The History of Ambika Kalna ...Sumalya Das

"Ambika Kalna" Located on the west bank of the Bhagirathi, a distributary of the Ganges, Ambika Kalna or popularly known as Kalna, a sup-divisional town, a municipality in Purba Bardhaman district in the Indian state of West Bengal, is a small unit of larger multi dimensional background in Indian History. The first reference to Ambika Kalna is found in a 6th century text name Kubjika Tantra.
According to General Alexander Cunningham, the founder of the Archaeological Survey of India, Ambika Kalna was a frontier city of the Tamralipta Kingdom in 7th century AD. During the reign of Shashanka in 7th century, a hyper naval-base was founded at Kalna. Kalna houses the only chaitannya temple built in Sri Chaitannya's life time. It is the renowned abode of pilgrimage for the Baisnabites. It was a celebrated place during the Muhamedan rule in the 15th century.
It reached it's pinnacle of glory during the late 18th century under the patronage of the Maharajas of Bardhaman, who built several magnificent temples with intricateterracotta ornamentation.
Every edifice in Ambika Kalna oozes history. It bears the testimony to the diversity of India's enriched cultural and religious heritage.

Sumalya Das
Sumalya Das (M.A., B.Ed, DELT), a teacher by profession, a freelance journalist by avocation, is a prolific writer, best known for shorter stories and essays on regional history. He has edited many research works like "Religious and Archaeological History of Ambika Kalna" (in Bengali), "Collection of Selected Stories" by Atin Bandhapadhay, a renowned Bengali writer, "Collected works" by Bhabani Prasad Majumder and "Collected works" by Apurba Dutta.

Preface to the First Edition
During recent years tourism in Ambika Kalna is increasing rapidly. A standard classic work on the history of Ambika Kalna in English language is the need of the hour. The present book is, therefore, designed to fulfill this need. A glance at the contents will suffice to bring out its usefulness not only for the travellers, but also for the general readers and history-lovers.
"Every edifice in Ambika Kalna, or Kalna as it popularly known, oozes history. The peerless architecture of the temples of the town and their history leave few untouched". Thus wrote the Telegraph on 17 Aug, 2005. "Had Kalna been outside India, it would have been equipped with an international airport and tourists would have clustered around here to marvel at the superb architectural beauty of these century-old shrines" - such statement came from "The Statesman" on "Kalna Shrines : Saga of Neglect" dated 27th April, 1992. These two statements, only a tip of the icebarg, will suffice to show how immense tourism potentiality Kalna has.
The endeavour and hard-work. I have taken to draft this book is really a himalayan task. I feel the presence of divinity and unseen power within me that propels me to carry out my task. I feel I am only an instrument to carry out the work assigned to me by divinity.
However, I would like to thank all who assisted me to complete the task. If this book becomes a success, I will feel honest endeavour and task never leave unnoticed and undone.
Sumalya Das

I felt a great pleasure while writing on the introduction of "The History of Ambika Kalna : Glimpses of Tourism" by Sumalya Das, Going through the manuscripts of "The History of Ambika Kalna" I feel extremely surprised at the antiquity of Ambika Kalna begetting a sense of reverence for that ancient city. In 'Kubjika Tanta' (7th chapter) in the 6th century we find the reference of Ambika Kalna. Historian Cunningham wrote during 6th-7th centuries Tamrya Liptya (Lamluk) dynasty was extended to Ambika Kalna. A hyper naval base during the reign of Shashanka was set up. It is interesting to note that Ikhtiyaruddin Bin Baktiyar Khalji settled temporarily at Kalna with his armed forces and later attacked Nabadwip and won over Nabadwip from Lakshman Sen.
Kalna is a centre for religious fervour. Here we have living glimpses of Jainism, Shakti Cult, Shairya cult, Baisnava cult, Buddhism as well as Christiam and Islamic cults. In addition to these Kalna is well known for religious tolerance and communal harmony. Kalna is an abode of many terracotta temples. Their wonders are one of the major turist attractions of Kalna.
This book I think is a history, indeed, to the fullest extent. A day will come when people, historians, writers, book-lovers will quote this book as a classic authentic reference for Kalna.
Atin Bandhapadhay

"The History of Ambika Kalna". "Gilimpses of Tourism"-by Sumalya Das is, in a work, a classic work in the realm of Regional History. It will certainly be not an exaggeration to say that this book is a pioneering guide for the historians working on Regional History.
Years of hardwork, detailed study, analytical outlook, immense tenacity on the part of the writer constitute this book. The author should be thanked for his outstanding endeavour. This book will certainly be considered a printed document for the history of Ambika Kalna. I especially thank Sumalya Das, a young teacher of great repute for the way he has arranged this book, collected data and for his selection of subjects. Subjects are divided according to the geographical location with a consideration that the tourists, especially the foreigners may enjoy tour to Kalna more preciously and without much physical hazzards.
Bhabani Prasad Majumder

Letters of greetings and appreciation
"The History of Ambika Kalna", "Gilimpses of Tourism" is a monumental work in English both for tourists, non-bengali travellers and general readers as well as history lovers. Ambika Kalna has immense tourism potentiality. Communication barrier due to language will no more be a problem to discover Kalna as this book will work as a potential source to unearth history of each shrine, temple and monument.
Jageshwar Chowdhury

I pay my great regards and tribute to Sumalya Das, a young writer and teacher by professor for his uphill task to write a book like "The History of Ambika Kalna", "Glimpses of Tourism". I know what it takes to write a book of immense potentiality on Ambika Kalna like this. I wish him success in every work of life and pray to God for blessings showered on him.
Ninodbaran Sarkar

Going through the manuscripts of "History of Ambika Kalna : glimpses of Tourism" I felt spellbound considering the himalayan task the writer, Sumalya Das had endeavoured single handedly. This book is a classic work in the true sense of the term. I hope this book will help in every possible way every individual in order to feed his or her aesthetic query and need to know Kalna
Sastipada Chattapadhay

Price : Rs.200 (Rupees Two Hundred Only)