Travel

MURSHIDABAD – A Place To Spend a Weekend

Murshidabad-A place to spend a weekend
Written by Banani Chakraborty

Murshidabad, a place to spend a weekend, is a city of splendors. To begin with, it is an historic town. Moreover, in Nawabi period it was as flourishing as London. In fact, this town in the Nawabi period became a political powerhouse. Additionally, it was equally important centre for trade, commerce as well as administration.

The Nawabs of Bengal ruled here. It was their capital from 1717 to 1773. At first, the British targeted this region. They conquered Bengal in the battle of Plassey in 1757 and started the British rule in India. Therefore, you can easily think the importance of this region.

The prime tourist attraction is the architectural wonder of Hazarduari. However, the town is much more beyond that. In the first place, the Nawabs were ruling here before the start of the British rule in India. Apart from the iconic Hazarduari, you will find some heritage structures as well as marvelous sculptures in and around. That is why; you may plan a weekend visit here at the earliest.



Murshidabad: a place to spend a weekend:

Murshidabad is a district town in West Bengal on the eastern bank of the river Bhagirathi. It was the last capital of independent Bengal. It was the capital of Mughal dynasty as well as the administrative headquarter of the British. Therefore, it bears an enriched historical significance.

In fact, there are many wonderful grandeurs here. At first, you need to set a tour goal. Then, you need to fix the journey date. It is goal setting.

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Therefore tourists from all over the world come here every year to see a glimpse of the Nawabi lifestyle.

(Foreigners also come in numbers to see the following places:

The main attraction of visiting is Hazarduari Palace.

 Murshidabad: a place to spend weekend attractions-

Places to visit in Murshidabd:

Hazarduari Palace

Nizamat Imambara

Footi Mosque

Wasif Manzil

Shopping in Murshidabad

Madina

Moti Jheel

Khos Bagh

Kath gola

Katra Mosque

Jafarganj Cemetry

Nasirpur palace

Belampore Market.

Jahan Kosha Cannon

Murshidabad district museum

What are the top sightseeing places in Murshidabad?

The top sightseeing places in Murshidabad are Hazarduari Palace, Nizmat Imbambara, Katra Mosque

, Footi Mosque, Wasif Manzil, Moti Jheel as well as Shopping in Murshidabad

 

 HAZARDUARI PALACE(Murshidabad)

Hazarduari Palace

 It is a combination of Indian, Italian and Greek architectural styles.

Most importantly the Palace, spreads over 41 acres of land, on the eastern bank of River Bhagirathi (only 40 ft. away).

Besides, it is 80ft. high, three-storied, rectangular in shape, standing on “gambuj” within an area whose length is 130 meters and breadth is 61 meters (425×200 sq.)

 

Because it is on the eastern bank of the River Bhagirathi, 

Therefore the palace faces north to get the view of the river. Besides 108ft.long staircase with 37 stairs, made of stone most probably the largest in India.

The pediment is on 7 huge pillars of 18 feet (5.5 m) each at the base.  Two statues of masonry Victorian lions are on two sides. Most importantly there are large gates to enter the palace.

Through these main gates, you will enter the Nahabat Khanas(musicians’ gallery). Because they are very big in size that even a full-size elephant could pass with a “howdah” on its back.

 

Hazar means “thousand” and Duari means ” doors”. Therefore Hazarduari means “a palace with a thousand doors”.

Therefore there are a total of 1000 ornamented doors in the Palace. Among those 1000 doors, 900 are original doors. But the rest of 100 doors do not have existence. They resemble the original doors.

 This palace is now used as a museum. It is the biggest in India. It has 20 displayed galleries,120 rooms, 4742 antiquities –1034 are displayed for the public.

 Weapons- bows, arrows, knives, spears, guns, pistols, revolvers, cannons, lances, shields, rifles and so on used by Nawab,

  Durbar Hall

with a crystal chandelier hung from the vaulted roof (2nd largest, 1 st in Bakimham Palace); see the royal silver throne to sit, a “Hookah”, marble candle stands, the ball made of Belgium Glass, hanging from the ceiling; Assamese bamboo;

   The Magic Mirrors in Murshidabad

one cannot see one’s own face but others can.  Several huge oil paintings of Nawabi family at different times and moods;

several landscapes; portraits; palanquins of silver, gold, and ivory; bronze statues; colourful vases of ceramic; collections of Farman’s and manuscripts (notably Ain-E-Akbari); decorative lamps, etc. can be found here.

