MurshidabadEarth : Asia : South Asia : India : Eastern India : West Bengal : Birbhum-Murshidabad : Murshidabad
Murshidabad in Birbhum-Murshidabad of West Bengal was once the capital of Bangla, Bihar and Odisha (formerly known as Orissa). The last capital city of independent Bengal was named after Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, the Dewan of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. It is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi. A city of splendors and famous for its silk, was made capital of Bengal in 1717. The British shifted the capital to Kolkata in 1773.
Local and express trains are available from Sealdah and Kolkata Stations. It will be better to avail researved seats in trains that have this facility. Destination will be either Berhampore Court or Murshidabad.
Regular long distance buses are also available from Kolkata.
By auto rickshaw. Cars are also available for hire.
- Hazar Duari Palace A palace of 1000 doors - real and fake. The palace was constructed by Duncan Macleod in 1837 on the orders of the Nawab. It has a typicaI European style of architecture. This has now been converted into a museum.
- Bara Imambara The mosque is situated just opposite the palace. Both are on the side of the river Bhagirathi. There is a mosque inside Imambara called Madina. It was erected from original soil brought from Madina
- Nasipur Palace The palace was built by King Kirtichand Bahadur in late 19th century. Within the palace compound are temples: the Ramachandra temple and the Lakshmi-Narayana temple. Closely situated is the Ashram of Mohandas and Jafraganj Deuri. The two cannons present here are said to be gifted to Mir Jafar by Clive.
- Jafarganj Cemetery About half a mile from the Hazarduari Palace is Jafarganj the ruined palace of Mir Jafar. The Cemetery contains the tombs of the Nawab's Nazim, from Mir Jafar to Humayun Jah. Mir Jafar's father Syud Ahmed Nazafi, Alivardi Khan's sister, Shahkhanum, Mir Jafar's widows, Munni Begam and Babbu Begam, Mohamed Ali Khan, the brother and Ismail Ali Khan and Asraf Ali Khan, the sons-in-law of Mir Jafar, lie buried here. This cemetery was built by Mir Jafar, over an area of 3.51 acres.
- Moti jheel This beautiful horseshoe shaped lake was excavated by Nawazesh Mohammad, the husband of the famous Ghasseti Begum. In the palace adjoining it (now in ruins) Lord Clive celebrated the acquisition of the Dewani of Sube Bangla (Bengal, Bihar & Odisha) in 1765. Moti Jheel was the home of Warren Hastings when he became the Political President at the Durbar of the Nawab Nazim ( 1771 - 73 AD ). Sir John Shore, afterwards Lord Teinmouth, also lived here. Moti Jheel is also known as the "Company Bagh", due to the fact of it having been in the occupation of the East India Company. The only old building existing is the Mosque of Shahamat Jang
- Kath-gola The palace garden of Raja Dhanpat Singh Dugar and Lakshmipat Singh Dugar and their famous Adinath Temple were built in 1873, by Harreck Chand. The walls of this temple are also intricately designed. A typically Jain style of ornamentation lends a unique beauty to this Jain temple. It is about half a km South-East of Mahimapur. Though some of its glory has been lost, it still remains a major tourist attraction, chiefly because of the beautiful temple with an admirable work of stucco.
The above as well as many others e.g. Well maintained Katra Masjid built by Murshid Kuli Khan that has interesting past and recent history, Nasipur Akhra of Ramanuj followers, Radhamadhab Mandir on the eastern side of Motijheel, etc are scattered within 2 km radius of Murshidabad Station. There are many other items worth seeing in whole Murshidabad district, particularly for those who are interested in archeology, art and culture.
- Khosh Bag. On the opposite side of river Bhagirathi, the garden Khosh Bag is the cemetery of Siraj-Ud-Daula and his other family members edit
- Jahan Kosha Cannon. Created by Bengali blacksmith Janardan, this was the biggest and strongest cannon of that time. Jahan Kosha means "Destroyer of the World" edit
Get an insight into the past history of Bengal and India.
Baluchari Sarees - They are figured silk saree produced in the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad district. Baluchar sarees essentially have a silk base with silk brocaded designs with respect to their colours, where inspite of a rich composition, the Baluchar bootidars almost avoid strong contrasts. Each pattern is treated in a colour which harmonises with the ground on which it is laid. The most popular colours used are red, blue, yellow, green and scarlet. The Baluchari sarees have large floral motifs interspersed with flowering shrubs. Traditionally the Muslim community was also known to produce these Baluchars with figured patterns depicting court scenes, horse with a rider, women smoking hookah. The Kalka design or the cone motif is often surrounded with floral borders.
Most Baluchar artisans have long migrated to Bankura. Hence Murshidabad is no more famous for Baluchari Saree. Rather one can purchase Murshidabad Silk Kora Saree than particularly for different types of embroidery works in Kolkata. These thans are available in most Khadi shops in Berhampore and Khagra. But purchase it if they provide a rebate of 20% on its printed price. Most of them give it throughout the year even when Govt subsidy is not available. Other things include Shola art, brass, copper and Kansha items.
Nothing special in Murshidabad particularly for Kolkatans. Nawabi Ghee-e bhaja chhanabora has been replaced by Dalda-bhaja one. Still Kolkatans can relish sweets and curd of Murshidabad because those are much cheaper here.
If you sit for lunch in a roadside ordinary hotel near Hazarduary, first ask whether the menu follows meal-system or a-la-carte and the rate. Else you may feel cheated after the lunch is over.
Remember that the ground water here is contaminated with arsenic. So better drink municipal supply of surface water or bottled drinking water of reputed company, not of ordinary company, here and there in Murshidabad district, even if those are cheaper by Rs.2 per litre.
- Hotel Manjusha, (on the bank of Bhagirathi and very close to Hazarduary), ☎ 03482 - 270321. Rs. 350-500. edit
- Hotel Indrajit, ☎ +91 9836381994. AC & NON AC Rooms, Bar & Resturant edit
- Hotel Anwesha. Near Hazarduari, AC rooms around ₹1000 edit