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Nanoor (also spelt Nanur, called Chandidas Nanoor), is a village with a police station in Nanoor CD block in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum district in West Bengal. Nanoor is the birthplace of 14th century lyric poet Chandidas of Vaishnava Padavali fame.[1][2] It is developing as a craft centre with NGO support. With the massacres in 2000, Nanoor was in intense media focus.

Chandidas bhita (mound)
Chandidas bhita (mound)
Nanoor is located in West Bengal
Location in West Bengal, India
Nanoor is located in India
Nanoor (India)
Coordinates: 23°42′N 87°52′E / 23.70°N 87.86°E / 23.70; 87.86Coordinates: 23°42′N 87°52′E / 23.70°N 87.86°E / 23.70; 87.86
Country India
StateWest Bengal
 • MLAJoydev Hazra
24 m (79 ft)
 • Total8,311
 • OfficialBengali, English
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone/STD code91 3463
Sex ratio958 /
Lok Sabha constituencyBolpur
Vidhan Sabha constituencyNanoor


Archaeological findsEdit

The archaeological department of Calcutta University organised an excavation programme in Nanoor in 1932 and 1957 but nothing much has happened since then.[3] The archaeological discoveries at Jalundi village in Nanoor block in 2007 are believed to be the ruins of the ancient Pala or Sen dynasties.[4]


According to the historian Binoy Ghosh, there were atleast three poets associated with the name of Chandidas. They were identified as ‘Baru’, ‘Dwija’ and ‘Din’. Baru Chandidas possibly belonged to Chhatna in Bankura district and he composed Srikrishnakirtan. Not much is known about Din Chandidas, except that he also composed on the life of Sri Krishna. Dwija Chandidas possibly belonged to Nanoor and composed lyrically rich creations initiating the finest traditions of Bengali padavali (gathering of songs). The Nanoor-Kirnahar area is full of folk-myths about Chandidas – the story of his love for a washer woman, the story of his religious devotion and music and the story of his death.[5]

The temple of Bisalakhi or Bagisree (more popular as Basuli) is believed to have been the centre of the devotional activity of Chandidas. The place at Nanoor where the Basuli temple (see pic lower down on this page) now stands and the surrounding area resembling a mound is called Chandibhita (see pic in the infobox). An effort was made by the University of Calcutta to understand what is there in the mound by excavating a small section of it. In the “Excavations at Nanoor by K.G.Goswami, March 1950”, the report says that in the mound, with a radius of around 550 feet and height of 17 feet, there are five occupational levels. The lowest of these levels belong to the Gupta era. At another place in Nanoor, some coins of the Gupta era were recovered. During and prior to the Gupta era, Buddhism had a strong hold over Bengal and early tantric practices prevailed.[5]

Chandidas lived about 500 years ago, just around or a little prior to the arrival of Muslims in Bengal. By then the poet Jaydeva had already composed the Gita Govinda (see map below for location of Jayadev Kenduli). It is natural that such an age could produce a tantric devoted to his goddess, who could indulge in composing Sahajiya lyrics and propagate the merits of humanism. His compositions were a possible source of inspiration for Sri Chaitanya (1486-1534).[5]

There are claims that Chandidas originally belonged to Ketugram, in neighbouring Purba Bardhaman district, and later came to Nanoor.[6]


Cities and towns in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum district
M: municipal city/ town, CT: census town, R: rural/ urban centre, U: University.
Owing to space constraints in the small map, the actual locations in a larger map may vary slightly


Nanoor is located at 23°42′N 87°52′E / 23.70°N 87.86°E / 23.70; 87.86. It has an average elevation of 24 metres (79 ft).[7]

It is 47 km from Suri, 18 km from Bolpur/Santiniketan and 29 km from Ahmedpur.[1][2]

Note: The map alongside presents some of the notable locations in the area. All places marked in the map are linked in the larger full screen map.

Physical featuresEdit

Nanoor is located in the south-eastern corner of the district which is an alluvial plain between Ajay and Mayurakshi Rivers. It has hot and dry summers, spread over March – May, followed by the monsoon from June to September. 78 per cent of the rainfall occurs during this period.[8]

As per historical records there have been at least 13 intensive droughts between the years 1799 and 1855. The drought of 1836-37 was particularly severe.[9] Floods also wreak havoc. Some 7,000 mud houses either collapsed or remained in bad shape in Nanoor and three other blocks, affecting around 15,000 villagers in 2004.[10]

Police stationEdit

Nanoor police station has jurisdiction over Nanoor CD block.[11][12]

CD block HQEdit

The headquarters of Nanoor CD block are located at Nanoor.[13]


