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January 2013

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Lord Shiva's Marraige, Sridhar Temple, Sonamukhi
Lord Shiva’s Marraige, Sridhar Temple, Sonamukhi

Sonamukhi is a busy little settlement of Bankura District. Situated between Bankura town and Burdwan, Sonamukhi is very close to Bishnupur too (34 kms). It falls on the way to Hadal Narayanpur from Bishnupur or Bankura.

Early History

Stone Idol of Swarnamukhi Devi
Stone Idol of Swarnamukhi Devi

Sonamukhi is named after local deity Swarnamukhi Devi, whose stone idol is still worshipped here. During the raids of the trusted general of General Suliamann Karrani – Kalapahar, the idol was damaged to some extent. However, it is said that during raids in Bengal by the Maratha Bargees, Maratha leader Bhaskar Pandit had worshiped this idol.

During East India Company’s rule the place was a hotspot for Silk, Cotton Garments and Indigo trading. Sonamukhi is referred as a village of weavers in some Bengali books published in 17th century. After 1813, there was remarkable increase of export of raw silk from Bengal, when Sonamukhi played a prominent role. There was a factory here under John Cheap of East India Company, whose annual provision of silk on average was over 600 mounds.