The Place : Murshidabad District : Murshidabad

Murshidabad is one of the most prominent historical places of Bengal. It was the first capital of Bengal and is tied intricately to the history of Bengal since it was here that the ‘Battle of Plassey’ took place, which changed the destiny of Bengal 200 years back. It served as an important platform for the rise of the Imperial British Power in 1857. Located along the banks of the beautiful Bhagirathi River, Murshidabad was once a prosperous capital city of the famous Nawabs of Bengal who ruled this eastern region with great grandeur. Historically, it was a thriving city of culture and art that once prospered as the Golden Period of Bengal.

Winter is the best time.

There are many trains from Kolkata. Near about 29 trains run between Kolkata and Murshidabad. However, there are only 5 direct trains from Kolkata to Murshidabad.HazarduariExp (13113), Bhagirathi Exp (13103), KoaaLalgola Express (13117) are the most preferred ones. The minimum time a train takes to reach Murshidabad from Kolkata is 3h 52m. It takes maximum 6 hours to reach Murshidabad from Kolkata by train.If you prefer to plan a long drive, from Kolkata to Murshidabad that can also be done via NH12 and reach Murshidabad within 5hours 30 minutes, you can also take Grand Trunk Road and SH7 to Murshidabad.

Hazarduari Palace is located in the campus of Kila Nizamat of Murshidabad. It was built in the nineteenth century. The foundation stone of the palace was laid on August 9, 1829, and that very day the construction work was started. William Cavendish was the then Governor-General. Now, Hazarduari Palace is the most conspicuous building in Murshidabad. In 1985, the palace was handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India for better preservation.

The Imambara – The Nizamat Imambara is the largest imambara (congregation hall) in Bengal. Its main entrance is parallel to the northern flank of the Hazarduari Palace. Surprisingly, this magnificent Imambara was built only in 7 months. It stands at an overwhelming height of 680 feet very close to the banks of the Bhagirathi River and has its own ghat which is called the Mint Ghat. This rectangular building is divided into 3 equal blocks, each with a large quadrangle. The centre quadrangle contains the single-domed Medina on a square platform and surrounded on all sides by Prayer Halls and an upper balcony covered with the ornamental stained glasses in front.

Madina Mosque – This beautiful mosque was built by Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula. It is most revered among the Muslim community because the foundation of the mosque was built with a portion of the Holy soil of Mecca. The mosque is beautifully ornamented and embellished with China tiles and the arches and walls of the mosque are adorned with engravings from the Holy Quran. Annual festivals of Muharram and Id-ul-fiter are celebrated here with great grandeur.

Jafarganj Cemetery – This cemetery houses some of the most important tombs of the royal family of Murshidabad. The notable tombs are of Siraj-ud-daula, Mir Jafar, Humayun Jah, Mir Jafar’s father Syud Ahmed Nazafi, Alivardi Khan’s sister, Shahkhanum, Mir Jafar’s widows, Munni Begam, Babbu Begam, Mohamed Ali Khan, Ismail Ali Khan and Asraf Ali Khan (the sons-in-law of Mir Jafar).

Jahankosha Canon– This cannon was built in the 17th century by a renowned craftsman of Dhaka named Janardan Karmakar. The cannon weigh about 7 tons and is 17 feet 6 inches in length and 3 feet in width. The cannon is made of a composition of 8 different metals which are gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, mercury, iron and tin that have been specifically used in measured quantity to make it rust-free from the ravages of time. It is astoundingly more than 370 years old. According to an inscription engraved on the gun, it was made at the instance of Subadar Islam Khan during the reign of Shah Jahan in 1637 AD.

Wasef Manzil– This beautiful palace was built by the last ruling Nawab of Murshidabad, Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza. This palace is situated close to the Hazarduari palace. The staircases and gorgeous marble statues of the palace are noteworthy. It has now been converted into a museum.

Moti Jheel– Moti jheel is a scenic horse-shoe shaped lake located south of Lalbagh which was excavated by Nawazesh Mohammad. The area surrounding Motijheel was once the official residence of Warren Hastings. It was also known as the ‘Company Bagh’ during the colonial era.

Katra Masjid– This mosque was built by architect Murad Farash for Nawab Murshid Quli Khan in 1723 AD. Standing on 24 meters high square plinth, this brick-built mosque is surrounded by a row of double storied domed cells. Four huge minars were built at four corners of the quadrangle, of which, one in the north-west and the other in south-west are now surviving.

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