Friday, 9 December 2011

Digha, West Bengal

Girdled with casuarinas plantations all along the sun-kissed beaches, Digha surely makes way to be one of the most sought after weekend destination locales in West Bengal. Situated at a distance of about 185 kms from the City of Joy, Kolkata, this small beach town has been rightfully described as the 'Brighton of the East’. The scenic beauty of the beaches, coupled with mesmeric sunrise and captivating sunsets enthralls the visitors completely, giving them an ideal ambience to rejuvenate and restore their parched nerves. 

Originally known as Beerkul, during the time of Warren Hastings, Digha was discovered by the British, in the late 18th century. Even today, the hamlet completely baffles the imaginations of an individual with its charismatic exquisiteness and natural splendor. Away from the pandemonium of a city life, Digha acts as a perfect spot for individuals to revitalize and restore the mind, body and soul. The beach town has something to offer for all the age groups. Right from religious temples to romantic beaches and educating museums and research centre, no one can complain of being unsatisfied on their trip to Digha. 

Shankarpur, Chandaneswar, Marine Aquarium and Research Centre and New Digha are some of the most important tourist destinations which you should visit while touring this amazing beach town. After you get exhausted from the fun and frolic in the sand, head straight to the local eatery to relish the local Bengali food. Once in Digha, do not forget to try fried fish on the sea front. For shopaholics, Digha can be nothing less than a paradise. Right from ornaments made from shell to curios, hand-woven mats and cashew nuts, the list of things which you can pack along with you is just endless. So, what are you waiting for- just pack your bags and head to this amazing beach town to experience a memorable weekend.

Places to See:


Popularly known as the virgin beach, Shankarpur is a twin beach of Digha, about 14 km from the beach town, along the Digha-Contai Road. The place boasts of extending to tourists a wide and unspoilt beach, casuarina groves by the side of a gentle sea and a good climate throughout the year. One can enjoy the pleasure and bliss of a private beach with casuarina plantations in this serene and calm haven. 


Digha promises to forward something for everyone. While nature lovers can enjoy the alluring beach, captivating sunrise and mesmeric sunsets, for those with a religious bent of mind, heading to Chandaneswar would be to a good idea to satiate their yearning. Situated 8 kms away from Digha, Chandaneswar is home to the century old Temple of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the temple in the month of Chaitra.

Marine Aquarium and Research Centre

Established in the year 1989, during the Seventh Five Year Plan, Marine Aquarium and Research Centre, MARC as it is popular known as, was mainly devised to educate people about the marine biodiversity of the region. The centre has the largest inbuilt marine aquarium in the country, which gives visitors an opportunity to explore the aquatic life. The aquarium is well-equipped with sea water circulation system and advanced filtration unit. The aquarium is opened to public, on all working days, from 9.30 in the morning to 6 in the evening. 

New Digha

An extension of the township, New Digha is located 2 kms away from the old town and boasts of having a plethora of tourist spots which one can delve into. Apart from the glorious tree-lined beaches, you can also have a sneak peak into the world of science, thanks to the Science Center, which has been established by the National Council of Science Museums. In addition to this, there is a small park with a lake called Amravati Lake, wherein you can enjoy a boat ride. Near to the lake is Deepak Mitra's Snake Farm, which is an added attraction.

What activities to do...........

What Activities to do in Digha

Come to a beach and not swim may sound like an inappropriate combination, isn’t it? Digha is a perfect destination for all water lovers. This small hamlet extends a beachfront that is calm and quiet, making it quite a safe swimming shoreline. Water remains shallow for about a mile from the seashore. So, for those who are heading to Digha to have an exciting weekend, don’t forget to take a plunge at the sea!

Digha has a lot of offer for those looking forward to spend a spiritual weekend in the lap of nature. Just a few kms from this beach town are sites of some famous ancient temples. One of the famous places of worship is located at Chandaneswar. The place houses a century old temple of Lord Shiva. In case you are visitng Digha during the month of Chaitra, heading to Chandaneswar should be an essential part of your itinerary. 

