Serampore (also called Serampur, Srirampur, Srirampore, Shreerampur, Shreerampore, Shrirampur, Shrirampore, Srerampore). Sreerampur is a pre-colonial town on the banks of the River Hooghly, in the state of West Bengal. The town, which is several centuries old, is now covered under Kolkatta Metropolitan Development Authority. Prior to 1755, communication was mainly by way of the river and the grand trunk road. The main trade centre was the Sheoraphuli Hat prior to the arrival of the Danes. The town had commercial linkages to adjoining districts, which included districts of East Bengal (now Bangladesh).
During the Urbanisation phase (1755 to 1854), it was colonized by Denmark, known as Frederick-nagore, and was subsequently sold to British. The period 1801 and 1839 witnessed a decline in the civic life of Sreerampur. The Danish trade and commerce dropped drastically, from 113 European ships that loaded and unloaded at Sreerampur in 1803 dropped to 1 in 1815.
Besides, with the continuous harassment of the Danes by the British, Sreerampur was severely hit. The entire civic administration was completely disrupted during the last days of Danish rule in Sreerampur. Thereafter, it was sold to British by the then Danish Governor, Peter Hansen, in 1845 for a meagre amount. The British were concerned about the degrading civic amenities and thus Sreerampur Muncipality came into existence in 1865.
This was the period of recession and many landless labourers from adjoining districts, including Uttar Pradesh, came to Sreerampur in search of Employment. In 1866, the second Jute Mill was opened in Sreerampur. The first to set up was in 1855. Along with this, several subsidiary factories were installed in nearby areas. This established Sreerampur as an industrial town.
With the capital investment of the British, Sreerampur evolved with construction of the East Indian Railways and subsequent industrial development (1854 to 1947). Six more jute mills were established in Rishra, Sreerampur and Gondolpara between 1866 and 1915.
Civic amenities were affected due to continuous migration of labourers from adjoining areas who developed unhygienic, overcrowded slums. The supply of filtered portable water was arranged from the Municipality in 1914. Besides, the electricity was provided by the Municipality in 1938. Thereafter, during the thirties, a weaving school was established with the initiative of the Government which was later elevated to the status of a Textile College.
Sreerampur remained under the British influence for more than 50 years and thereafter it was swept by the nationalist movement which affected many middle class youths. This resulted in decline of foreign investments. The swadeshi spirit gave birth to the Bangalakshmi Cotton Mill. Inspired by the swadeshi movement, descendants of old aristocratic families donated buildings to be used for schools and other purposes.
The town is full of Magnificat temples of historical importance, few of which are Hindu pilgrim centres: Henry Martin’s Pagoda, Gauranga in Chatra (16th century), the temple of Radhaballabhjeu in Ballabhpur (18th century), the Ram-Sita temple in Sripur, Hari Sabha (Buttala), Sashan Kali Mandir, Satimata Mandir, in B. P. Dey Street, the Jagannath temple of Mahesh (1755). Raja Manohar Roy Zaminder of Sheoraphuli built the temple of Ram-Sita in Sripur in 1753. In present times, the temple and its premises fall under the surveillance of the ‘Sheoraphuli Rajbari’.