Murshidabad – Palaces and Beautiful Architecture

August 1, 2019

Hazarduari Palace

Introducing the Place –

Panoramic view of the Imambara
Panoramic view of the Imambara

Murshidabad – a district on the banks of the river Hooghly (a distributary of the river Ganges). It belongs to the state of West Bengal in the eastern part of India. It was a place for royalty, the last independent Nawabs of the erstwhile undivided Bengal ruled from here.

How we Went & Where we Stayed –

Recently, we did a short trip to this beautiful place and surely the architecture lives up to the grandeur attached to the Nawabs (king like statesmen from the era of the Mughals).

The Yellow Mosque
The Yellow Mosque

We drove there from Shantiniketan. The scenery while driving is picturesque though some roads are quite narrow. It was an approximately 3 and a half hours journey. We directly went to Berhampore where our hotel was situated. This fairly new hotel, The Bliss by Govinda group was simple and quite comfortable. The food here was fantastic – we had Chinese at lunch and delicious North Indian fare at dinner.

The Must – Visit Destination –

The most iconic place to visit in Murshidabad is the Hazarduari Palace. The palace of the last independent Nawabs of undivided Bengal. The striking and intricate architecture is magnificent and it’s a shining example of the architectural prowess of the erstwhile Bengal. The palace gets its name from the 1000 doors it comprises, out of which 900 are actual doorways and 100 are only for show.

A view of the Hazarduari Palace
A view of the Hazarduari Palace
The Hazarduari Clock Tower
The Hazarduari Clock Tower

This palace is a museum today comprising displays of the robes of the Nawabs, arms and ammunition used then, crockery used by the Nawabs and kings men, even the royal seats and pedestals. The King’s court (Darbar), dining room, the Nawab’s bedroom, dining rooms have all been conserved well and is in display in full glory for the travellers.

The Hazarduari Palace compound houses a few other magnificent tourist attractions such as the Nizamat Imambara. This is a fabulous  Muslim congregation hall built in pristine white walls and boasts a grand Islamic architecture.

Nizamat Imambara
Nizamat Imambara

You have to see it in real to truly feel the grandeur and royalty of the place, the Hazarduari Palace on one side and the Nizamat Imambara on the other.

This compound also comprises of the Hazarduari Clock Tower and two mosques which are strikingly different in look. The Yellow Mosque and the Madina Mosque.

The Madina Mosque
The Madina Mosque

While the former one has yellow walls as the name suggests, the latter one is done in white. Both of them have the arches and is done in Islamic architectural style. The clock tower is also beautifully structured and adds to the allure of the place.

More Places to Visit –

The Kathgola Palace
The Kathgola Palace

Kathgola Palace is another intricately designed palace from the era of the last Nawabs of undivided Bengal. Situated in close vicinity to the Hazarduari complex, once you reach this place a majestic gate welcomes you.

As you walk through the lane lined with trees you reach the main palace, a magnificent structure standing in all its glory. Inside the palace is a museum and we get a glimpse of the pomp and flair of the Nawabs. As we walk along the compound a stunning sight catches our eyes. The magnificent palace with its reflection on the pond in front is a scene to behold.

The gate to the Kathgola Palace
The gate to the Kathgola Palace
A side view of the Kathgola Palace
A side view of the Kathgola Palace

A little tidbit here, few famous Bengali movies have had scenes shot here. In fact the day we visited, a shoot was in progress.

Next on the visiting destinations list is Nashipur Palace. Comparatively in a more dilapidated condition, this palace was the home of Devi Singh, one of the most notorious tax collectors of the Nawabs.

The Nashipur Palace
The Nashipur Palace

The palace is as usual beautifully designed and the interiors comprise of the traditional arches and many temples with beautiful domes. On the inside the designs made on the marble pieces are exquisite.

In the halls of Nashipur Palace
In the halls of Nashipur Palace

Jahan Kosha Cannon is another historic spot to visit here. Literally translating to Destroyer of the World, this huge 7 tonne cannon stands at a point very near to the Katra Mosque.

The main temple inside Nashipur Palace
The main temple inside Nashipur Palace
Moti Jheel Park
Moti Jheel Park

Moti Jheel is another beautiful place to visit here. It’s a gorgeous horse shoe shaped lake surrounded by a lot of greenery. In close proximity is a beautiful park where people can do boating, enjoy a few rides and take a leisurely stroll along the park.

Bidding adieu to the place –

A trip to Murshidabad is like visiting a slice of history with the striking architecture, rich cultural heritage and the delicious cuisine.  We really had a fantastic time here even though the weather was pretty hot.

Do let me know about your experiences here, if you have already visited the place. And also let me know if you enjoyed leafing through the pictures and the journey I shared. Till we meet again with some new place or new delicacy or some other exciting stuff, be happy and keep smiling!!

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