Who was Raja Krishna Chandra Ray of Nadia? Real King of Gopal Bhar Stories

Maharaj Krishna Chandra Ray was the raja or zamindar of Nadia, currently known as Krishnanagar from 1728 - 1782.
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Krishna Chandra Ray was the maharaja or zamindar of Nadia Zamindari (now Krishnanagar, Nadia District, W.B.) from 1728 – 1782 (see page 67-68). The raja was known for his resistance against the Mughal Rule and expansion of his ancestral Nadia zamindari through purchase of lands or by the use of force.

Area Under Control

Maharaja Krishna Chandra Ray’s area under control included 84 parganas and the area extended to 3151 square miles (approx. 8161 sq. km.) which is similar in size to the current day Indian State of Goa.. The boundaries of his realm was bounded in the north by Murshiadabad, the coastline of the Bay of Bengal by the south, Dhulpura in the east and by the Bhagirathi River on the west.

I have sourced the above information from the book “The Territorial Aristocracy of Bengal: The Nadia Raj“, which was referenced by the Role of the Zamindars in Bengal (1707-1772), report by Shirin Akhtar, Department of Philosophy, The University of London.

Krishna Chandra Ray in The Battle of Plassey

Krishna Chandra Ray is believed to be a part of the group which led to the defeat of Siraj ud Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal in the battle of Plassey (also known as Palashi). The group consisted of the following members:

  1. Jagat Seth
  2. Mir Jafar
  3. Omichand
  4. Rai Durlabh

The battle of Plassey (Palashi) is considered as a key battle that led to the establishment of British Raj in India.

Maharaja Krishna Chandra Ray is the same king in the Gopal Bhar Stories, a popular folk tale series where Gopal Bhar is a witty official in the court of King Krishna Chandra Ray.

Though historicity of the stories could be disputed in the same regard as Akbar-Birbal. The only original story of the nature is known to be of Tenali Rama who actually was a court official in the court of Emperor Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagar Empire.

Sony Aath’s Gopal Bhar

The stories were further popularized with Sony Aath’s animated show “Gopal Bhar”.

Gopal Bhar Movie by Amal Sur Starring Santosh Dutta

The movie Gopal Bhar released on 17 April 1980 was a Bangla movie starred by Santosh Dutta, Robi Ghosh, Tarun Kumar, Asit Baran and others. The movie was directed by Amal Sur.

Santosh Dutta who played the role of Gopal Bhar was also a criminal lawyer and had a delicate balance between his acting and criminal cases often staying late in the night to study his cases before court appearance.

The movie is 1 hour and 23 minutes long.

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