If you always wished to try your hand at fishing, Digha can be just the perfect place to give vent to your desires. 40 kms for this beach town is Junput, an unspoiled beach offering beautiful sea-view and lines of caesarian trees. The place is an ideal spot for indulging in fishing. Salty water fish cultivation and research are done here by the State Government Fisheries Department.

Nature Walk
When in Digha, do not miss out on the opportunity to explore the blissful ecstasy of nature. Enveloped by casuarinas plantations all along the coast, Digha extends tourists an idyllic retreat to indulge in lazy walks down the beach. Not only would the walks proffer you with fresh air and good health, but also give you some precious moments that you are sure to enrich all your life. Watching the enchanting sunset and sunrise is another activity which you can indulge in. 

Beach Activities
Has water always fantasized you? If yes, then Digha is just the ideal place to give wings to your fantasy. Be it scuba diving or boating, Digha has a lot of proffer in terms of water activities. For those who wish to lend a golden haze to their skin color, sun bathing is another popular activity which you can delve upon. 

For those who love to indulge in shopping, Digha can be nothing less than a paradise. The beach town offers tourists a multitude of options when it comes to picking souvenirs and keepsakes. Right from ornaments made of sea-shell to colorful hand-woven mat made of weeds and cottage crafts, the options available are umpteen............

How to Reach Digha

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, sited in Kolkata, is the nearest aerodrome to reach Digha. Located at a distance of 185 kms, the airport is very well connected with all the major cities in India and abroad. After de-boarding from the air carrier, you can hire a taxi to reach Digha. The journey is likely to lasts for about 5 hours. 

Digha is very well connected by rail to Kolkata. Trains plying in between the two stations travel via Kanthi, Kharagpur and Mecheda. Shalimar Digha Express is the perfect option for those leaving from Kolkata. From the station, a rickshaw ride can take you to your preferred destination at minimal rates. 

The beautiful beach town of Digha boasts of a great connectivity by road, from the state capital. There are regular buses that ply in the route of Digha and Kolkata. Esplanade and Howrah Station are the two terminals from where you can get buses for Digha. The average travel time to reach Digha is about 5 hours............

Sunderbans, West Bengal

Sunderbans, a mangrove forest spread across areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal, is a very popular tourist destination in the traveler’s map. The place derives its name from ‘Sundari’ (mangrove) trees, which are found in the entire forest cover. UNESCO declared Sunderbans as a World Heritage Site, in 1987. Lying at the feet of River Ganges, Sunderbans is also the largest estuarine delta of the world. The wildlife sanctuary came into existence in 1977, while Sundarbans National Park was established in May 1984. The Park is a safe haven for Royal Bengal Tigers, while the wildlife sanctuary is home to a wide variety of animals, including chital, monkeys, estuarine crocodiles, marine turtle and even dolphins. 

Since the flora and fauna of Sunderbans are enriched with wonderful variety of life, travelers, who like to call themselves “nature lovers”, throng the forest every year, to spend a relaxing weekend, away from the bustling city life. This is perhaps the reason why Sunderbans has become a hit weekend getaway of West Bengal, when it comes to travelers visiting India. The tranquilizing atmosphere of Sunderbans is well-complemented by picturesque beauty and greenery everywhere. Since the entire forest cover floats on water, it is a wonderful place for indulging in relaxing boat rides. 

Sundarbans is chosen as a tourist destination not only because of its scenic beauty, but also due to its pleasant weather. During the peak season, which is from November to March, one can experience a pleasing weather in Sundarbans. Moreover, it is easily approachable, unlike many remote forest covers of India. One can get easy access to Sundarbans, by flying to Kolkata airport, which is 112 km away from the forest. Motor boat facilities are also available from many areas around Sunderbans. Thus, reaching this thick forest cover will be a hassle-free experience. All in all, Sunderbans is a wonderful weekend getaway that should not be missed out, when you are traveling to the eastern part of India.

Places to See:

Tiger Reserve

The prime tourist attraction of Sunderbans is its tiger reserve, where the great Royal Bengal Tigers are sheltered. There, nature lovers can catch a glimpse of the day-to-day activities of these tigers, from a distance.

Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project

Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project is a hatchery and a sanctuary of Sunderbans. The biggest estuarine crocodiles can be found here, which is the highlighting feature of this tourist attraction.


Netidhopani is beautified by the mangroves of Sunderbans and the amazing wildlife. Netidhopani is famous for the ruins of a 400-year-old temple, which attracts tourists coming to Sunderbans. 

Halliday Island

Located south of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, Halliday Island is thronged by tourists, every year. The last retreat of the Barking Deer can be found here. Apart from this, travelers can also check out Lothian Island Wildife Sanctuary, which is a must-visit place for bird watchers.


Travelers on their way to Sunderbans can stop at Piyali, a beautiful small town, and explore the lifestyle of its inhabitants. It is the best place to chill out, when you are on your way to explore the rich, dense forest of Sunderbans. 


Kanak is a safe haven for Olive Ridley Turtles, which thrive in its shallow waters and beaches. These turtles, during their breeding season, approach the beaches of Kanak, from distant places located around Sunderbans.

What activities to do...........

What Activities to do in Sunderbans

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is the most preferred thing to do in Sunderbans. You will come across a wide variety of species of animals, within the dense mangrove forest of Sunderbans. Apart from the Royal Bengal Tigers, which are the main attractions of the Tiger Reserve of Sunderbans, you can also catch a glimpse of other animals, including chital, monkeys, estuarine crocodiles, marine turtle and even dolphins. 


Boating is the next best thing to do in Sunderbans, since the entire territory of the forest floats on water. A ride through the sparkling waters can be a fun experience, at the same time, tranquilizing. So, in order to spend a memorable vacation in Sunderbans, take a ride in the motor boats available here. Boating in Sunderbans will also be a safe experience for you, because most of the boats are equipped with safety features, such as life jackets. 

Bird Watching

If you are a birdwatcher, you would be delighted to explore Sunderbans, because here, you can hear the chirping of birds almost every where throughout the dense mangrove forest. So, if you are keen at bird watching, all you need to do is take a binocular, travel bag and set your journey towards the interiors of the forest, where you will witness wide variety of birds thriving in peace............

How to Reach Sunderbans

One can have easy access to the beautiful Sunderbans forest via air. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (originally known as Dum Dum Airport) in Dum Dum is the nearest airport to Sunderbans. The airport is approximately 112 km away from Sunderbans. 

The nearest railhead of Sunderbans is located at Canning, which is 44 km away from the forest. If you are traveling via Kolkata, you will have to reach Canning first and then take a trip to Sunderbans.

By traveling about 112 km south from Kolkata, you can easily reach Sunderbans, via road. Another option is to head towards Namkhana, Sonakhali, Raidighi, Canning or Najat, which are 105 km, 100 km, 76 km, 64 km and 92 km away from Kolkata, respectively, from where private as well as WBTDC’s motor launch services are available............

Purulia, West Bengal

Located in the eastern side of India, Purulia is one of the nineteen districts of West Bengal. It holds an important place in the map of India, thanks to its strategic location. Purulia is located at a promising spot, serving as a gateway, connecting the developed industrial belts of West Bengal with the hinterlands in Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The district has a town with the same name, which acts as its headquarters. Purulia is funnel-shaped and its functions are also similar to that of a funnel - moving the tropical monsoon current from the Bay of Bengal to the subtropical parts of north-west India.

Talking about the history of Purulia district, not much is known before the acquisition of the territory by the British East India Company. According to Jaina Bhagavati Sutra, it is believed that Purulia district was a part of Banga, one of the 16 Mahajanapadas. Some also believe it to be also a part of the country known as Vajra-bhumi in the ancient era. With the grant of Diwani of the subahs of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in 1765, the territory came under the rule of the British. In the beginning of 19th century, Purulia became a part of the Jungle Mahals district, which was composed of 23 parganas and mahals, with Manbhum as the headquarters. It was in 1956 that Manbhum district was partitioned and Purulia district was born, under States Reorganization Act & Transfer of Territories Act.

