The Rajbari Bawali 1/3 by Tripoto

The Rajbari Bawali

The Rajbari Bawali stands majestically amidst an idyllic Bengal village. The sprawling property once belonged to the Mondal family, a zamindar of erstwhile Bengal. Bawali is a nondescript village around 30 km from Kolkata in Achipur near Budge Budge where the 300 year old zamindar house stands. The place is steeped in history.It is said that the Mondals were originally Roys. Shovaram Roy was awarded the title of Mondal. Sovaram’s grandson Rajaram was the commander of the king of Hijli. Pleased with his bravery, the king had made him the owner of 50 villages including Budge Budge and Bawali. The family had set up its residence in Bawali. Their Zamindari flourished for yeas and Rajaram’s grandson Haradhan brought much glory to his family. He enjoyed the patronage of the East India Company and he built many temples around the village. The tradition of building temples were followed by his sons also and soon a number of temples were found in the area.
Gautam Lahiri
We were thinking of visiting such a place and located one near Budge Budge. A city based entrepreneur, armed with resources and love for history turned the Rajbari (Bengali term for a king's palace ) which belonged to erstwhile Mondal family into a heritage resting place for the city burned travelers who would like to spend couple of hours or perhaps a day or two to stay within the confines of a palace and feel the hours glide in slow speed.The palace is called the Rajbari Bawali and we drove down to experience the forgotten atmosphere of the historical edifice and visit the nearby places around it. We drove about 32 kilometers through few of the busiest sections of Kolkata, like Rashbehari Avenue, Taratola, Thakurpukur, Bibirhat, Bakrahat and finally reached the palace compound. The approach roads from the main roads are very confusing to a motorist and we had to ask local people several times as there's a labyrinth of lanes and small roads. Parking poses a bit of an issue if there's a fair held right across the palace.The neighbors around the palace were not too friendly either and asked us to park the car either in front of the palace or drive away. We chose to stay and explore.