Visit Murshidabad: 7 Places in Murshidabad To Transport You to Another Era (2020)
When people talk about the tourist destinations in West Bengal, many people consider Murshidabad to be one of the best among them. Even though this site is not as famous as other popular tourist places like Darjeeling or Digha, it has a charm that none of the other sites have. Murshidabad is one of the few districts in West Bengal that has held historical importance in India for many centuries. You will be surprised to know that in the 18th century, Murshidabad was one of the most prosperous cities in India. It was the capital of the Mughal Empire in Bengal at the said time. Murshid Quili Khan was the Bengal Subah and resided in Murshidabad at that time. One of the major reasons why Murshid Quili Khan is so relevant to the history of Murshidabad is because he was the founder of the city.
The major reason why the Nawab chose this area as his capital is that it was located pretty close to Bihar, and Odisha. Apart from Bengal, Bihar and Odisha also fell in the reign of Murshid Quili Khan. Most of the renowned historical sites that you will witness in Murshidabad were commissioned by the said Nawab. You might have heard about the battle of Plassey between Nawab Shiraj-ud-Daulah and the British army. Plassey is a village located in the district of Murshidabad. Nawab Shiraj-ud-Daulah was the successor of Murshid Quili Khan and the last ruling Nawab of Bengal. Even during the time of British reign, the entire region encountered a lot of development. Throughout the city, you will get to see the influence of European architecture.
There are so many sites to explore in Murshidabad that it is easy to get confused. Although, you must not worry as by reading this blog, you will know the best places to see in Murshidabad in depth. By visiting this region, you will gain a lot of knowledge about Bengal’s past. You might even learn some interesting facts that you have never heard before. The city of Murshidabad along with its surroundings will take you to a time that is devoid of modern technology. Reaching the town is pretty easy. By availing of an airplane, you will get to reach Kolkata and then travel to the city by renting a car. As the nearest airport is located in Kolkata, you will have no other option to reach Murshidabad if you avail a flight. The distance between the two cities is 171 km. Otherwise, traveling there via train is also a good idea. The nearest railway station from Murshidabad is located in the city itself. You will find many trains from Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and other important Indian cities that will take you to the town. One of the most entertaining about visiting Murshidabad is the Tonga-ride or horse-carriage ride. Many people explore different parts of the town by availing of the said mode of transportation. So, without much delay, let us begin exploring the different parts of the historic town.
Visit Murshidabad: 7 Places in Murshidabad To Transport You to Another Era
The places mentioned in the following list are all famous in Murshidabad. If you visit there, you will regret it a lot if you miss out on any of the places mentioned below.
1. Hazarduari Palace
Hazarduari Palace is not only the best place to see in Murshidabad but it is also one of the best historical sites in India. Commissioned by Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah, this palace is quite certainly an architectural masterpiece. This building was previously known as Bara Kothi. You might be wondering why it was known as Bara Kothi. The word, “Bara Kothi” in English translates to “the Biggest palace”. As this palace was the biggest construction in the premise of Kila Nizamat, it was called by the said name. You will be surprised to know that Kila Nizamat was the former palace in place of the current site. The then Nawab spent a large sum of money to create this building by demolishing Kila Nizamat.
As Hazarduari palace is so important to the country, that the Archaeological Survey of India has been maintaining it since 1985. During the 18th century, many official meetings took place in the Durbar hall of this magnificent site. There is a museum located inside the premises of the palace that will offer you a lot of information about the construction and history of Hazarduari Palace. As there are eight galleries located inside the palace, it would take you some time to explore all of its components. Most of the galleries inside this building contain the artifacts and armory used by the Nawabs in the said century. Even the different rooms of this palace have been included in its galleries. Apart from all the important historical aspects, this palace is immensely beautiful. When you will see it for the first time, you will be bewildered by its grandeur and beauty. Moreover, as it is located right by the bank of the river Bhagirathi, you will be quite mesmerized by its surrounding scenic locale as well.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Hazarduari Palace is- 3 Km.
2. Moti Jheel
One of the few horseshoe-shaped lakes located in West Bengal, Moti Jheel is one of the most beautiful places in Murshidabad. Locally known as Company Bagh, this site is not only aesthetically pleasing but also is it historically important. This waterbody is a human-made project that was commissioned by Nawazish Muhammed. He was the son-in-law of the famous Nawab Alivardi Khan of Bengal. The adjacent palace to this lake known as Sang-i-dalan is also responsible for this lake’s popularity. Many people call this palace the Motijheel Palace due to the famous lake. Nawazish and his wife used to reside in this palace overlooking this phenomenally beautiful lake. Even the former Governor-General of Bengal, Warren Hastings, resided in this palace.
As many important British officials used to reside in this palace overlooking the lake, the entire region came to be known as Company Bagh. Visiting this lake will provide you a tiny glimpse into the rich heritage of Murshidabad.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Moti Jheel is- 3 km.
3. Nizmat Imambara
Commissioned by Nawab Mansur Ali Khan in 1847, Nizmat Imambara is another must-see site in Murshidabad. The massive area of the structure will genuinely stun you. At the said time, this construction took over 6 lakh Indian rupees. The amount might not mean much to you, but at that time, the amount was immensely huge. As this site is located right opposite Hazarduari palace, you will get to explore both of them at the same time. There are three different parts to this site. The first part has the famous Madina Mosque, the second part has the Naubat Khana and the third part has the primary mosque.