The district of Purulia is believed to be the oldest one in the West Bengal, existing even in the 5th century. It offers tourists a mixture of rich tradition and heritage, coupled with exotic locations of spellbinding beauty. Cheliama, in Purulia, extends tourists opportunity to dwell in the contemporary civilization of the 17th century, what with the terracotta figurines and exclusive carvings around the temples region. For people with a religious and spiritual bend of mind, Deulghat is nothing less than a paradise. The land of temples, as it is fondly called; it is the perfect place to connect spiritually. The other attractions of the place include Saheb Bandh, Ayodhya Hill and Para. Purulia is also famous for the prestigious institution named Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith.

Places To See:


One of the famous tourist spots in Purulia, Cheliama is a paradise for historians and archeologists, thanks to its rich history. The village has remnants of the contemporary civilization of the 17th century. The terracotta figurines and exclusive carvings around the temples of the region vouch for the fact that the village had been an important landmark during the yesteryears. Apart from this, the well-known Radha-Govinda Temple in Cheliama attracts mass of tourists and is a focal place, depicting the Bengali culture prevalent in the contemporary era


Deulghat, keeping up to its name, is the land of temples. The place is home to about 15 temples near the Kansai River. The awe-striking architecture of the temple, coupled with graceful carvings, is one of the prime reasons why Deulghat is one of the favorite spots to visit in Purulia. The temple reflects the traditional culture of the contemporary people. Though there is nothing but ruins left in the temple, Deulghat still continues to be an important tourist center.

Saheb Bandh

A 50-acre lake, Saheb Bandh poses as one of the enigmatic locations in Purulia. Talking about the history of the place, it is believed to have been built during the mid-19th century. It is believed that convicts, at the instigation of Colonel Tikley, dug this water body. They started the process in the year 1843. It took five years for the water body to be constructed. Today a beautiful and mesmeric location, Saheb Bandh also acts as a temporary home for migratory birds. During the migratory season, birds fly from Baluchistan, Siberia and various places in Europe, to the place. So, for birdwatchers, Saheb Bandh is an ideal retreat. 

Ayodhya Hill

Purulia offers tourists not just places of religious and cultural interest, but also sites wherein one can have fun and frolic. To cater to the needs of explorers and adventure lovers, the place extends tourist a perfect destination to practice mountaineering and rock climbing - Ayodhya Hill. Around 700 m high, the hill is a perfect blend of pristine nature and rich mythological interests. The place is also famous for its fresh water springs and stream. 


Para is an excellent tourist spot and also a village that reminds you of the advent of Muslims to the east. The region houses two pre-Muslim deuls - while one is in sync with the temple in Deulghat, the other belongs to a later period. Both of them prove to be an excellent example of the grand architecture and fine cravings employed in the yesteryears. Though almost a century old now, these relics have a beauty of their own. The heritage buildings would surely take tourist to the former era, even in the present times.


Purulia Excursions

Matha Forest

Just 45 km from Purulia rests the Matha forest, a starting point for trekking to Ajodhya. The place is an excellent spot for nature lovers and adventure freaks. Boasting of an unruffled beauty, Matha forest makes for a great trekking expedition. It also serves as the gateway to the great Ajodhya Hills. The place is close to Balarampur town. The best time to visit Matha forest is during winter and spring season. 


Garhpanchakot is a great site for archeologists and historians, as the place has immense historical importance. Once home to the Garh Panhakot Fort below the Panchet Hills, the place, today, has a carcass of the fort left. The area is about 67 km from Purulia, its nearest town being Raghunathpur, at about 22 km distance. There are bus services that connect Garhpanchakot to other towns. Apart from this, tourists can also opt for private transport from Raghunathpur. Monsoon and winter are the ideal season to visit Garhpanchakot. 


A submerged temple-site in West Bengal, Telkupi was once a land of temples with rich cultural heritage and tradition. The region had a large number of temples within a small space. While in the yesteryears, the number of temples existing in the area numbered about 20, the figure came down drastically with time. Today, Telkupi is home to only two temples, while one is visible half-submerged in the Damodar reservoir, at the Panchet Dam. Dating back to the 7th century, these temples reflect the golden years of India. The site is located about 65 km from Purulia and is best visited during the spring or winter season. 


