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Kingdom of Bhurshut
|est. 15th century–est. 18th century|
The maximum extent of Bhurshut kingdom as reflected in a map of present-day West Bengal.
|Historical era||Medieval India|
|est. 15th century|
|est. 18th century|
|Today part of||India|
Bhurshut kingdom grew up in the southern parts of Rarh region. It had a high concentration of Bhurisresthis, a community of traders and as such came to be called Bhurshut. However, it was possibly the main centre of Rarhi Brahmins. It could have been ruled by a Sur king during the period when the Pala Empire was a rising force. Different feudatory kings may have ruled over the kingdom. At a later time there is mention in folklore of a Dhibar dynasty, possibly in the 14th–15th century. Subsequently the area came to be ruled by a Brahmin family.
Shanibhangar, the last Dhibar king of Burshut, was defeated by Chaturanan Neogi of Garh Bhawanipur. Chaturanan’s grandson (by his daughter) Krishna Roy of the Mukhti royal family of Phulia took over the reins and established the Brahmin dynasty of Bhurshut. Krishna Roy ruled in 1583–84, at a time when Akbar was the Mughal emperor. Krishna Roy’s great-grandson Pratap Narayan Roy (ruled around 1652–1684) was the greatest of Bhurshut kings. There is mention about the exemplary bravery of a lady of the family, popularly referred to as Roy Baghini, but it is difficult to identify the person. She is probably named Rani Bhavashankari Devi.
In Ain-i-Akbari it is mentioned that amongst the thirty-one mahals under Sirkar Suleimanabad, the highest revenue was earned by Basandhari pargana, followed by Bhurshut. No other pargana under Sirkar Satgaon or Sirkar Mandaran earned so much revenue. Bhurshut was conquered by Kirtichand Rai of Bardhaman in the 18th century.
Bhushut kingdom had three forts at Garh Bhabanipur, Pandua (Pedo or Pedo Basantapur) and Rajbalhat. There is hardly any trace of these forts, There still is a place called Dihi Bhurshut in Howrah district, across the Damodar from Rajbalhat.