A Transcendental Treasure Trove in Cooch Behar
BY: SUN STAFF
Lord Madan Mohan
Nov 29, CANADA (SUN) Situated in the heart of Cooch Behar in North Bengal, the devotees will find a rich vein of transcendental treasure, first in the presence of Sri Madan Mohan. His residence there, Madan-Mohan Bari, is a beautiful marble temple that was constructed by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in the late 1880's. Lord Madan Mohan, the presiding Deity, is joined by Ma Bhavani, Ma Tara, and Kali Ma.
On the occasion of Rush Purnima, a traditional Rush Yatra is taken out. Also held for the Lord's pleasure is Rush Mela, one of the biggest festivals in North Bengal.
Madan Mohan Bari
Another sort of treasure hidden away in Cooch Behar comes in the form of sastra, found in the stacks of thousands of manuscripts housed at the North Bengal State Library. The library's extensive collection of valuable manuscripts and classic punthis, written on handmade papers and palm leaf, is comprised of thousands of Bengali and Sanskrit books and manuscripts, along with works in Urdu, Persian, Assamese, Arabic, and English. In the year 1900, the library's collection total 8,183 books and manuscripts. Today, the collection stands at more than 70,000 texts.
The library's history spans 125 years. During the minority rule of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, Colonel Houghten came to Cooch Behr to act as Commissioner (1864-73). Houghten established State Library of Cooch Behar in the year 1870 by purchasing a stock of books at an auction sale of M/S.Rozario and Co., in London. The library was initially housed in a single room, but was later handed over to Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, who moved it to larger quarters at Lansdown Hall, in 1895. The library was first opened to the public in 1882..
Under the direct patronage of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, who sanctioned Rs.2,000 as an annual grant for the purchase of books, the collection grew steadily. Different punthis, manuscripts and rare documents of the Raj-Darawabar or royal court were incorporated into the library collection, along with many rare and valuable sastric texts.
Today, under modern management and committed funding, the North Bengal State Library is working to properly preserve its collection of rare manuscripts and documents, as well as develop a Research Institute for scholars and students alike.
For those fortunate enough to visit Cooch Behar, the following list represents just a small selection of the library's many interesting texts. As is often the case with such specialized libraries, those wishing to personally inspect individual manuscripts should contact the library staff well in advance for permission, and to allow curatorial staff the needed time to retrieve items from the archive and make items available for public review.
Lord Madan Mohan
The following Bengali punthis can be found at the library:
- Ganga-bhakti Tarangini by Durga Prasad in 1222 B.S.
- Brahman Panditer Puthi completed during the reign of Harendra Narayan, 1847 A.D.
- Kalika Purana
- Mahabharata Khandav Dahan
- Bidya Sundar and Bhrawa Gita, completed during reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan, 1246 B.S.
- Dcva-Khanda & Nara-Khanda, completed during the reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Legendary Accounts of Royal Family of Cooch Behar
- Songs composed by Maharaja Harendra Narayan & Sibendra Narayan
- Haraparbati Sangbad & Maharaja's Britanta, completed during the reign of Maharaja Harendra Narayan in 1863 A.D.
Along with the following Assamese manuscripts:
- Garuda-purana by Sankar Dev
- Gopi-uddhava-sambad by Sankar Dev
- Sri-krishna-janma-rahasya by Madhav Dev
- Harish-chandra-upakhyan (with painted boards) by Sankar Dev
- Gopi-uddhava-sambad (with painted boards) by Sankar Dev
- Suvarna-ghatika-pada by Unknown
- Bhakti-ratnavali by Madhav Dev
- Bhagavata, First Skandha (with painted boards) by Sankar Dev
- Bhagavata, Second Kandha by Aniruddha
- Bhagavata, Tenth Skandha (with painted boards) by Ananta Kandali
- Bhagavata, Eleventh Skandha by Sankar Dev
- Gita by Govinda Misra
- Gita by Unknown
- Mahabharata (with painted boards) by Kanshari Kavi
- Mahabharata (Karna Parva) by Panchanan
- Mahabharata (Sabha-parva) by Dwija Gopinath
Ramayana, Adi Kanda by Madhav Dev
- Ramayana, Bala Kanda (with painted boards) by Dwija Madhav
And the following Bengali manuscripts:
- Sarani-tika by Rupa and Sanatana Goswami, 1228 B.S.
- Brindavana-dhyana by Krishna Das Kaviraj, 1749
- Sri-Chaitanya Bhagavata, Adi, Madhya and Antya khanda by Vrindavan Das
- Chaitanya-charita (150 yrs. old)
- Chaitanya-Gita by Kalidas
- Sri Bhagavate Vaisnava-charitra
- Vaishnava-vandana by Vrindavan Das
- Harinama-kavaca by Krishna Das
- Sadhana-bhakti-chandrika by Narottam Das (125 yrs. old)
- Jagannath-mahatmya by Bharati Mukunda
- Brahma-vaivarta-purana, Prakriti-khanda by Baidyanath
- Brihad-dharma-purana, Madhya-khanda by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Nrisimha-purana by Dwija Rama-nandan & Braja-sundar
- Padma-purana by Vaidya-nath
- Bishnu-purana by madhav Chandra Sharma
- Naradiya-purana by Dwija Narayan
- Markandeya-purana by Pitambara, 1602 A.D.
