Adi Saptagram Railway Station
Saptagram was an ancient flourishing port town of Bengal which had worldwide fame. Sadly very little remnants of that old glory still exists today. Saptagram township was set up under the rulers of the Sen dynasty. Zafar Khan captured Saptagram when Rukunuddin Kaikaus was the Sultan of Bengal (1291-1302). Alauddin Khilji accepted Rukunuddin being an independent ruler of Bengal.
Famous traveller Ibn Battutah has mentioned about the prosperity of Saptagram in his travel memoirs. Saptagram used to be an important business port during that time in the world map. During 16th century , the Saraswati river which flows past the port town started to dry and thus the importance of Saptagram gradually started to decline. Saptagram literally means “ Seven Villages”. The seven villages which comprised Saptagram are Basudebpur , Bansberia , Khamarpara ( Nityanandapur ) , Krishnapur , Debanandapur ( Sambachora ) and Tirisbigha ( Baladghati ). All these seven villages even exists today but the erstwhile prosperity has faded to a large extent.
In several historical documents , Saptagram is also regarded as Satgaon. There is also a mythological story behind the origin of Saptagram. It is said that King Priyabanta was the king of Kannauj and his seven sons arrived on the banks of river Saraswati looking for some peaceful abode and each of them settled in seven nearby villages which comprised of Saptagram.
Saptagram finds mention in the travel memoirs of Ibn Batutah ,Caeser Frederick , a venetian traveller, Tome Pires , a Portuguese traveller , Ralph Fitch , an English traveller and many more. The Portuguese also settled in Saptagram during the 16th century when Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah was ruling Bengal. The Portuguese called Saptagram as Porto Pequeno ( little haven ) and they converted it into a flourishing port.
If the Saraswati river wouldn’t have resided , Saptagram would have flourished as the capital of South Bengal and today Kolkata wouldn’t have born as an alternative. It was the decline of Saptagram which lead to the foundation of Kolkata . According to H.E.A. Cotton , “Here then may be traced nucleus of the future city of Calcutta, and as time went on the silting up of the river opposite Satgaon still further favoured her fortunes”.
It is also a rich archaeological site being an ancient port town and several statues and artefacts are unearthed even today which finds a place in different museums across the globe. Naliniranjan Pandit had collected several terracotta artefacts from Saptagram and had donated them to the Bangiya Sahitya Parishad museum in Kolkata.Prabhas Chandra Pal also discovered several archaeological treasures while a well was being dug in this region. Rakhaldas Bandopadyay of the Harappa and Mohenjodaro fame also discovered a broken stone idol of Goddess Saraswati from Saptagram. The said statue is almost 1 feet in height with Goddess Saraswati holding a Veena in her hand. The idol finds a place in the museum of Bangiya Sahitya Parishad in Kolkata.