintains a 28-room guesthouse for visitors of the ashram with prior arrangement and/or contigent upon vacancy at the time. As the birthplace of Bandhusundar, Dahapara Dham is siginificant to the followers of Mahanam Sampraday and Mahanam Sevak Sangha, although Dahapara was not the abode of Prabhusundar's lilas, as was Bakchar Angan, Brahmankanda Angina and Faridpur SriDham Sri-Angan, Vrindaban, Nabadwip and Kolkata.
Further, Dahapara Ashram is conveneiently accessible from the two centers of Nabadwip and the center at Ghurni on the bank of the Jalangi river near Krishnanagar, by bus, train or private car/taxi. It is also a very convenient travel by bus or train from Kolkata. Furthermore, from Dahapara Dham, the two centers at Malda (namely, Bandhu Sevika Sangha and Prabhu Jagatbandhu Mandir) and the Siliguri center Sri Radhamadhab Prabhu Jagatbandhu Ashram are well accessible by train in a single extended tour.
How to get to Dahapara from Kolkata:
There two trains both leaving from Sealdah Station on a daily basis - one passenger train named 'Lalgola Passenger' (Train #111) and the other an express train named 'Bhagirathi Express' (Train #3103). The distances of Plassey (Palashi) and Berhampore Court from Sealdah are 150 and 186 km respectively.
By bus:To go to Dahapara by bus, one has to take CSTC (Calcutta State Transport Corporation) bus from Esplanade Bus Terminus to Hazarduari. The departure times are 6:00 and 8:30 a.m. daily. It takes nearly 5 hours to reach. The fare as of November 2001 is Rs. 50/- oneway. In front of Hazarduari from Lalbag Sadarghat, boat/ferry crosses over the Bhagirathi river and reaches the landmass of Dahapara via Khosbag-Roshnibag-Farhabag through a distance of about 2 km by a rickshaw.
(Remember to scroll down the screen to view the map)
[Jagadbandhu Dham at Dahapara, Murshidabad]