Traders cry for tourism tag

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 24.08.08
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Gosanimari (Cooch Behar), Aug. 24: The business community of Gosanimari has launched a movement to press for the development of the area as a tourism destination, showcasing the Rajpat ruins of the Khen dynasty that ruled the place in 15th Century.

The traders, who held a convention in Gosanimari, situated in Dinhata subdivision and 35km from Cooch Behar town, today regretted that despite the place having rich historical assets, the government had done nothing to exploit its tourism potential. They demanded that a tourism centre be set up in Gosanimari.

The secretary of the traders’ association of Dinhata subdivision, Rana Goswami, said at the meeting that their demand had been handed over in writing to the Cooch Behar sabhadhipati, Dilip Biswas. “This is just the first step towards the movement to put Gosanimari on the tourist map of India. We plan to meet the district magistrate as well as the state tourism minister later.”

“While the Singamari flows on one side of Gosanimari, the Adabarighat area attracts thousands of migratory birds in the winter. Besides, there is the ancient Kamteswari Temple which can also pull in visitors,” said Goswami.

The secretary of the Gosanimari Traders’ Association, Bimal Krishna Pandit, said although the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had made token excavations in 1999 and 2000, the fort city of Rajpat still lied under mounds of earth. The sabhadhipati said the zilla parishad would draw up a plan to be sent to the tourism minister, Manab Mukherjee.

Hiten Nag, an amateur historian who has written books on the district’s history, said before the advent of the Koch kings, the area used to be known as Kamtapur or sometimes even Kamta and the Khen kings ruled from here. They had three famous kings — Niladdhwaj (1440-1460), Chakraddhwaj (1460-1480) and Nilamber (1480-1498).

“In 1498, the Pathan ruler of Gour, Sultan Hosain Shah, attacked and conquered the Khens and since then, the Rajpat has been in ruins,” he said.

The ASI sources said a large well was discovered in the excavation and a gateway and small terracota figurines dug out were kept in the museum at the Cooch Behar palace.

However, the sources could not say whether they would carry out more excavations.