Friday, 9 December 2011

Murshidabad, West Bengal

Murshidabad is one of the nineteen districts in West Bengal. The district has a city with the same name. Located on the southern bank of the Bhagirathi, a tributary of the Ganges River, the city was the capital of undivided Bengal during the Mughal rule. Talking about its origin, Murshidabad was named after Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, the Dewan of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The history of Murshidabad dates back to the pre-historic times. Many kings and rulers had made it one of the entities in their kingdom. During the British rule over India, Murshidabad remained a seat of administration. 

Coming to the topography of the place, Murshidabad sprawls to an area of 5,341 sq km, with its headquarters at Baharampur. Bhagirathi River divides the district into two parts - while the Rarh region is a high, undulating continuation of the Chota Nagpur plateau and lies in the west, the eastern portion is a fertile, low-lying alluvial tract, part of the Ganges Delta, known as Bagri. Jalangi River, along with the tributaries of both the rivers, flows past the region. The district of Murshidabad is well connected by air, road and rail, making it easily accessible from all the parts of the state and the country in general. 

Once the seat of the royal family, Murshidabad, today, boasts of a rich cultural and historical heritage. Till date, the town of Murshidabad serves as the residence of the Nawab, who ranks as the first nobleman of the province and is called the Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad. There is also an educational institution named after Nawab family. Once in Murshidabad, you cannot get away without admiring the magnificent palaces, mosques, tombs and gardens. Talking about the tourist attraction of the region, Hazarduari Palace or the palace with thousand doors ranks the highest. 

Built in 1837, Hazarduari Palace is three-storied wonder. It now serves a museum and has an exquisite collection of armory, splendid paintings and exhaustive portraits of the Nawabs. Apart from this, tourists can also revel in the beauty and structure of Katra Mosque, Kathgola, Wasef Manzil and Nizamat Imambara. Murshidabad is an excellent spot for those who are interested in archeology and history. The regal glory and imperial beauty of the place is sure to charm your senses and leave you fascinated.

Places to See:

Hazarduari Palace

Literary meaning a palace of thousand doors, Hazarduari Palace was once the abode of a Nawab. Built in the year 1830, by General Duncan McLeod of the Bengal Engineers, the palace boasts of a banquet hall lined with mirrors and a circular Durbar Hall. Just as the name says, the palace has about 1000 doors, but only 900 of it are real. Magnificently built, the palace boasts of a striking architecture and arresting interiors. Today a museum, the palace fondly exhibits some of the most outstanding things of the imperial era. More

Katra Mosque

Situated one and a half km away from Murshidabad Railway Station, on the Berhampore-Lalgola Road, Katra Mosque is one of the must-see places in the Murshidabad district. Built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, in 1723-24, the mosque flaunts an imposing structure, what with the gorgeous building having huge domes and high minarets. 


Kathgola is an important tourist destination in Murshidabad. A palace garden of Raja Dhanpat Singh Dugar and Lakshmipat Singh Dugar, the place is home to the famous Adinath Temple. It lies about half a km southeast of Mahimapur. The temple has a rich religious and cultural heritage. The temple is beautifully ornamented with a typical Jain style that lends a unique beauty to this temple.

Wasef Manzil

Built by Sir Wasef Ali Mirza, Nawab of Murshidabad, Wasef Manzil is a beautiful palace that displays the imperial glory and majestic charm of the yesteryears. Once the residence of Nawab Wasef Ali Mirza, the beautiful palace has now been converted into a museum. Wasef Manzil is located extremely close to the Hazarduari Palace. The beautiful statues of this palace are worth seeing. 

Nizamat Imambara

Built by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah, son of Humayun Jah, in 1847 AD, Nizamat Imambara lies parallel to the north face of the Hazarduari Palace. The imambara was first built by Siraj-ud-Doula, but after its destruction in fire, it was again reconstructed. The largest imambara in Bengal and perhaps India as well, Nizamat took about 11 months to be completed............

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