Murshidabad in Murshidabad district 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.Currently the city of Berhampore is its administrative headquarters.
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.
The route is Sealdah/kolkata-Dum Dum Jn-Barrackpore-Naihati Jn-Kalyani-Ranaghat Jn-Krishnanagar City Jn-Berhampore Court-Murshidabad-Lalgola.
Advance Reservations in AC and NON AC Chair Cars are available in three pairs of express trains running on this route.They are: 13113/13114 Kolkata-Lalgola Hazarduari Express:
13113(Daily)---Kolkata 6:50AM,Barrackpore 7:20AM,Ranaghat 8:20AM,Krishnanagar 8:50AM,Berhampore 10:14AM,Murshidabad 10:27AM,Lalgola 11:20AM
13114(Daily)---Lalgola 4:20PM,Murshidabad 4:53PM,Berhampore 5:09PM,Krishnanagar 6:57PM,Ranaghat 7:37PM,Barrackpore 8:42PM,Kolkata 9:25PM
13117(on Tue,Thu,Fri,Sun)---Kolkata 4:10PM,Naihati 4:56PM,Ranaghat 5:45PM,Krishnanagar 6:18PM,Berhampore 7:40PM,Murshidabad 7:53PM,Lalgola 8:45PM
13118(on Mon,Wed,Fri,Sat)---Lalgola 6:40AM,Murshidabad 7:10AM,Berhampore 7:26AM,Krishnanagar 9:16AM,Ranaghat 9:53AM,Naihati 10:30AM,Kolkata 11:20AM
13103/13104 Sealdah-Lalgola Bhagirathi Express
13103(Daily)---Sealdah 6:20PM,Ranaghat 7:53PM,Krishnanagar 8:22PM,Berhampore 9:49PM,Murshidabad 10:04PM,Lalgola 10:55PM
13104(Daily)---Lalgola 5:35AM,Murshidabad 6:08AM,Berhampore 6:27AM,Krishnanagar 8:13AM,Ranaghat 8:49AM,Sealdah 10:25AM
The main express trains pasing through this section are:
13141/13142 Sealdah-New AlipurDuar Teesta Torsa Expess
15959/15960 Howrah-Dibrugarh Kamrup Express
15643/15644 Kamakhya-Puri via Howrah Express
13465/13466 Howrah-Malda Town Intercity Express
13145/13146 Kolkata-Radhikapur Express
13163/13164 Sealdah-Saharsa Jn Hatey Bazare Express
15721/15722 New Jalpaiguri-Digha via Howrah Paharia Express
13421/13422 Malda Town-Nabadwip Dham Express
From Berhampore take auto towards Murshidabad which will be 15minutes journey. Also many local vendors are available in Berhampore from whom cars can be rented.
One can also book Ola outstation to Berhampore from Kolkata (where one way fare is applicable currently)
Apart from these regular bus services are available from other parts of West Bengal too. They are Durgapur,Burdwan,Asansol,Kharagpur,Medinipur,Siuri,RampurHat,Tarapith,Kandi,Coochbehar,Alipurduar,Siliguri,Malda,Farakka
By auto rickshaw. Cars are also available for hire.
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.
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.
There are many good qualiy resturants in Berhampore since it is the administrative headquarters of Murshidabad district
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.
Berhampore Lodge is government lodging which can be booked from westbengal tourism official site.