Murshidabad – on a different “Weekend Binge”
Murshidabad – the last capital of Bengal, since 1716 till the start of British rule. The famous district Murshidabad was named after the Nawab Murshid Quli Khan who was the then ruler of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa.
Located on the banks of the river Bhagirathi, the city Murshidabad is commonly known for its Silk work (commonly known as ‘Murshidababadi Silk’). The city still bears memories of Nawabs with other palaces, mosques, tombs, etc. and retains many attractive spots for the present generation to view. The Hazarduari Palace is one of the main attractions among them.
Though the historical tourism could have been promoted more in this place, somehow, it has still been neglected, and Murshidabad doesn’t see much of the outsiders throughout a year.
How to reach?
Reach Murshidabad By Road: It takes around 7 hours on road from Kolkata. There are well-connected road lines available from Kolkata to Murshidabad. So, it is easy to travel Murshidabad by overnight/day Buses or Taxis. Buses start from Esplanade Bus Stand and near Sealdah Station.
Reach Murshidabad By Railway: The nearest Railway Station is Berhampore Court Railway Station. Some popular trains for this route are Bhagirathi Express and the Lalgola Passenger. So, it is easiest and highly recommended to travel Murshidabad on rails. It takes around 6 hours to reach.
Reach Murshidabad By Air: The nearest Airport is Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata which is just 240 km far from Murshidabad. So, one can come to Kolkata and reach Murshidabad by Bus or Railways from Kolkata.
Where to Stay?
Hotel Sagnik, Address: 77 Omrahaganj, Lalbagh, Murshidabad, West Bengal 742149, India
Phone: +91 3482 270 051
Hotel Indrajit: Lalbagh, Murshidabad, West Bengal 742149
Phone: 03482 271 858
Hotel Raymond: Shah Nagar, Hazarduari, Murshidabad, West Bengal 742149
Phone: 097336 76072
What to see?
1) Hazarduari Palace:
Translating to “Palace of thousand doors”, is the most prominent monument of Murshidabad. This landmark is adorned with a thousand ornamental gateways or doors. Out of these, 900 doors are real, and the rest are falsely built to confuse any intruders. The palace is a blend of Italian and Greek architectural styles and is a great example of Murshidabad’s rich cultural heritage.
The Palace is now a museum open for the visitors. It houses collections from the Nawabs and is famous for the mirrors and the chandeliers. The Hazarduari Palace Museum is one of the biggest site museums of Archaeological Survey of India.
2) Nizamat Imbambara:
Commissioned in 1847 by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah, son of Humayun Jah, Nizamat Imambara is another location for ideal Instagrammable posts. Well, this historical monument speaks volumes about the times when it was built and enjoys significant contribution to the state’s tourism.
It is said that Clive gifted the two cannons (in between the Hazarduari Palace and the Nizamat Imambara) to Mir Jafar.
Built by a Jain businessman, it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. It is said that black roses were cultivated here. The palace has some of the rarest collections of the luxurious western architectures of that age. History says that at this Kath-gola Palace, Mir Jafar was handed over with the payments just before the Battle of Plassey was fought.
In 1873, the famous Adinath Temple (also known as Kath-gola Temple) was built by Harreck Chand. The temple has beautifully designed walls. The temple is also a major tourist attraction.
4) Nasipur Palace
Nasipur Palace was built by King Kirtichand Bahadur in the late 19th century. You can find the Ramachandra temple and the Lakshmi-Narayana temple in the palace compound. The Ashram of Mohandas and Jafraganj Deuri are nearby.
5) Katra Mosque
Katra Mosque is situated one and a half km away from Murshidabad Railway Station. Katra Mosque had been built for the tomb of Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, in 1723-24. The tomb is buried under the entrance staircase only. The Mosque has huge domes and minarets, and places for around 700 Quran readers.
Motijheel, a horseshoe-shaped lake, is located 3 km from Hazarduari. The lake is situated in front of a beautiful three-storeyed palace. The Palace was built by Nawab Nawazish Muhammad Khan. This place is called ‘Company Bagh’ as it was occupied by the East India company.
7) Wasef Manzil
It was built by Sir Wasef Ali Mirza, Nawab of Murshidabad. It is a beautiful palace displaying the imperial glory and majestic charm of the past era. Once it was the residence of Nawab Wasef Ali Mirza, but now has been converted into a museum. It is situated close to the Hazarduari Palace.
[Hotel and other recommendations/views are of the Writer, and might differ with others’ views and experiences]