As per the 2011 Census of India, Chandidas Nanur had a total population of 8,399 of which 4,268 (51%) were males and 4,131 (49%) were females. Population below 6 years was 977. The total number of literates in Chandidas Nanur was 5,409 (72.88% of the population over 6 years).[14]


Nanoor Block covering 24 villages, is economically backward. It has many artisan families who live below the poverty line. A large section of the population is either Muslim or belong to the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Although the population is talented they hardly had an opportunity to earn a decent living. The Institute of International Social Development – an international NGO, based and headquartered in Kolkata, has initiated steps to rectify the situation. The artisans get an opportunity to meet people from different countries. Such people visit Nanoor to have a first hand experience of the living and working conditions of artisans. Internationally renowned designers are helping the artisans to use the traditional kantha craft for producing modern-day utilities.[15]

Traditionally, there used to be a weekly market, locally called hat. Apart from vegetables, such needs as pottery, wooden materials, iron materials, baskets, seeds etc. were available. With the passage of time the periodicity gradually increased till it became a daily market.[16]

Nanoor massacreEdit

On 27 July 2000, CPI(M) activists allegedly killed 11 landless agricultural labourers in Suchpur, near Nanoor and under Nanoor police station. Just after the massacre CPI(M) leaders said those killed were dacoits but a few days later they admitted that the dead were landless farmers and that they were killed over a land dispute.[17][18] Two of the CPI(M)'s senior leaders, Anil Biswas and Biman Bose, both politburo members, condemned the Nanoor killings as well as the loss of lives in incidents of violence in the preceding weeks.[19]

The Hindu wrote, "On a long term, the killings, symbolising the birth of a new theatre of violence after Keshpur in district Midnapore - where deaths and maiming in political clashes have become a bizarre routine - constitute an extremely disturbing augury for the society in Bengal."[19]

The prime witness to the Nanoor killings was injured in an attack allegedly by CPI-M activists.[20] The Statesman, in an editorial, wrote, "The sole purpose in attacking the prime witness in the gruesome Nanoor massacre of July 2000 in which 11 Trinamul Congress supporters were slaughtered by armed CPI(M) cadres was to shield those responsible and abort their trial, by hook or by crook. The irony is that although five years have elapsed since the occurrence of the horrendous killings by the Marxists, the trial of their 79 accused comrades has not yet begun. Repeated postponement of hearing (at least seven in the last two years) because of failure of the accused to turn up in court has made the outcome uncertain."

The Nanoor area has continued to be turbulent, with political clashes and murders continuing.[21] On the basis of a FIR (first information report) lodged with the police against CPI(M) men, the police made arrests and in August 2001 they submitted charge sheets against 82 accused. The trial started in 2000 and continued for eight years.[22][23]

The session court delivered verdict on Nanoor Massacre case in 2010, when 44 persons were convicted and sentenced to Life Imprisonment. Out of the 44, four were CPI(M) members.[24][25]


Nanoor Chandidas Memorial High School is a Bengali-medium co-educational institution established in 1937. It has arrangements for teaching from Class V to XII.[26]

Chandidas Mahavidyalaya was established at Khujutipara in 1972.[27]



Bisalkshi temple

There is a temple dedicated to Devi Basuli at Nanoor.[1] The Navaratna temple at Brahmandihi, Kirnahar Vadrokali Tala Temple , Parota Mahaprabhu Tala Temple and the Chand Roy temple and four Shiva temples at Uchkaran are amongst the temples under the protection of the state archaeological department.[28] The renowned Navaratna temple was undertaken by the ASI but is now in bad shape. The four Shiva temples carry somewhat unusual terra cotta sculptures that need preservation.[29] In 2001, the invaluable and rare black-stone Saraswati idol went missing from the Bishalakshmi temple.[30]

Nanoor temples

David J. McCutchion mentions several temples in the Nanoor area:
(1) the Shiva temple at Thupsara built in 1833 as a standard (small) tightly ridged early rekha deul of Birbhum-Bardhaman type with terracotta carvings on three sides,
(2) the Jora Shiva temples at Serandi built in 1830 as a late wide ridging (banded) rekha deul with terracotta carvings,
(3) the four Shiva temples at Uchkaron built in 1769 as standard small char chala structures with rich terracotta facades,

Terracotta carvings in a Nanoor temple

(4) the small decorated char chala Shiva temples at Nanoor,
(5) the Jora Shiva temple at Nanoor as a standard ‘Hooghly-Burdwan’ 18th century or earlier small at chala structures,
(6) the Vishnu temple at Serandi built in mid 19th century as a navaratna with turrets arranged without an upper storey and with porches on triple archways with terracotta façade, and
(7) the renovated Chand Raya (1768) temple at Uchkaran as a small flat roofed or Chandni type structure with traditional pillars and terracotta decoration.[31]