A quaint little place, Mukutmanipur serves as one of the best picnic spots near Purulia, about 80 km away. The place houses a giant water reservoir named Kangsabati Dam, which is the second biggest earth dam in India. As per reports, Mukutamanipur is also home to the world’s longest man-made mud-banked fresh water barrage, extending for about 10.8 km. Located at the confluence of Kangsabati and Kumari rivers, Mukutmanipur qualifies as an extremely beautiful and picturesque location. It offers tourists unexplored nature, making the ambience blissful and charismatic. Apart from being one of the finest picnic spots, the area is also ideal for enjoying the adventure of rivers, hills and jungles............

How to Reach Purulia

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport, sited in Kolkata - the capital city of the West Bengal, is the nearest airdrome to Purulia. The airport is very well connected to all the parts of India as well as abroad. After de-boarding from the air carrier, tourists can reach Purulia either by railway or by roadway. There are regular services for both the modes of transport. The distance between Kolkata Airport and Purulia district is about 330 km. 

The district of Purulia has its own railway station, which is deemed as one of the best in the whole of West Bengal. There are direct trains that connect Purulia to all the other regions in India, including Delhi, Orissa, and Kolkata. The district is also well connected to Asansol, Chakradharpur, Burdwan and Kharagpur. 1.5 km from the town-center, Purulia station is a junction, as all the long distance trains stop here. Puruliya Express runs from Howrah on all days, except Saturday.

Purulia is well connected to the other districts and regions in West Bengal through roadways. There are regular bus services and cab facilities that link Purulia to the neighboring cities, including Kolkata, Orissa, Digha, Krishnanagar, Jhargram, Bardhaman, Tarakeshwar, Asansol, Chakradharpur, Malda and Berhampur. Apart from the government bus services, there are private bus services as well, connecting all the districts of West Bengal with Purulia............

History of Purulia

Purulia is one of the oldest districts in West Bengal and has a rich culture and heritage to boast of. Encircled by Bankura, Midnapore and Burdwan districts of West Bengal and Hazaribag, Singbhum, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Bokaro districts of Jharkhand state, the place has undergone a lot of changes over the many years of its existence. From being a part of the country known as Vajra-bhumi to being a part of Jungle Mahals district and then Manbhum district, Purulia has seen a lot of phases in its life. To get detailed information on the history and origin of Purulia, read through the following lines.

Pre Historic Times

Tagged as one of the oldest known districts known in West Bengal, Purulia has a rich culture and heritage to look back at. According to the Jaina Bhagavati-Sutra, the place existed as early as 5th century and was one of the 16 Mahajanapadas of its time. It is believed that Purulia was a part of the country known as Vajra-bhumi, in ancient times. However, apart from this, very little is known about the pre-historic era of Purulia. 

Pre-Independence Era

It was during the British rule in India that Purulia gained importance. Just when British East-India Company acquired the 'Diwani' of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, in the year 1765, Purulia achieved significance. In 1805, by the Regulation XVIIII, a Jungle Mahals district, comprising of 23 parganas and mahals - including the present Purulia, was formed. However, years later, in 1833, the Jungle Mahals district was ruled out and a new district, by the name of Manbhum, was constituted, with headquarters at Manbazar.

Manbhum was extremely large in size and constituted of Bankura and Burdwan (in the present West Bengal), apart from Dhanbad, Dhalbhum, Saraikela and Kharswan (in the present Jharkhand and Orissa). In the year 1838, the district headquarters was shifted from Manbazar to Purulia (as it is known today). With this, Purulia was withdrawn from regular administration and placed under an officer called Principal Assistant (better known as Deputy Commissioner today) to the agent of the Governor-General for South-Western Frontier.

