IN OTHER VILLAGES
Besides these better-known temples there are various other temples scattered in the
villages of Hooghly district. Particularly the villages on the west of the river
Ganga like Guptipara, Somrih, Sripur, Balagarh, Jirat,
Ambika-Kalna villages have had very high incidence of culture even throughout the Muslim
rule and this was continued in the British times.Saptagram is another famous village
through which Ibn Batuta had entered Bengal. At that time Saptagram was a big port.
Saptagram is closely associated with Vaishnavism and has still some Vaishnava temples.
The Vaishnava apostle Nityananda had preached Vaishnavism at
Saptagram. Formerly Saptagram implied sevenvillages Bansberia, Kristapur, Basudeva- pura,
Nityanandapura, Sibpur, Sambachora and Baladghati. Even the mosques at Sapta- gram
indicate Hindu impact. On the walls of the mosques and madrasas at Sapta- gram we find
clear relics of the puja of Vishnu and Surya. Another important place as a center of the
Nath cult and Nathculture is Mahanad a small declining village in Hooghly district.
The Nath cultists practice various forms of hatayog and
other types of yoga and try to realize the sublime. At Nagarpara, a portion of Mahanad
there used to be at one time about 150 families of Nathyogis and their temple was
Jateshwarnath. A few villages near about like Jagidanga or the abode of the Jogis would
show that the Nath cult had a big hold in this area. The democratic aspect of Islam had a
special appeal to the cultists that had suffered from the brahmanical orthodoxy. Some
persons of such communities had been converted into Islam.