Śrīpāṭa of Śrīla Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura, famous amongst the twelve Gopālas

Uddhāraṇapura is situated near Kāṭwā in the district of Bardhamān. One can reach Uddhāraṇapura which is a little far, after crossing the confluence of mother Ganges and the river Ajaya at Kāṭwā. Besides this, from Gaṅgāṭikurī railway station which is in the Bandel-Āzimgañj route, one can come to Uddhāraṇapura by bus. Or, one can come to this Śrīpāṭa directly from Bolapura to Uddhāraṇapura ghāṭa by bus. Or, by bus from Pācundi near Banoyāribāda one can come to this Śrīpāṭa.

This is the Śrīpāṭa of Śrī Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura. He was famous amongst the twelve Gopālas in previous pastime by name Subāhu-Gopāla and he is a close associate of Nityānada Prabhu in the pastime of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu came to Bengal by the instructions of Śrīman Mahāprabhu for preaching Kṛṣṇa consciousness widely. At that time Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura took initiation from Nityānanda Prabhu at Triveṇī and traveled with Him throughout Bengal. This place is named as Uddhāraṇpura in conformity with the name of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura. Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura was the manager (deoyāna) of Banoyārībāda’s zamin- dar. Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura built a ferry/bathing ghāṭa here at the Ganges for the use of general public which still exists. The Deity of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura is present here at the first step of the ferry/bathing ghāṭa. The market place here is named as Śāṅkhāi-bājāra. All devotional paraphernalia for worshiping mother Ganges are available in this mar- ket. Many pilgrims visit this place and they worship mother Ganges with the paraphernalia bought from this market.

There is an old story that once mother Ganges wore bangles made of conch (Śāṅkhā) in her hands from a bangle- seller. Then the seller asked the price of these bangles from her. Mother Ganges showed Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura and said, “He is my father and he will pay the price of these bangles.” Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura was surprised when the seller asked the price from him for all these bangles. Afterwards he settled the price and stood at the bank of the Ganges. At that time mother Ganges showed her hand full of bangles made of conch (Śāṅkhā) above the water to him. Due to this pastime, this place is named as Śāṅkhāi.

A little far towards north of this market is situated a fair-field. Samādhi tomb of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura is situated at the north of this fair-field. One decayed temple is situated by its side. Perhaps, once upon a time, the Gaura-Nitāi Deities of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura were worshiped here. There is a kitchen attached to this temple. Nearby one old nimba-tree is seen. Presently, the Gaura-Nitāi Deities of Uddhāraṇa Datta Ṭhākura are worshiped in Sonārandhī-palace at Banoyārībāda. Once a year (i.e. on the last day of Bengali month Pauṣa, mid-January) the Gaura-Nitāi Deities are brought here. At that time, many visitors gather here and attend a big fair which continues for three days. After that, the Gaura-Nitāi Deities again go back to the Sonārandhī-palace and are worshiped there throughout the year.