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Lalbagh, Murshidabad is located on the bank of Bhagirathi River. The Nawab of Murshidabad Murshid Kuli Khan made the city the capital of Sube Bangla, comprising Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Historical research reveals that this district had been capital of King Shasanka in the 7th century AD. Perhaps the Pala dynasty ruled this region, including the famous king Mahipala. This triangle shaped district has been divided into two parts of broad political and geographical region. The right side land has the pre dominant characters of a plateau and was known as Gouda. The left side land is a formation of Gangetic alluvial deposits and was known as Bangla. Both the left side and right side land together was called Gouda-Bangla.
Hazarduari Palace, which means palace with thousand doors has 1000 doors, combination of 100 actual doors and 900 false doors. This palace was built keeping one tactics, that if any predator tried to do something wrong and tried to escape, would be confused between 100 real and 900 false doors and by that time he would be caught by the Nawab's (Ruler) guards. It is located in the enclosure of Nizamat Fort and on the east bank of river Bhagirathi. The palace is most magnificent edifice, architectural marvel and distinguished palace in India. The palace was built by Nawab Nazim Humayan Jah at a cost of 20.5 Lakhs and took 8 years (1829-1837). The architecture was designed by Colonel Duncan Mcleod of Bengal corps. The palace has 114 rooms, 8 lobbies and spread across 41 acres of land. The clock tower is another great and wonderful structure at Lalbagh. The clock faces the Bhagirathi River-the hand and figures are visible from the opposite bank of the river. The bell of the clock can be heard from couple of Kilometers. The clock tower which is supported by four lions was designed by Sagor Mistry was deputy of Colonel Duncan Mcleod and a native of Murshidabad.
The Imambara is located in this complex. The four storied building had been mourning place to tribute deaths of Hasan and Husain (Sons of Holy prophet Muhammad) who were killed in Karbala desert.
Wasef Manzil or the new palace has been built in the year 1800 AD as a new Mahal by the then Nawab Wasef Ali Mirza. Most of the upper structures ‘had been destroyed in an earth quake in 1887. The remains has been restored and a place of historical evidence.
Chowk Mosque has stories of love, hate and deposition. This Mosque was built by Munni Begam, who was a widow of Mir Jaffar and was considered to be unroyal. It is believed that Munni Begam was instrumental for Mir Jaffar’s defeat.
Nasirpur Palace is less than 3 KM from Hazarduari Palace and a mini replica of Hazarduari Palace and was built by Raja Kirti Chandra Sinha Bahadur in 1900 Century. This age-worn palace contains many depictions of Hindu iconography with mystical beauties. The Thakur Bari (house of gods) has the idol of principal family deity Rama Chandra Dev Thakur, including many other idols of gods. The main building of the palace has a marvelous façade with grand flight of stairs. A lavishly decorated drawing room shows cultural taste of the king. The festival of Jhulan Yatra is celebrated to pay tributes to heavenly love of Lord Krishna with Radha.
Kathgola Garden house is located in Mahimpur, just a KM away from Nasirpur Palace. This was the banking place of Jagat Seth, who is believed to be one of the oldest bankers in Indian history. A wooden stair case running up to 4th floor without any support is an architectural marvel. Jagat Seth, a Jain by belief and Marwari by caste has accumulated wealth from gems business. The Nawabs were real appreciators and collectors of gems. Jagat Seth is believed to be became rich with his Jade trade – during those days the imported green Jade from Burma was highly valued by the Mughal courtiers because of the belief that the Jade will discolor or shutter if it comes in contact with a poisonous food. The garden has large lawns, rose garden and a boating facility in the lake. Do not forget to pay a visit to 18th century Adinath (first lord of Jains) temple located in this complex.
Jafarganj centenary, as the name says is the resting place of Nawab Nazims’. The crops of the Mohammedams (a person who is Muslim by religion) is resting on right with the head towards the north and face towards the west.
Namak haram Deorhi (the traitor’s gate) is located just opposite of Jafarganj cementry. It was the residence of Mir Jaffar, the trait and the commander in chief of Nawab Siraz-Ud-Daulla – only the remains of the gate is visible. Mir Jaffar held a secret meeting with Willim Watts and Miran to plan assignation of Nawab Siraz-Ud-Daulla. Willim Watts arrived here in a disguise of Muslim lady in a Palanquin. The last independent Nawab of Bengal Siraz-Ud-Daulah was murdered in this place under a Neem tree. The British would have lost the Battle of Palasy if Nawab Siraz-Ud-Daulah was not been murdered by trait Mir Jaffar. Mir Jaffar is most hated character in the history of Bengal for his conspiracy.
Cemetery of Azim-un-nisa, Phuti Maszid, Katra Mosque, Jahan Kosha and Khosh Bag are other attractions of this century old capital of Bengal. Those places are in ruins and waiting for its destiny. If you have deep interest in historical ruins you can visit those places.
Moti Jheel (Peal Lake), a horse shoe shaped large lake located just 3 KM from Hazarduari Palace is created from the Creek of Bhagirathi River. Sang-i-dalan (stone palace), a beautiful palace made out of black basalt pillars brought from the ruins of Gour, and thus named as Sang-i-dalan. A lofty gateway, Harem and a mosque is also located in this vicinity built by Nawajesh Mohemmed Khan, the nephew and son of Nawab Alibardi Khan. In 1756 Nawab Siraz-Ud-Daulla took over the place with enormous treasures from Ghaseti Begam, the window of Nawajesh Mohemmed Khan. The Kala Masjid (black mosque) of Nawajesh Mohemmed Khan was built in 1740 AD. The mosque is rectangular in plan and is covered by three hemispherical domes. The plinth area of the mosque is 5986 sq. ft. resting on octagonal drums with ribbed decoration, the domes are crowned by lotus and finials. On the four corners of the mosque, rise octagonal minarets capped by bulbous kiosks supported on slender pillars. The shafts of the minarets are decorated with shallow niche motifs and molded bands. The portal is projected from the main wall and flanked by guldastas(flower vase) on either side. The battlemented parapet with ornate merlons adds some beauty to the building. The Mosque is a protected monument of Archaeological Survey of India. There is a mysterious chamber found near the mosque is made of bricks. There is no doors or windows to enter this chamber. It is believed that countless treasures of Nawajesh Mohemmed Khan is buried in this chamber. 65 feet Length x 23 feet Breadth x 12 feet Height plinth area 1,339 sq. ft brick chamber still stands intact. No one dared to break open this masonry box, the labors once employed for the purpose are said to have died on the spot spitting blood. Enjoy boating at Moti Jheel.
You can take the following trains from Howrah and reach Murshidabad station.