Exploring the Historical Wonders in Murshidabad
When I hear the name Murshidabad it brings back memories of interesting history classes. I can clearly paint a vivid picture of the royal Nawabs and their lavish lifestyles in my mind. Situated on the banks of River Bhagirathi, Murshidabad is a quaint town which does not really appear on the tourist map for most people.
Needless to say Murshidabad is a historian’s delight. When I told my friends that I am visiting Murshidabad (just 5 hours from Kolkata) for 3 days they were surprised. Instead of going for a beach vacation to Puri I chose to visit Murshidabad and click some great pictures and enjoy the quaintness of the town.
While researching online I came to know that the original name of Murshidabad was Mooksudabad and it was full of forests before it was selected to be the capital of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. It was founded by Murshid Kuli Khan, who became the Nawab (from the post of Dewan) in the year 1706. The city is named after him.
Now let’s get on with the must-see places at Murshidabad, shall we?
1. Palace of a Thousand Doors
I was eagerly waiting to see Hazarduari Palace- Palace that has thousand doors. This palace was built ages ago and only 100 doors are real and functional while the remaining 900 doors were constructed to confuse intruders. This palace houses beautiful paintings, rich architecture and timeless glassware that roots back to the Nawab’s reign. The most exotic piece of glassware is the opulent chandelier and a set of enchanting mirrors gifted by the British to the Nawab.
One of the most expansive and significant Imambaras in India faces the Hazarduari Palace. The grandeur and splendor of the architecture totally captivated me. This regal structure was built in 1837 and is a visual delight for all the ardent fans of art and architecture. If you simply love admiring paintings then you should not miss the chance of viewing the legendary painting Marshall’s celebrated Burial of Sir John Moore, which is beautifully restored
One of the most striking aspects in front of the palace is Motijheel- a huge lake which is crescent shaped that was built by Nawab Nawajes Mohammad Khan for his wife Ghaseti Begum.
4. Katra Mosque
This mosque houses the tomb of Murshid Kuli Khan, the founder of Murshidabad. The mosque was constructed between 1723-1724 and the Nawab had expressed his desire to be buried here. I spent a considerable amount of time admiring the architecture here.
After viewing each of these monuments and architectural wonders, I was glad my choice had been to venture on a different path. I hope this encourages you to explore the history and architecture that our country is such a rich source of!