History of Asansol
The Origin Inhabitants of Asansol
According to a number of intellectuals, Mahavira Vardhamana - the last Tirthankar of Jain religious conviction, used to reside and work in this area. Thus the name Bardhaman (Burdwan District) was generalised for the districts and headquarters of this town.
There are many Jain temples to be found in Asansol and its neighbouring regions. There are a number of Jain temples on the Pareshnath Hill in adjoining district of Jharkhand. There is also an old and pre-historic Jain place of worship on the bank of the Barakar River, located at Begunia. A horde of sacred places in the nearby Bankura district also put up with strong evidence of major Jain doings in the region.
There is a Jain temple and a Jain Bhawan as well, in Asansol dedicated to Vasupujya – the 12th Tirthankara of Jain religion. This temple is situated in the Mehta Road near Durga Mandir. All these bear extensive indications of strong Jainism activities being in existence in the vicinity of Asansol. Several people consider that spread out of Jainism in West Bengal is through the Aryanisation of the region.
Asansol and the Inhabitants Afterwards
Asansol subdivision was an important part of the Muslim kingdoms who ruled anciently in the region. The Muslim rulers had considered Bardhaman district to be their major administrative centre during the times of their reign. Later on, it went on to become a division of the Bardhaman Raj running under the Mughal dynasty.
These all speak out of noticeable proof that the area was part of different kingdoms at different period of times gone by.
Asansol and the East Indian Railway (EIR)
Searsole (now Raniganj) was their obvious first choice because of the much developed coal mines. But unfortunately, the Malias, the Raj family of Searsole (Raniganj) did not accept the proposal of granting them with adequate amount of land area.
On the other hand, during 1863–1864, this opportunity was seized by the Raj family of Panchakut (Cossipore, Adra). They sold a huge area of forest land to the East Indian Railway (EIR). Asansol was a part of this jungle land, which was then known as "Shergarh". Subsequently, it helped in ushering the establishment of Asansol, from the backwoods of forests and jungles, towards a pacing modem industrial township.
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