Friends and gentlemen,
Now I shall like to show you few more places located in Murshidabad town, which I visited on the third day. Murshidabad is locally known as Lalbagh. Among the first is Hazarduari Place, the palace with a thousand doors (actually there are about nine hundred doors that do open, rest one hundred are all fake doors, resembling original ones). It is possibly the most famous among all palaces in West Bengal. It was built by Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah Bahdoor. Foundation stone was laid on 9th August 1829 and the building was completed on 1837. It contains a museum which is a must see. In case you ever visit it, I suggest that you spend at least a couple of hours to visit it thoroughly. Please see a list of all things on display here
In case anyone is visiting it, please remember to deposit your cameras and mobiles at the entrance gate, as they are not allowed inside. If you forget, you have to walk back long all the way to the main entrance. Only mobiles without any cameras in it are allowed. This palace complex also houses the Nizamat Imambara, the clock tower and the Bacchawali Tope.
This is the clock tower. The sound of the hourly bell may be heard from adjacent parts of the town. On the four corners of the roof of the ground floor are placed four masonry shields, which again are supported by four masonry lions.
This is Bachhawali Tope. This is older than the palace or the nawabs. The cannon was possibly made between the 12th and 14th century, again possibly by the Muslim rulers of Gour (in nearby Maldah district).It originally lied on the sand banks at a nearby place called Ichaganj, though it is unknown how it reached there. Near the muzzle, on the upper half of the barrel surface, are 14 lines (7 on each side). These lines are made of brass. The cannon weigh around 7657 kg. And for a single shelling it requires about 18 kg of gunpowder. It is said that this cannon was test fired only once and that time it produced a huge explosive sound. This sound was so severly intense that it made most of the pregnant women of the city to give premature birth to their children and this cannon is believed to get its name from there. Bachhawali means the one who produces child birth while the word tope means cannon. (Source-Wikipedia)
This is the Nizamat Imambara (a Muslim holy site), built by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah in 1847 AD, when the older Imambara built by Siraj-Ud-Daulla standing at this very place was destroyed by fire. It is open to the visitors for a few selected days of the year.
Next we went to visit Khosh Bagh, which lies on the opposite bank of the river. I chose to take a boat, though it is possible to reach there by car taking a much longer route. The boats also occasionally ferry cars and one may try it at his own risk.
A view if the river.
This is an earlier picture taken by me seven years ago, at exactly the same spot.
Khosh Bagh literally means garden of pleasure. It was built by Nawab Alivardi Khan over 7.65 acres of land. It has a 2,471 feet long surrounding wall. Inside this square shaped flat roofed chamber and surrounded by all sides with an arcade balcony, here lies the graves of Nawab Alivardi Khan, his mother, Siraj Ud Daulla and his wife (Lut’funnisa Begum). Lut’f un nisa refused to join the zenana mahal or the harem of Mir Jafar. She was actually a Hindu slave girl named Raj Kunwar at the service of Amina Begum (Siraj’s mother). Her beauty and pleasing personality possibly attracted the young prince. At his request Amina Begum gave away Raj Kaunwar to Siraj, who married and renamed her Lutf-Un-Nisa Begum. She gave birth to the only child of Siraj (a daughter). After the battle of Plassey she, along with her daughter were exiled to Dacca (Dhaka, now in Bangladesh) in 1758 AD and were interned at a place called Jinjira palace. She was allowed to be returned in 1765. Till her last days she personally visited these graves every evening, read verses from Quran and lighted candles. After her death in November 1790 she was also buried in Khosh Bagh, by the side of her husband.
The bodies of the royal family members are kept here.
A mosque inside Khosh Bagh
A view of the mango trees nearby.
Nearby is the Roshni Bagh (meaning garden of light), housing the mausoleum of Nwab Suja-Ud-Daulla (1727-39 AD), who was possibly the best of all the Murshidabad rulers. It contains a beautiful garden.
A mosque in the same compound.
Now I shall show you few landmarks of Murshidabad town. This is known as Tripolia Gate, though Mr. P. C. Majumder in his book “The Musnud of Murshidabad” (printed 1905) had mentioned that the word Tripolia gate actually meant three gates, all built by Suja-Ud-Daulla.
I do not know the name of this gate. There are many such gates there.
Just south of the grand Hazarduari palace, this is Wasef Manjil
or the new palace, built by Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza Khan Bahadur (the last Nawab of Murshidabad). I had entered inside earlier but this time my “Toto” (electric rickshaw) driver told me that entry there was not allowed. Earlier it contained beautiful statues, pictures, furniture, etc. At past this palace had an artificial rock garden and had it’s own electric power station, before electricity reached the town.
I also visited Cossimbazar, few kilometer south of Murshidabad, which is also historically very important. Some places I visited Sripur Palace, which the locals refer to as “Burra Rajbari” (larger king’s house). It is really a huge palace, larger even than Hazarduari palace. As this is a private palace, entry needs permission and I did not visit inside.
This is the “Chota Rajbari” (smaller king’s house). Recently renovated, entry is allowed here for a small fee. Many objects are on display.
This is the nearby “Saidabad House”.
This is “Saidabad Palace”.
Lastly this is Kunjaghata Palace
of Maharajah Nanda Kumar
Though now in ruins, it is also historically very important. Please excuse me for this poor quality picture (as it was shot with my mobile phone) but this is the only one I have. Entry again not allowed inside.
That is all. Please feel free to contact me if have any question and I shall try to answer. Excuse me if my posts were too long.