Guns and cannons roared on both sides. The three British warships had sailed up the Hooghly in a surprise move and had surrounded the French fort d’Orleans. The East India company under Roberts Clive leadership wanted to give a death blow to the French in Chandernagore so as to prevent any potential alliance between Siraj Ud Daula and the French.
A cannonball struck and damaged the Nandadulal mandir belonging to the Chowdhury family. As another cannonball whizzed past, consternation took hold as people ran helter-skelter seeking refuge. Zamindar Raja Chowdhury was getting increasingly worried. He and only a few family members knew of the secret vault inside the temple where the family wealth was hidden. What if the raging battle destroyed that!
Snippet: The Battle of Chandernagore was fought between the French and English in Bengal in 1757AD, as part of the Seven Years’ War raging in Europe. From it the British gained effective control of Calcutta and the Bengal hinterland, and culminated in Robert Clive defeating the combined forces of Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah and the French at Plassey later the same year.
In order to take the French Fort d’Orleans guarding Chandernagore, British war ships went up the Hooghly river and set up the attack as a prelude to British troops coming in over land. After the French defeat, Chandernagore lost its dominance as a commercial hub to Calcutta.
The Battle of Chandernagore features in ‘The Chronicler of the Hooghly’ which is due to release this month ( February 2021). For updates, do visit www.shaktighosal.com.
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