Had been to Malda recently with some work. I have passed Malda many times, mostly on my way while I was visiting north Bengal. But many of you may surely know that Malda also has a rich history. It was the capital of Bengal, before Murshidabad robbed it of the honor.
Left home at half three O’ clock in the morning. My wife and daughter also accompanied me, as I assured them that my work would be over in a day and there were indeed a few things to see in Malda.
Reached Bardhaman town by five, while it was still dark. Took West Bengal state highway #7. Initially chose a wrong turn, which resulted to half an hour of extra driving. The road was good, though is undivided and two lane. I was going to reach a place called Moregram (which connects SH-7 with NH-34, the main highway to North Bengal) but for some reason traffic on that stretch of road was blocked on that day and all vehicles were diverted from Panchgram towards a place known as Palsanda, which again took some more time.
I was driving on this stretch of NH-34 (possibly the number has changed) after at least three years. Was glad to see that the road condition has definitely improved much. Many sections have been converted into a divided four lane section.
There are still few two lane undivided stretches.
A toll booth in the completed section.
Farakka barrage from a distance, as photography of it is not allowed. The two lane road over the bridge was completely broken.
Four lane starts again after crossing the bridge.
Road development work was progressing fast, I could see. Malda town should also have a proper bypass in next few months. Driving over the much dreaded Kaliachak town (which took anything from twenty minutes to maybe over two hours earlier), was just a breeze this time.
Stayed at Hotel Royal Park Malda
. Though nothing fancy, was satisfied with their service. Just meters off the main highway, it offered a car parking space, large well ventilated rooms and decent Indian foods.
View from the second floor. The railway line is visible.
Cars are being washed opposite to the hotel on the main highway.
Car parking area of the hotel, from my floor.
As I became busy for the rest of the day with some official work, the next morning I went out for some sightseeing. First I went to see Baroduari (twelve gate) mosque.
Please allow me to show a picture of me and my daughter (in the right) in front of the mosque.
This mosque actually has eleven doors, though it is called Baroduari (twelve doors) mosque.
Few more pictures.
This tower is called Firoz Minar. 25.6 meter high, it was built 1489 by an Abyssinian named as Saifuddin Firoz, who later became sultan after killing Barbak Shah. May be climbed by a stairway of 73 steps.
This gate is called Salami Darwajah. Guns or cannons were fired from this gate, mainly for ceremonial purposes.
The backside of the gate.
This is Kadam Rasul mosque. It earlier had the Prophet Muhammad’s footprint etched in stone.
The “Musafirkhana” or the guest house, now in ruins.
Some other part of the mosque.
This gate is called Lukachuri Darwajah. It was so named because common folklore was that the Sultans used to play hide and seek here with his wives.
This building is called Chika mosque. Though it is called a mosque, the board erected by the archeological survey of India mentioned that it was actually a mausoleum and it was said that Sultan Hussein Shah used it as a prison. It was called Chika mosque because once it was infested by bats.
Over six feet thick at the base, this wall might possibly be some defensive fortification structure to protect the town. A local called it Ghorashal (horse-stable).
This building was called Tantipara mosque.
Next we visited the India Bangladesh border at Mohodipur. Initially I did not get close to the border and watched it from a distance. But it was the guards (Border Security Force) who actually encouraged us to go near the actual border. The kind gentlemen who apparently was the in charge in that border outpost was also very kind. They showed us where to park our car and after verifying our identities, they even allowed us to climb atop Kotwali Darwaja (another historical gate, now in ruins), which served as the Indian boundary. But sorry they did not allow us to take any picture.
After having our lunch we went to see the Adina forest. It is a small man made forest with a dear park inside. Nothing great but it was very peaceful and you may consider also having a look. And I request everybody who may be travelling from south Bengal towards Siliguri using this road (NH-34), to visit Adina Mosque
, if they are travelling in daytime. The largest mosque ever to be built in our Indian subcontinent, It is located just fifty meters off the main highway. It is now in ruins and is an heritage sight, no religion been practiced here anymore.
Located close, this is called Eklakhi mausoleum. Built entirely of brick, it was built possibly in the year 1433AD with one lakh rupees.
They were several other attractions in Malda as well but could not cover any more in a single day. The next day I had to return back to my home in Calcutta.
Thanks for reading.