Sonamukhi Municipality
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About Sonamukhi Municipality

Sonamukhi became the third municipality of Bankura district in 1886. With the creation of Bankura town and district in 1881, Sonamukhi became its part in the same year. At the time of creation of the municipality, there were 5 wards and this urban area had a population of 5000 which has increased to 27348 at present (2001 Census). The number of wards have also increased to 15. Even though the population growth has not been very high because of the present economic downturn in the region Sonamukhi was once a prosperous, populous and thriving economy of the region as recorded in history.

A Historical and Cultural Profile –Sonamukhi

Sonamukhi was just a village during the prea Aryan era and gained prominence as a 109riori for for Jain and Buddhist cultures during the Pal Dynasty (7th – 10th century). This is possible the time when the town emerged. The name Sonamukhi originated from the name of the village Goddess Swarnamoyee.

In the 17th century, Sonamukhi had a flourishing handloom industry and trade. In the first half of the 19th century, the fate of Sonamukhi started to decline. With the initiation of the Permanent Settlement by Lord Cornwallis thousands of farmers lost their land and extreme poverty plagued the society. The market for textile products was completely destructed. The handloom industry lost its entire luster in the early period of the nineteenth century due to its limitless torture and exploitations on the handloom workers by the East India Company. Around the same time a certain section of people who bought land from the poor farmers and appeased East India Company suddenly became rich and declared themselves as Zaminders. These people constructed many temples and structures.

The affluence of the people at different times have been chanelised into art and culture. The presence of number of Shib temples like Shidheswar Shib, witness the influence of jain religion. The influence of Sri Chaitanya is evident from the pujas of Govindji, Shyansunder, Gopinath etc. A number of festivals is celebrated in the town. The most significant of them is the Kali-Kartik puja, Shidheswar Shib Mela, Raasyatra, Mohotsab etc.

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