Murshidabad: A Thousand Doors

Tripoto
4th Jun 2015

Nizmat Imambara

Photo of Nizmat Imambara by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Katra Mosque

Photo of Katra Mosque by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Hazarduari

Photo of Hazarduari by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Hazarduari

Photo of Hazarduari by Sarbajaya Bhattacharya

Once the capital of Bengal in the Mughal era, Murshidabad is a now a major town on the map of West Bengal. However, we shall look at Murshidabad through the faded lens of history, and now through our new and improved lens. We will therefore travel to those locations that transport us back in time, to the time of the Nawabs. Here are some of the places you must visit in Murshidabad:

Hazarduari: The most famous landmark of Murshidabad is a palace built in the nineteenth century. Its name- hazarduari literally means a thousand doors- the number of doors the palace supposedly has. A sprawling structure, the palace is now a museum and a library. 

Imambara: This was commissioned by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah after the Imambara built during Siraj-ud-Doula was destroyed in a fire. It is the largest Imambara in Bengal, and probably the largest one in India

The Katra Mosque: Built in the eighteenth century, the mosque is a beautiful structure which also houses the tomb of Nawab Murshid Quli Khan who commissioned its construction.

Moti Jheel: This horse-shoe shaped lake was excavated by the husband of the famous Ghasseti Begum. it is said that Lord Clive celebrated the acquisition of the Dewani of Sube Bengal in the palace adjoining the lake. Lord Hastings apparently stayed here for a while.

These four places are only some of the more famous examples of historical places in Murshidabad. There are more mosques to see, more palaces to visit. For the interested, there are also the famous Murshidabad silk sarees to buy. You will not find a dearth of things to do or see in Murshidabad. 

Photos: 

"Nizamat Imambara 2" by Debashis Mitra - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nizamat_Imambara_2.jpg#/media/File:Nizamat_Imambara_2.jpg

"Hazarduari Palace front view" by Banibrata Mandal - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hazarduari_Palace_front_view.JPG#/media/File:Hazarduari_Palace_front_view.JPG

"Katra Mosque - Murshidabad" by Ansuman Bhattachraya - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katra_Mosque_-_Murshidabad.jpg#/media/File:Katra_Mosque_-_Murshidabad.jpg

"Hazarduari Palace West Bengal" by Shaunak Roy - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hazarduari_Palace_West_Bengal.JPG#/media/File:Hazarduari_Palace_West_Bengal.JPG

The capital of Bengal during the Mughal period, Murshidabad stands at a distance of around 230 kilometers from the state's current capital. The best way to get to Murshidabad from Kolkata is by train, which takes around six hours. Murshidabad is best visited between October and March to avoid extreme heat. Finding accommodation is usually not a problem, but as always, make your bookings in advance to be safe rather than sorry!