Post-Independence Era

It was in 1956, nine years after India received its independence, that the district of Manbhum was partitioned and the states of West Bengal and Bihar were formed, under the States Reorganization Act and Transfer of Territories Act. In the November of 1956, Purulia was formed as one of the districts in West Bengal. Located at the westernmost side of the state, Purulia boasts of a tropical location. It acts as a funnel, transferring tropical monsoon current from the Bay of Bengal to the subtropical parts of northwest India. Purulia also acts as a gateway to reach the industrial belts of West Bengal and the hinterlands in Orissa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh............

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............

History of Murshidabad

Murshidabad has a history that goes back to the pre historic times. Many kings and rulers had made the district one of the entities in their kingdom. However, very little is known about the prehistoric era of Murshidabad. It was in the early eighteenth century that the district got its present name and later on, its present shape. The earliest evidences of the history of Murshidabad dates back to the pre-historic days, perhaps as early as 1500 BC. To get detailed information on the origin & history of the district, browse through the following lines.

Not much is known about the prehistoric era of Murshibad. Coming straight to the time of the British rule over India, the place thrived as a town and district of British India, in the Presidency division of Bengal. Situated on the left bank of the Bhagirathi, or old sacred channel of the Ganges, the city of Berhampur served as the administrative headquarters of the district. It was during this time that the Nawab Murshid Quli Khan made Murshidabad the capital city of Sube Bangla, comprising of Bengal, Bihar and Orissal. 

In the year 1704, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan changed the seat of government from Dacca to Maksudabad, naming it after his own name. After the British conquest over Bengal, Murshidabad was retained as the seat of administration for some time. Though Warren Hastings had removed the supreme civil and criminal courts to Calcutta in 1772, the latter court was brought back to Murshidabad again, in 1775. In 1790, under Lord Cornwallis, the entire revenue and judicial staff of the Murshidabad was fixed at Calcutta

The town is still the residence of the Nawab, who ranks as the first nobleman of the province with the style of Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad. Right from the Pre-Mauryan era to the affluence of the Gupta dynasty, the Gouda Kingdom and Sasanka, the Pala Era, the Sena Era and the British rule, the district of Murshidabad has undergone immense cultural and historical changes. Various cultures of many races and religions, like Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Islam & Christianity, have thrived here. European traders like the Dutch, British, French and Armenians have added a new dimension to its rich history............

How to Reach Murshidabad

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport, located in the state capital Kolkata, is the nearest airdrome, located at a distance of about 195 km from Berhampore, the headquarter town. There are regular flights that connect the airport to the other cities in the country and across the globe. After de-boarding from the air carrier, tourists can reach Murshidabad, with the help of roadways or railways. 

Talking about the railways, Berhampore Court is the main station that connects the district of Murshidabad with Kolkata and the other cities of West Bengal. There are regular trains that connect the station to the Sealdah station in Kolkata. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to cover the distance. There is another railway station, called Khagraghat, nearby. Located at the opposite bank of river Bhagirathi, it is well-connected with the Howrah Station in Kolkata. The station is also connected by local trains from Katwa, Salar, Bandel and Howrah. 

Well maintained network of roads make traveling to Murshidabad extremely easy. The place is easily accessible from Kolkata, as there are regular buses that ply to Berhampore (headquarter). Apart from the state owned buses, which have a halt at Berhampore, there are private buses as well. Buses from the neighboring towns of Burdwan, Rampurhat, Suri, Bolpur, Malda, Krishnagar and Durgapur also ply to Murshidabad regularly............

Cooch Behar, West Bengal

To get an experience of the regal age and imperial glory in West Bengal, Cooch Behar is an idyllic retreat. Situated in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas, it is the only planned town in North Bengal region, with remnants of a royal heritage. Once the seat of the princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Koch dynasty; Cooch Behar gained its present status three years after Indian independence. The princely state was transformed into Cooch Behar District, with Cooch Behar town as its headquarters. Cooch Behar town is also the largest the town in the district.

Going down to the pages of history, it is seen that Cooch Behar gained its name from the indigenous Koch tribe, which resided in the place for centuries. The word ‘behar’ is take from the Sanskrit word ‘bihar’, which means to travel. Cooch Behar was a part of the Kamarupa Kingdom, from the 4th century to the 12th century. From the 15th century and till the beginning of the 18th century, the district was ruled by the Koch rulers. However, in the last quarter of the 18th century, the princely state was captured by the King of Bhutan. To expel the Bhutanese, Cooch Behar signed a treaty with the British East India Company, thus becoming a feudal ruler under the British.