 Since 1985, the maintenance charge of this palace is bestowed to the Archaeological Survey of India.

 

 Clock Tower

It is between Hazarduari and Imambara. It has a large and heavy bell at the top. 

Beside is Bachchawali Top. The barrel is 11′6″ long, the diameter of 7′9″ and weight is 7657 kg.

 

Nizamat Imambara

Nizamat Imambara-(Murshidabad)

The stunning 680 feet long Nizamat Imambara be the biggest in Bengal, and maybe even in India.

Madina is one of the most sacred Muslim places in Bengal. It is a replica of Hazrat Muhammad’s tomb at Madina. 

The Madina Mosque remains open for a public visitation at the time of Muharram for 10 days.

 

 Wasif Manzil —

Palace –  It is located at the south end of Hazarduari. Besides, it is ‘new’ and smaller but equally beautiful.

 

 Jafarganj Cemetery(Murshidabad)

It is almost half a mile away from Hazarduari Palace. It is situated over an area of 3.51 acres, this cemetery was built by Mir Jafar. To tell the truth, it is a ruined palace of Mir Jafar.

 

Katra Masjid

Katra Masjid(Murshidabad)

As a matter of fact, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan built it in the year 1723. Although, it is almost damage, still well maintained. It is actually the tomb of Murshid Quli Khan. Because he was buried under the entrance staircase.


In fact, it is a miniature of Kaba Mosque in Mucca (area 40×7.5m.).

Besides the brick building, a quadrangular mosque surrounded by double storied domed cells stands on a square plinth.

Octagonal and taper upwards four big miners stand at the four corners of which the two towers(minaret)at the front sides are with a height of around 70 feet and a diameter of around 25 meters. It has no pillar as support.

  A raised platform and several arches give the necessary support for the entire structure.

 Also, read about Kolakham the offbeat destination

 There were winding staircases in the miners so that we can go to the top and see the brilliant view of the town Murshidabad. Miners have winding staircases to go to the top and can see Murshidabad from there. 

Both the Archaeological Survey of India and the West Bengal State Government are maintaining and protecting it very well.

The main mosque had five domes. Over 2000 people can offer their prayers in the mosque at a time.  However, You can see the brilliance of terracotta in some places.

 The Topekhana with 7ton and 18ft. tall cannon, Jahan Kosha (Destroyer of the world). Besides is Kadam Sharif where Hazrat Mohammad’s footprint is being kept. Therefore it is another attractive place nearby

Fouti Masjid is on the west side of Katra Masjid.  Most importantly, local people say and believe that the nawab built this masjid within a night. Now it is almost ruined.

 Motijhil (Pearl Lake) This horseshoe-shaped lake, in Murshidabad is very beautiful. There is a palace adjoining it (now in ruins). To tell the truth, it was a Historical palace. It was the home of Warren Hastings when he was the president at this durbar. It is also famous as “Company Bagh” due to the fact that East India Company occupied that.

 Khosh Bagh (Garden of Happiness)-

In the first place, it is a beautiful garden. In fact, this beautiful garden is actually a cemetery of Nawab Alaverdi Khan and other Nawabi Family Members.

  Kathgola-this unique palace is made of wood.            

 Besides, you may see in Murshidabad are:
  • At first, he fascinating terracotta works at BARANAGAR temples.
  • Then, Cossimbazar Rajbari and
  • Finally, Karnasubarna 

 To see the fortifying natural beauty visit Ghatshila.

Murshidabad ( District, not town) is also famous for mangoes.

What is Murshidabad famous for?

Murshidabad is famous for several reasons.

This area is famous for its production of

Bell metal and brass utensils in large quantities.

Indian cork or shola crafts.

Various types of silk weaves, and sari, traditional Bengali muslin, brocades and baluchari sarees.

Ivory and woodcrafts.

Sericulture and handicrafts.

Quality mangoes.

Is Murshidabad a safe place?

Generally, Murshidabad is safe place particularly for the tourists. Although there are some undergoing tensions between political parties as well as the Hindus and the Muslims. However, district headquarter Berhampore and Murshidabad town is less affected for that.

Geographically Murshidabad district is among the strategically most vulnerable areas in India because Bangladesh is bordering in one side of this district.  There is a tussle between India and Bangladesh regarding Farakka barrage and the Ganga water supply.

When you are in Murshidabad these issues may sometime cause some concern. However, it will hardly hamper your security.

Who made Murshidabad capital?

