What is Chhoti?
The text on this page (1/2) is taken from the book Choti; The Native Place of Śrīla Ṭhākura Bhaktivinoda (1999) by Dr. Fakir Mohan Dās.
Chhoti is the śrīpāt of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. A śrīpāt is the native place of a great saint. Such places are considered worshipable by all the followers of that saint. According to the tradition in India, the village where one’s paternal ancestors resided is considered to be one’s native place.
Thus, in the case of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, although he took birth on 2nd September 1838 in his maternal uncle’s house in Ula, West Bengal, his native place is the village Chhoti in the Kendrapara District of Odisha.
The name of the village Chhoti has had some changes: It used to be Choti Mangalpur. After that it was changed to Choti. The official spelling of the name, however, is Chhoti.
‘‘I have a small village (Choti Mangalpur, six miles from Kendrapara) in the country of Cuttack, of which I am the proprietor.’’
He also describes his place in his autobiography:
”In Choti Mangalpur [now known as Choti] we have six or seven big thatched houses. Thakur Radha Madhava and Jagannath are being worshiped in one of these houses. Behind these houses there was a pond named Uasa Pokhari. There was a fence of kantā bāuṁśa [thorny bamboo] around the gaḍa [palace]. We did not think about our food, only because grandfather Rajaballav Dutta had nine parts (9/16) of the paternal zamindari here and the rest seven parts (7/16) belonged to the Ray family.”