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West Bengal - Murshidabad
Baharampur and Murshidabad are twin cities. Train takes 5 hours from Sealdah, Kolkata to Baharampur but you can also avail buses from Esplanade. A lot of hotels are available in different ranges in both Baharampur and Murshidabad. WBTDC tourist lodge which is 15 minutes away by rickshaw from Baharampur railway station is a very good lodge to stay.
Once upon a time Baharampur was the capital of British Empire. Murshidabad and Baharampur both had an immense importance in political scenario of Bengal. Karnasubarna, the old capital of Bengal is a near by place of Baharampur and Murshidabad. Muksudabad, the old name of Murshidabad was given by the name of Muksud Khan but different other opinions also exist regarding this. Chohun Setun fort, a fort built on just 40 pillars is now destroyed with time.
The name of Siraj Ud daula, the last independent king of Bengal is associated with Murshidabad and attraction of Murshidabad in the list of tourist destinations of Bengal is immense. Mirjafor and Mirkashim were the two kings of Bengal after Siraj. Plassey, a town 53 km away from Baharampore is famous for the battle of Plassey. Siraj ud Daula lost the battle due to Mir Zafar and a few other of his generals becoming traitors, assisting the British instead. The famous mango garden had 108 different kinds of mangoes in it but all of it is history now. Now, Murshidabad is enlisted as a world Heritage site by UNESCO.
Barack field, situated at a distance of half km from Baharampore bus stand is the witness of the beginning of sepoys mutiny in 1857. In remembrance of the martyrs, a pillar has been built after 100 years of Sepoys revolution. It is also known as Indian Rebellion or Indian Mutiny. This place is densely populated with hospitals, schools and Government offices.
Hazarduary, the main attraction of Murshidabad is situated at a distance of two and half km from Murshidabad railway station. King Humayun Jar made Hazarduary spending 18 lacs. The Hazarduary, an 80 feet tall and 425*200 feet 3 storied palace consists of 9 galleries, 1000 doors among which 900 are real and 100 are non-functional. The library of Hazarduary has more than 10792 books. Different kinds of pictures, antique collection of furnitures, 2700 weapons, more than 400 oil paintings, flower vases, wall clocks maintained in Hazarduary will take you a couple of centuries back. Clock room, 18 feet lengthy war shooter, Big imambara (a maze), Wasef Manjil is situated at the back side of the palace, Madina masjid made in the memories of king Siraj uddaula’s mother is situated at the front side of Hazarduary. It is thus the prime attraction of Murshidabad.
There are more places for those who want to check out old architectures. Kuthi palace of Jagat seth, Kathgola, palace of Singh Duga and Lakshmipath Duga, Adinath temple, four storied palace at Nandankanan, Small Imambada are some of the places where you can experience the super engineering and aesthetic skills of the architectures of that period of time.
Nasipur palace of Kirti Chand Bahadur, Mohandas asram, Jafraganj Deuri which is now Nimakharam Deuri depicting Italian architecture, two war shooters of Mirjafhar gifted by British, Chalk masjid, Hirajheel, Kadam Sarif, Katra which is 40*7(1/2) meters stretched with its 67 steps and 22 meters tall mosque, are the interesting destinations of Murshidabad.
Pearl Lake is situated at a distance of 3 km from Hazarduary. The palace which was there beside Perl Lake or Laldighi is now destroyed. Jaikali temple, Mahishmardini, Shiva temple can also be seen.
Saidabad, a place situated on the way to Hazarduary is renowned for its palace and temples. Armani church and Kunjghata king’s palace should be seen if you go to Saidabad. You need to have some time in your hand if you plan to see Kashimbazar palace, a palace situated in between Baharampore and Murshidabad. Terracotta architecture is also prominent in different temples of Kashimbazar palace.
Bera and Maharam are two of the big festivals of Murshidabad. Many tourists come to Baharampore on these occasions.
Private cars, auto, rickshaws are the mode of communications of Murshidabad. You can contract an auto for a whole day to visit Baharampore/Murshidabad/Kashimbazar.
People who take a car they can also cover Dahapara, Kiriteshwari, Baranagar along with it. The Kiriteshwari temple, a temple situated at a distance of 1 km from Hazarduary is the oldest temple of Murshidabad district. Dahapara, a 4 km away destination from Hazarduary is the birth place of Jagadbandhu sundar. The temple and asram of Dahapur are the places of interests. Karnasubarna, an 11 km away destination from Baharampur is famous for its Buddhist culture. Arguably, Karnasubanrna was the capital of King Sasanka.
If you are still high on your energy then you have many more temples to visit. Barnagar temples, Bbhabaniswar shiva temple, Gopal temple, Raj Rajeswari temple, Ganesh temple, Jor banglo shiva temple are there to satiate you.
Ajimganj, Jiaganj are two near by cities where Jain cultural influence is prominent. Manigram, a village at a distance of 33.5 km from Baharampore is famous for the only mosque with terracotta architecture. Savoring the taste of the sweets of Manigram is a nice experience before you come back to Kolkata.
To reach Murshidabad, it is ideal to hire a car from Kolkata, and return the same day. Trains are not advised, due to poor service. If you want to make a night stay, then stay at Baharampur.
Plassy: Plassey town is directly connected by railway from Kolkata. It takes 4:30 hours to reach Plassey from Sealdah by Lalgola passenger. The battle field of Plassey is 2 km away from the town. The mango garden which was very popular in that era is not there anymore. One mango tree was taken to England in 1879 as a memory of Plassey win. The attractions of Plassey are not that prominent now as Bhagirathi River changed its direction and not many Palash flowers are also visible but the 15 meter tall pillar in the Plassey battle field made by the British in celebration of winning the battle, is still there.