Initially the town was Makhsudabad. The renounded Mughal emperor Akbar founded this town in the 16th century. In 1704 the then nawab (ruler) Murshid Quli Khan shifted the capital from the then Dacca, (now Dhaka, Bangaladesh) to this town following Emperor Aurangzeb’s order. Since then the town was renamed as Murshidabad.

How to Go Murshidabad.

BY TRAIN:

 Hazarduari Express, Bhagirathi Express, and Lalgola Passenger. Because you need 4 – 5.30 hours to reach here from Kolkata. Therefore you will do well if you start early in the morning for Baharampur and Murshidabad. Besides, you may take Lalgola Passenger from Sealdah at 23 hours and reach Baharampur around 4.30 am.

It is my opinion that come by those trains where reserve seats are available.

How many trains run from Kolkata to Murshidabad on a daily basis?

About 4 trains run daily from Kolkata to Murshidabad.

The HAZARDUARI EXP (13113) starts from Kolkata station. From Sealdah station, you will get BHAGIRATHI EXP (13103), SDAH LGL PGR (53175), LALGOLA PASS (53181).

Otherwise, you may go to Ranaghat station by local train from Sealdah station and change from there. Two trains run between Ranaghat and Beharampore stations.

One Krishnanagar local around 10.15 hours from Sealdah directly goes to Murshidabad. After reaching Krishnanagar station, it becomes Murshidabad local.

How many trains run from Kolkata to Murshidabad on a weekly basis?

There is a weekly train KOAA LGL EXPRESS (13117) which runs between Kolkata to Murshidabad.

 BY BUS:

Besides, you may go by bus from DHARMATALA or by hired cars. Buses are easily available from Kolkata and other parts of the state to go to Baharampur city.

Also, read about 4 unique places to visit from Kolkata

Distance from Murshidabad:

  1. Kolkata: 204km. and it takes 5 hours and 33 minutes by car.
  2. Delhi: 1463km
  3. Vishakhapatnam: 1078 km

WHERE TO STAY in Murshidabad

 

 Hotel Manjusha, Lalbagh, +91 3482 270321.
  Indrajit +91 9836381994.
  Samrat, NH 34, Panchanantala, +91 251147.
  Anwesha, Lalbagh (near Hazarduari), +91 9434115470.

Also read about Sandakphu- A Paradise to all Adventure lovers.

 To begin with, there are a number of hotels in Baharampur with better accommodations and foods and amenities. Because it is a district headquarter and there is the rush of all sorts of people throughout the year. Therefore I will advise you always to stay at Baharampur and avoid Murshidabad to stay at night. 

In Baharampur, you may taste local chana or paneer. It is very tasty.

( Also read Bengali Food.)

While visiting on the bank of Bhagirathi in the evening at Baharampur, you may remember Kaikhali.

Precautions:

1. At first, we need to use sunscreen. We will keep rose water and use it when necessary. At night, we will follow the necessary skin care routine. This is more necessary for those who have flawless skin.

2. Secondly, we should try to use bottled water.

3. Thirdly, we will carry all the necessary medicines.

4. If anybody has the problem of acne as well as hair loss, then he will take care so that these do not aggravate.

5. We should bring sufficient woollen garments if we are visiting in the winter season.

6. While travelling Murshidabad, we shall try to use fruits like

In the first place, we can eat them while travelling without wasting vital time. Secondly, they will keep us full for a prolonged time. Thirdly,  we will get the necessary protein and antioxidants. Fourthly, they are healthy and provide us with the necessary energy.

Tour Fund:

To tell the truth, frequent travellers have a tour fund as well as a list of tour goals.

To create it, I will request you to read the following articles which will definitely help you:

We will enjoy this tour of Murshidabad. Therefore, we will be able to pass a few days without stress.

Best Time to Visit Murshidabad:

The best time to visit Murshidabad is from October to March. This time, the sky remains clear. It is not to hot so that visiting can be impossible. There is hardly any disturbance of rain.

We must remember, that any type of tour will act as part of

As we are able to attain a tour goal ( visit Murshidabad), it will increase our self-esteem.

Furthermore, enjoyment and relaxations will give us ample motivations.

For these, we will show our gratitude to

  1. God, to fulfil the goal and heart-throb enjoyment.
  2. The nawabs and the architectures for such wonderful and amazing creations.

Hope, you will go and enjoy and return home with a heart full of contentment.

About the author

Banani Chakraborty

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