4 July 2014

48 Hours in Murshidabad.

My internship had just ended and I, without a second thought, planned to sleep fiercely, for the whole week. But then again it was Anirban Da, who 'almost' planned on thursday to visit Murshidabad, the land of nawabs, in the weekends. We had to indecisively set out for journey,the next day. The plan being made in haste and me being careless, we did not have a great start and had to travel half the journey standing. But then, who knew we had such a lovely and lot-to-learn weekend awaiting us. 

Murshidabad is famous for the historical structures it has and the stories connected to them. So the first day we set out to explore those places and the history behind them.

The Kathgola Palace: Also called Kathgola Bagan Bari, a huge 260 bigha area, was built by Rai Laxmipat Singh Dugar Bahadur, the eldest of the four sons of Pratap Singh Dugar. The palace and the garden area has a beautiful concoction of various forms of art and culture, ranging from European, Imperial Greek to Jain.
The Palace with exotic structures


The garden entrance known as Naubat Khana Gate, has structures of fiery lions on its top which signified their loyalty to the British.

Just beside the palace was a bauli or a step well, which got filled with water from the Ganges, during the floods. 
The Step Well

Artists Dibakar Paul sculpted a marvelous Michelangelo placed alongside the palace. But sadly, the artist's hands were cutoff so that he could not craft such exotics anymore. 

Inside the palace , were Imperial structures of lion and horse (almost same as the Wills logo), a 65ft hanging staircase made of mahogany; a 300 years Belgium-Mercury Security Globe hanging from ceiling of dining room, from where all the movements through different doors can be seen at a time; pool table; a library which stocks original versions of Bernard Shaw, History of Egypt, The works of Ruskin and many more. 
A Tree- Front View

That Tree- Rear View!





The Kathgola Palace Entrance

Another attraction was The Parasnath Jain Temple, 

Parashnath Jain Temple


Jain Temple Entrance


House of Jagat Seth: Biswa Banker(Banker of the World) Jagat Seth was a title given Heeranand Sahu and later to his son Manik Chand. As the name suggests, the house was beautifully structured with rich sculptures all around. The house has an underground passage to the weapon room, 15ft below the ground. It had an eclectic collection of swords, guns and other weapons.

Exotic Lion at Jagat Seth's House

Garden at Jagat Seth's House


Hazarduari and Imambara: The name Hazarduari means a thousand doors. The palace has 1000 doors of which 900 are false and 100 are real. The sole purpose of this was to confuse any enemy while escaping. The complex has other attractions like The Imambara, Madina Mosque, Hazarduari Clock Tower and Bacchawali Tope. 
Hazar Duari

Imambara


The palace inside is now a museum. It contains several antiques including wonderful oil paintings, Italian arts, statues, weapons, palanquins, furnitures made of elephant tusk etc. 

The Imambara stands just opposite to the Hazarduari palace. The muslims come to Imambara during their religious eves. The Madina Mosque stands in between the Imambara and the Hazarduari Palace, which was built by Nawab Siraj ud Daulah for the muslims to experience Hajj and perform Namaz. The Bacchawali Tope is a cannon placed in the same complex. The cannon was fired once and the sound it made is said to have forced pregnant women in the radius of 10km, to give birth to premature babies. 

The other places we visited that day included Jafarganj Graveyard, which had 1001 crematories of 9 generations of Mir Jafar. Then we saw Azim-un-nisha's grave. Azim-un-nisha, the daughter of Murshid Quli Khan, had a habit of eating livers of infants, thus forcing her father to bury her alive. There are staircases made over the grave, so that people can walk over it. 
Jafargunj Graveyard

Woah! This scared me! 

Azim-un-nisha's grave




That was the end of the history book. Now the 2nd day, as planned as our prime focus, was the bauls. The day was exceptionally lucky for us. The previous day, the moment we got out of our house, we found a person wearing a dhoti and panjabi, his hair properly oiled and pulled back, and appearances no less than a baul or somewhat like that.His name was Baban Das Baul. Approaching him cleared all our doubts. We had planned to see their performance, click photos, shoot videos and know from them as much as possible about the baul cult. It happened just the way we had planned it. Starting from the banks of river Ganga, via a Shiv mandir, we finally went to a Kali Mandir, where all our queries were answered. Discussions ranged from mythology to modern science. 

Baban Das Baul












Owing to Anirban Da's other passion(work in TCS), we had to return that very day. But we wanted to stay for couple more days. From the marketing strategies of a chai wala(tea vendor) to the robotic blabber of the guides, it was again a remarkable travel experience for me. On our way back we planned a small trip for the bloggers on behalf of Kolkata Bloggers. Looking forward to it.



Anyway, keep visiting my blog and you may not even need a guide when you visit Murshidabad ;)



11 comments:

  1. After reading this, ek trip toh banta hai! Nice write up Ramu!

    ReplyDelete
  2. And sometimes I really hate blogger -_-"
    Amar comment post korlo na >.<

    This was a very well written blog post :-) Khub bhalo time katiyechish toh Murshidabad e.... kintu e'bar amar berate jete icche korche! :'(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cholo berate! :D abr blogpost kora jabe :P anyway thanks :D

      Delete
  3. Beautifully compiled with relevant & inspiring photographs :) .... as Shweta says - 'ek trip to banta hai' :) ..

    Cheers,
    VJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dude! Inspiring comment as well! ;) Keep visiting!

      Delete
  4. Gt to knw a lot abt d historical remains of d place n had a virtual tour! Good work! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I ma planning to visit Murshidabad after this. Very good pictures.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

    ReplyDelete

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