- Padma-purana by narayan Dev
- Siva-purana by Swija Vaidyanath
- Brahma-vaivartta-purana, Brahma-khanda, by Ripunjay, 19th c.
- Dharma-purana by Ram-nandan, 1719 Saka
- Brihad-dharma-purana, Uttara-khana by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Skanda-purana, Brahmottara-khanda by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Arjjuna-sambad by Mukunda Das, 1223 B.S.
- Bhagavata, Sixth Skandha by Dwija Jagannatha
- Bhagavata, Tenth Skandha by Pitambar, 1522-1554 AD
- Bhakti-viracana by Krishna Das, 1250 B.S.
- Chandikar Brata-katha by Madhava Chandra
- Chandi-Mangal or Abhaya-mangal by Kavikankan Mukundaram Chakravart
- Gita-govinda by Jagat Sinha
- Hansa-duta by Narasinha Das, 1206 B.S.
- Hitopadesha by Brajasundar Sharma
- Hitopadesha by Dwija Brajendra-sundar
- Janmastami by Deva-nath Dwija
- Kalanka-bhanjan by Mukunda Das, 1223 B.S.
- Kashi-khanda by Saradananda Das
- Kriya-yoga-sara by Maharaja Harendra Narayan & others
- Markandeya-chandi by Mahinath Sharma
- Mohamudgar, 12-4 B.S.
- Rajaputra-upakhyan by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Raja-vamshavali by Ripunjay Das
- Ram-rasayan by Raghu-nandan, 19th c.
- Sad-ritu-varana by Dwija Bhutanath
- Sahaja-charita, 1250 B.S.
- Samantakopakhyan by Dwija Rameshwar
- Siva-sangit (Siva-sankirtan) by Rameshwar
- Unnamed Vaishnava Sahajiya Test by Sarani Tika
- Upakatha by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Ramayan by Adbhutacharya
- Ramayana, Aranya-kanda by Rudradeva Sharma, 1729 Saka
- Ramayana, Ayodha-kanda by Radhuram
- Ramayana, Kishkindhya-kanda by Devinandan, Srinath Dwija & Dwija Raghuram
- Ramayana, Lanka-kanda by Braja-sundar Dwija, 19th c.
- Ramayana, Lanka-kanda by Swija Brajasundar, 19th c.
- Ramayana, Uttara-kanda by Saradanada, Satananda & Radhuram, 1729 Saka
- Ramayana, Sundara-kanda by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Mahabharata (some torn and damaged pages)
- Mahabharata, Adi-parva by Dwija Rudra-dev, 1240 B.S.
- Mahabharata, Adi-parva by Srinath Brahman, 1718 Sakha
- Mahabharata, Aishika-parva by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Mahabharata, Ashwamedha-parva by Dwija Mahinath, 1754 Saka
- Mahabharata, Bana-parva by Dwija Baidyanath
- Mahabharata, Bana-parva by Dwija Baidyanath, Mahinath, Paramananda, Raghuram,
Balaram Dwija & Ramnath
- Mahabharata, Bana-parva by Dwija Balaram
- Mahabharata, Bana-parva by Dwija Paramananda
- Mahabharata, Bhishma-parva by Dwija Raghuram
- Mahabharata, Bhishma-parva by Dwija Raghuram & Ram Saraswati
- Mahabharata, Bhsima-parva by Dwija Raghuram
- Mahabharata, Draupadi svayambara by Srinath Brahman, 1208 B.S.
- Mahabharata, Drona-parva by Srinath Brahman & Dwija Kabiraj, 1670's A.D.
- Mahabharata, Gada-parva by Dwija Ram-nandana
- Mahabharata, Karna-parva by Dwija Lakshmiram, 1771 Saka
- Mahabharata, Karna-parva by Lakshmiram, 1771 Saka
- Mahabharata, Karna-parve by Manohar Das
- Mahabharata, Kirat-parva by kavishekhar, 1527 Saka
- Mahabharata, Maushala-parva by Dwija Baidyanath, 1239 B.S.
- Mahabharata, Nala-damayanti Upakhyan of Bana-parva by Ram-nandan
- Mahabharata, Prasthanika-parva by Mahinath, 19th c.
- Mahabharata, Rajasuya by Anaqnta Kandali
- Mahabharata, Sabha-parva by Jayadeva, Maharaja Harendra Narayan & Dwija
- Mahabharata, Shalya-parva by Maharaja Harendra Narayan
- Mahabharata, Shanti-parva by Dwija Baidyanath, 1774 Saka
- Mahabharata, Svargarohana-parva by Madhav Chandra
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