Ben: চন্দননগর c(h)andananagara

‘Sandalwood City’  City, West Bengal 

From Ben: c(h)andana, ‘sandalwood’; Ben/Skt: nagara, ‘city’.

The French acquired land here in 1673 and Chandannagar was founded soon after.

Its heyday came following the appointment of Joseph François Dupleix as Governor in 1730. At this time it boasted a population of 100,000 and a thriving trade in garments, textiles, silk, indigo, rice and opium.

At one time it used to be the hub of a regional sandalwood trade and there are still sandalwood trees growing locallly.

Chandannagar, eclipsed by British Calcutta/Kolkata, remained under French control from Puducherry until 1952. It stilll retains a certain French je ne sais quoi.

Other suggestions are that the name relates to: (1) chand, ‘moon; or (2) Chandi, the fearsome mother goddess. But they don’t quite cut the mustard.

For related place names see Indian Place names and West Bengal place names.


Dupleix's Palace, Chandannagar

Dupleix’s Palace, Chandannagar          Gautam Tarafder