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Entire nation today celebrating National Youth day on the occasion of the 158 the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Bhagalpur has the privilege to remember the visit of the great Indian youth leader here.
Many stalwarts of yesteryear in their lifetimes set priorities for Bhagalpur, an ancient place having historical significances. Swami Vivekananda was among one of them who selected Bhagalpur some 131 year ago as the first place for halting while he first time set out a mission to travel throughout the country on foot.
Satyendra Nath Majumdar at his noted book on great Indian monks mentioned that at the age of 27 Swami Ji reached Bhagalpur with another disciple of Sri Ramkrishna Paramahamsa, Akhandanand Ji and stayed at the house of noted advocated of Bhagalpur, Mathura Nath Singh. He was on his first mission to walk across the country on foot and on July 15, 1890 he arrived Bhagalpur from Kolkata.
Swami Ji stayed here till July 22, also stayed at the house of one Nityanand Singh at Adampur locality in the heart of the city. He then went to the house of Manmothonath Choudhary at Barari. During his stay at the house of Choudhary, he used to walk on the bank of river Ganga (Barari water-works) and used to talk with local residents and busy in preaching.
To maintain Swami ji’s legacy, virtually nothing has done so far at Bhagalpur except the installation of his statue inside the campus of Barari waterworks which is located on the river bank of Ganga at Bhagalpur, alleged Rana Bose, a social activist. “There should be a memorial here in the memory of the great Indian social reformist. Detail inscription of historical moment of Swami ji’s arrival at Bhagalpurshould be preserved here for our next generation,” Bose urged.
Tarun Kumar Ghose, president of Barai chapter of Bihar Bengalee Association (BBA) said that for the first time the body approached Bhagalpur Municipal corporation (BMC) for up gradation of the place. The than Town commissioner, Avinash Kumar Singh helped us lot in the beautification drive of the statue of Swami ji at one corner in side the campus of Barari waterworks. Earlier the statue of Swami Ji was installed by Swami Madhabanand puri, the than in-charge of local unit of Sri Ramkrishna mission Ashram here on 1978” he informed.
“Swami ji used to practice meditation on this spot during his stay here. the place was covered with trees and the main stream of the river Ganga was flowing from here. Apart from mediation and addressing people on the river bank, Swami Ji who was also a very good singer, used to sing songs which enchanted local people. On seeing Swami Ji’s great interests on music, his host, Choudhary with permission from Swami Ji, organized a Sangeet Sabha at this place and Swami Ji’ played songs. His voiced played a magic on his audiences and the enchanted huge gathering spent silently the entire night here on river bank while enjoying Swami Ji’s songs,” recalled Arun Narayan Goshwami, Dev Kumar Ghosh Roy, Sanjiv Jha, Kishore Mishra who have the privilege to the eyewitnesses accounts who were their old family members.
BBA-Barari branch which has been celebrating Swami Ji’s birth anniversary past several years, today organized a clourful programme to remember Swami Ji inside Barari water works campus. “Through the river Ganga witnessed many history, we would like to develop the spot so that our next generation at Bhagalpur could remember Swami ji in making their societies,” said Ajay Pal, a local resident at Barari refugee colony. “Prior to the programme onec taken up by BBA, Barari branch, the residents of refugee colony have been since long celebration the day here and they influenced Late Swami Madhbanandpuri for the installation of Swami ji’s statue here.
BMC sources claimed that earlier soon with the launch of Smart City project at Bhagalpur, it was decided to develop as a heritage place in this smart city plan. “ As per the plan in coming times the place inside Barari water-works that had witnessed Swami Ji’s presence, would be developed as a heritage cite under Smart City plan,” the sources pointed out.
“We are trying for making Swamiji’s history more memorable here so that it could always remain as a part of Bhagalpur’s heritage, said Tapas Kumar Ghosh a noted social worker here.