The princely-state of Cooch Behar reached its zenith during the rule of Nripendra Narayan, who is also fondly remembered as the ‘architect’ of modern Cooch Behar town. Till date, the town proudly flaunts the magnificent colonial structure of Cooch Behar Palace, the dwelling of the first family of Cooch Behar. Apart from that, it extends visitors the mesmerizing and enthralling structure of Madan Mohan Temple and Baneswar Siva Temple. Apart from the numerous tourist attractions in Cooch Behar, there are number of must-see sites near the place as well, including Rasikbil, Kholta Ecotourism Spot, Alipurduar and Chilapata Forest.

The rich heritage of Cooch Behar is well reflected in its cultural diversity, which is a mixture of those found in West Bengal and Bangladesh. People of Cooch Behar celebrate every festival with great fervor and enthusiasm. Durga Puja and Ras Purnima are the main festivals practiced in the region. However, other festivals, such as Pohela Baishakh, Rathayatra, Dolyatra, Diwali, Poush parbon, Christmas and Eid, are also celebrated here. Talking about food, rice and fish are the staple food of the region. And if you are visiting the place during festivity, do not leave until you taste the appetizing bhuna khichuri and labra!!

Places to See:

Cooch Behar Palace (Rajbari)

Built in 1887, by the illustrious Koch king Maharaja Nripendra Narayan - also referred to as the ‘architect’ of modern Cooch Behar town, the Royal Palace is a sight to behold in the city. The palace is an excellent example of the imperial and regal glory of the bygone era. A colonial structure, it once used to be the dwelling of the first family of Cooch Behar. Just as the imposing exteriors, the interiors of the Royal Palace are extremely gripping and riveting. A newly built museum, coupled with vast stretch of beautiful landscaping lawns, make the outlook more beautiful and stunning. 

Madan Mohan Temple

A mesmerizing structure, the temple was constructed during the years 1885 to 1889, by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan. A divine structure, the temple enshrines the idols of Lord Madan Mohan, Ma Kali, Ma Tara and Ma Bhavani. It is located in the heart of Cooch Behar town and is a must-watch for tourists in the city. On the occasion of Rush Purnima, one of the biggest festivals of North Bengal, the temple celebrates the traditional Rash Yatra, along with Rash Mela.


Sited in the heart of Cooch Behar town, Sagardighi is a huge tank, excavated by Maharaja Hitendra Narayan. Surrounded by heritage buildings, including Victor House and a War Memorial, on all sides, Sagardighi is a popular destination during the evenings. The square-shaped tank is also famous among feathered animals, as a lot of migratory birds can be spotted on the water surface and the nearby trees, during winters. The lake extends tourists a calm and serene ambience, coupled with scenic beauty. 

Baneswar Siva Temple

A popular tourist spot in Cooch Behar, Baneswar Siva Temple is located at a distance of about 10 km to the north of the city center. The temple houses a Shivaling that is 10 feet below the plinth level. Apart from this, the temple has 'Gouripat' and statue of Ardhanariswar installed in it. During Madan Chaturdashi and Dol Purnima, the statue is carried to the famous Madan Mohan Temple, which is why the statue has been given the name of Movable Baneswar. In the temple premises, there is a big pond that has a large number of tortoises, some of which are very old and big in size. 

Light & Sound Show

Enticing and enchanting - the light and sound show, organized every Friday and Saturday, by the cultural dept of West Bengal is fascinating and worth watching. Sited in a well-maintained garden, at the amusement park just beside the Cooch Behar Palace, the show is absolutely compelling and exciting with its colorful lighting and fountains. The show starts with the fall of evening and continues till 8 o'clock at night. With the start of the show, the whole place comes to life. Once in Cooch Behar, the Light & Sound Show would be a fine recreation zone, for spending leisure time.

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