History of Purba Medinipur
East Midnapore (or Purba Medinipur) is one of the 18 administrative districts of West Bengal with its headquarters located at Tamluk. The district was carved out of the erstwhile Medinipur district on January 1, 2002.
Origin of the Name Tamluk
According to some scholars Tamluk derives its name from the Sanskrit word Tamra Lipta meaning “Full of Copper”.According to local folklore the name Tamralipta came from the King Tamradhwaja (which means The King with Copper Flag/symbol) of the Mayura-Dhwaja (Peacock) dynasty.
Some early Vaisnav religious texts tell a fascinating story about the origin of the name of Tamralipta. Once, when Lord Krishna was playing Maharaas in Vraj at Vrindavan Surya (Sun God) Dev rose from the east and accidentally saw Lord Krishna in intimate situation with his Gopis and Sri Radhika. Immediately Surya Dev had felt ashamed, became embarrassed and blushed a reddish copper colour like Tamra. And then Surya Dev again returned to the same corner of the east coast of Bharata and did hide (Lipta) himself in the Bay of Bengal. Where Surya Dev went back and hid himself is the place called Tamralipt.
History of Tamluk
This ancient port city and kingdom was bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the south, river Rupnarayana in the east and Subarnarekha in the west. The Rupnarayana is the joint flow of the river Dwarkeshwar and the river Shilai. The Bay of Bengal and these great rivers and their numerous branches created a prosperous and easy water navigational system fostering commerce, culture and early contacts with the people outside the region. At the same time, these rivers helped to develop the agriculture in this region.
Archaeological remains show continuous settlement from about 3rd century BC. It was known as Tramralipti (in the Purans and the Mahabharata) or Tamralipta (in Mahabharata) or Tamalika (in historical documents) or Tamalitti (in foreigners’ descriptions) or Tamoluk (in the British Raj). It was a seaport, now buried under river silt. For this reason, Tamluk has many ponds and lakes remaining today.