Mainly, this site is a religious site that was meant to be the congregational hall for the people of the Shia Muslim community. There was a similar construction named Old Nizamat Imambara in the place of this site constructed by Shiraj-ud-Daulah. But unfortunately, due to a massive fire, the entire structure got demolished. That is why this new site was commissioned by the then Nawab to pay tribute to Nawab Shiraj-ud-Daulah. Although the Madina Mosque is still intact from the older structure and can be explored. If you visit Murshidabad, you must visit this site, as it is the largest mosque in West Bengal.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Nizamat Imambara is- 2 km.
While exploring Murshidabad, one of the most interesting sites to check out is Kathgola, also known as the neighborhood of Murshidabad. There are some important places to see in Murshidabad town that are quite important to the history and culture of West Bengal. Some of the major sites to explore there is Adinath temple, and Kathgola palace.
Adinath temple is one of the most important Hindu religious sites in the region. Commissioned by Lakshmipat Singh Dugar, this site is quite famous for the Jain community of Bengal and India. The most interesting part about this temple is the 900-year-old idol of God Adinath. People from different parts of India visit Adinath temple to see the idol. Constructed in 1933, this temple still remains extremely beautiful.
Kathgola palace was also commissioned by Lakshmipat Singh Dugar. This site is so wonderful that you will lose track of your time while exploring it. Throughout the property of the palace, you will see a wide variety of mirrors, expensive artifacts, and furniture that will help you get a glimpse into the life of the rich and powerful people in the prior times. Moreover, the location of this palace is also quite famous as it is the same site where Mir Jafar and William Watts met to discuss the treachery against Shiraj-ud-Daulah. While exploring the garden adjacent to the palace, do not forget to check out the statue of Michelangelo located out there.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Kathgola is- 3.5 km.
5. Katra Mosque
Katra Mosque is quite important to the history of West Bengal and India. As it was one of the largest caravanserais in the world, many people from different parts of earth visit there to explore this Masjid. Built in 1725, this mosque is originally the tomb of Murshid Quli Khan. The architectural design of this Masjid is breathtakingly beautiful. Even though it is built mainly of bricks, the massive area of the construction will catch your eyes right away. The entirety of the masjid is so large, that more than 700 people can read Quran at the same time over there.
Even though the masjid is still pretty glorious, a major part of it was demolished during the massive 1897-earthquake. There are many domes of this structure but one is missing due to the said earthquake. As this site is historically significant for India, the best way to navigate and gain knowledge about it is by hiring a local guide. The guides working on the site are immensely well-informed and will offer you a lot of facts regarding this masjid.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Katra Mosque is- 2.6 km.
Khushbagh is an important place to see in Murshidabad as a large number of Bengal Nawabs are buried in the grounds of its premises. Most of these Nawabs are from the Afshar dynasty. Some of the renowned rulers who are buried over there include Mir Jafar, Siraj-ud-Daulah, Nawab Alivardi Khan, and their family members. This garden or cemetery is quite beautiful. With walled enclosures, the mausoleum inside the premise of the garden is admired by all tourists. If you have ever visited the Jama Masjid in Delhi, you will notice the vivid similarities between the architecture of these two sites. Siraj-ud-Daulah’s wife, Luft-un-Nisa was responsible for the majority of the maintenance of this garden.
Even though the primary reason behind constructing this garden might not be happy, but the name Khushbagh in English translates to “a happy garden”. The reason this place was named Khushbagh is that the creator, Nawab Alivardi Khan commissioned it thinking the people who will be buried there will lead a happy afterlife and will genuinely rest in peace.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Khushbagh is- 15 km.
7. Jahan Kosha
Located pretty close to Katra, Jahan Kosha is the site that contains a 16,880 pounds heavy canon. This canon was constructed by Janardan Karmakar and it is one of the largest canons that can be seen in India. The length of this weapon is around 17 feet and that is why it is so famous in West Bengal. You will be shocked to know that to power this canon, you will require more than 17 kg of gunpowder. Even though this weapon was constructed in 1637, you will not be able to tell its age. It is so well-maintained that it looks as good as new.
Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan named this canon, Dacca. If you notice the inscriptions on the weapon, you will find different statements provided by major rulers of that time.
The distance between the Murshidabad bus stand and Jahan Kosha is- 2.5 km.
By reading the places mentioned in the above part of this blog, you must have understood that all these sites are located pretty close to the heart of Murshidabad city. As these places are situated inside the Murshidabad town, you will have no problem exploring all of them. A great way to see these sites is by renting a Tonga. You will genuinely feel like royalty while riding a horse carriage and exploring the past glory of Murshidabad. If you are a lover of history, you will genuinely love Murshidabad. Even though you can visit there during different parts of the year, you will enjoy yourself the most during the winter months. The climate over there between November to February is quite comfortable. We hope you got most of your doubts cleared regarding Murshidabad by reading this blog. So, without wasting much time, start packing your bags and enjoy yourself!