A fair is organized annually on the occasion of dol purnima on the bank of the Dontapukur at Nanoor in memory of Chandidas and Rajakini (washerwoman) Tami. It is called Chandidas Mela and was earlier organized near Bisalkshi temple.[16]

Japeswar Shiva-Charturdashi Mela is organized at Japeswar in the Nanoor area. Locals here trace back the history of the Shiva temple to 1000 BC.[16]

Radhamadhab Mela is organized at Charkalgram on 14 Chaitra and continues for a week.[16]

Pirer mela is organized at Sherpur for 5/6 days in the month of Magha.[16]

In the month of Falgun, a fair is organized at Basapara. It was started by Atai Mian, a zamindar of the area.[16]

See also - Fairs in Birbhum


Nanoor Rural Hospital with 30 beds is the main medical facility in Nanoor CD block. There are primary health centres at Banagram, Khujutipara and Kirnahar.[32][33][34]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Nanoor". Birbhum district administration. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Nanoor". Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Birbhum archaeological sites face extinction". The Statesman, 29 June 2002. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ "Archaeological find at Nanoor". The Statesman, 10 February 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ a b c Ghosh, Binoy, Paschim Banger Sanskriti, (in Bengali), part I, 1976 edition, pages 261-266, Prakash Bhaban, Kolkata
  6. ^ Ghosh, Binoy, Paschim Banger Sanskriti, (in Bengali), part I, 1976 edition, pages 188-189, Prakash Bhaban
  7. ^ "Nanur, India Page". West Bengal. Falling Rain Genomics. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
  8. ^ Choudhuri, Tapan, Unnayaner Alokey Birbhum, Paschim Banga , Birbhum Special Issue, February 2006, (in Bengali), pp. 60-61, Information & Cultural Department, Government of West Bengal.
  9. ^ Gupta, Dr. Ranjan Kumar, The Economic Life of a Bengal District: Birbhum 1770 – 1857, p. 114, The University of Burdwan, 1984.
  10. ^ "Floods render 15,000 homeless". The Statesman, 25 September 2004. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  11. ^ "District Statistical Handbook 2008, Birbhum" (PDF). Table 2.1. Bureau of Applied Economics and Statistics, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Birbhum Police". Police Stations. West Bengal Police. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  13. ^ "District Census Handbook: Birbhum, Series 20, Part XII B" (PDF). Map of Birbhum with CD Block HQs and Police Stations (on the fourth page). Directorate of Census Operations, West Bengal, 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  14. ^ "2011 Census – Primary Census Abstract Data Tables". West Bengal – District-wise. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Institute of International Social Development (IISD)". Success Story. Election Commission of India. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Mukhopadhyay Aditya, Birbhumer Mela, Paschim Banga , Birbhum Special Issue, February 2006, (in Bengali), pp. 203-214, Information & Cultural Department, Government of West Bengal.
  17. ^ "Editorial: Attack in Nanoor". Editorial. The Statesman, 20 May 2005. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  18. ^ "CPM ticket for Nanoor massacre accused". The Statesman, 18 April 2003. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  19. ^ a b "Landless in W. Bengal tilting towards Trinamool Congress". The Hindu, 30 July 2000. Retrieved 14 September 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  20. ^ "CPM goons attack Nanoor witness". The Statesman, 13 May 2005. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  21. ^ "Trinamul man shot; 5 injured in Nanoor bomb explosions". The Statesman, 7 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  22. ^ "Court to give verdict on Suchpur massacre". The Statesman, 23 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  23. ^ "Court to give verdict on Suchpur massacre". The Statesman, 23 September 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  24. ^ "Court rap for Nanoor delay". The Telegraph. ABP Pvt. Limited. 16 January 2004. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  25. ^ "CPM 44 given life term in Nanoor killing". The Telegraph. ABP Pvt. Limited. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  26. ^ "Nanoor Chandidas Memorial High School". ICBSE. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Chandidas Mahavidyalaya". College Admission. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  28. ^ "List of State Protected Monuments & Sites". District Birbhum. Deptt of Information and Culture, Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
  29. ^ "Birbhum terra cotta temples cry for face-lift". The Statesman, 20 March 2004. Retrieved 12 October 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  30. ^ "Burglary boom in Bolpur". The Telegraph, 28 March 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2007. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  31. ^ McCutchion, David J., Late Mediaeval Temples of Bengal, first published 1972, reprinted 2017, pages 23, 24, 30, 31, 37, 54, 63. The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, ISBN 978-93-81574-65-2
  32. ^ "Health & Family Welfare Department" (PDF). Health Statistics – Rural Hospitals. Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  33. ^ "Health & Family Welfare Department" (PDF). Health Statistics – Block Primary Health Centres. Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Health & Family Welfare Department" (PDF). Health Statistics – Primary Health Centres. Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 2 August 2019.