The battle ground of Plassey lying on the banks of the Bhagirathi River holds lot of historical significance. The British East India Company defeated the last independent Nawab of Bengal Siraj-ud-Daulah in the Battle of Plassey on 23 June 1757 which decided the fate of Calcutta and India. The British built the war memorial in the same year and the statue of The Nawab was erected by West Bengal government in the recent times. Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of the Nawab’s army betrayed him by accepting bribe from Lord Clive sealing the fate of slavery for Indians for the next 200 years.

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This mosque is located inside the premises of Khoshbag which is the final resting place of the Nawabs belonging to the Afshar dynasty ruling Bengal. It has the tombs of Nawab Siraj-ud-Daulah, his wife, grandfather and grandfather’s mother. Located on the west bank of Bhagirathi River, this is a famous toursist spot.

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The cemetery of Siraj-ud-Daulah or Khoshbag as it is popularly known as is located at the Bhagirathi River bank in the west. The tomb is also shared by his wife, Lutf-un-nisa and his grandfather, Alivardi Khan. Basically Khoshbag is home to the tombs of Nawabs from the Afshar dynasty. Khoshbag covers an area of 7.65 acres of land. This is a prime holiday hotspot and thus secures a permanent place in other listings on the most notable tourist attractions in Murshidabad.

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Moti Jheel, literal meaning Pearl Lake is a charming horseshoe shaped lake located 1 kilometer south of Lalbagh. The land adjoining Moti Jheel witnessed the celebration of Lord Clive after he acquired Bengal, Bihar and Orissa in 1765. It was also home of Warren Hatings during his tenure as Political President at Nawab Nazim’s durbar in 1771 AD. Moti Jheel is also referred to as the ‘Company Bagh’ because it was occupied by East India Company for a long time. Holiday HotSpot has also found out that the only existing building in the area is the Shahamat Jang.

Following are the other leading spots within Mitijheel:

Ruins of Mitijheel Palace
Motijheel Mosque
Motijheel Cemetery

 

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Jahankosha canon also known as the Great Gun, exactly means the “Destroyer of the World” weighing 16,880 lb is 17.5 feet long with a girth of 5 feet at the touch hole end. The diameter of the touch hole is 1.5 inches and the diameter of the orifice is 6 inches. The celebrated canon is located at a short distance of 1 kilometer from Katra and was constructed in the 17th century by a craftsman named Janardan Karmakar belonging to Dhaka. There is a mosque named Kadam Sarif close to the canon which is said to house the replica of Hazrat Mohammad, the Prophet’s footprint.

The cannon is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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Murshidabad is a tourist destination of great historical significance. Once the seat of the Nawabs of West Bengal, Murshidabad still has that old charm and grandeur. Art and craft in Murshidabad is an integral part of the lives of the residents. The craftsmen of this district of Bengal are extremely skilled and different types of art and craft is practiced in the region.

Ivory and wood Craft


The first is the Ivory and wood craft which spans throughout Murshidabad and is considered to be an industry employing a large number of the residents. This craft dates back to the time of Nawabs in Bengal where the courts used to be beautifully embellished with ivory and wood items. In those times this industry ran under the patronization of the Nawabs and also the noblemen of the court. In the past the carvers of Murshidabad were deemed to be the best with masterpieces that were displayed in the museums across the world. The industry has however faced decline over the last few decades. You can still find some nicely carved objects near Khagra bazaar.

Sholapith


Art-and-Craft-murshidabad-2The Sholapith or the Indian cork craft has sustained in Murshidabad and you will get some excellent pieces of art on the items made from shola. Sholapith is basically sponge-wood milky white in color. It is soft and delicate in nature. Beautiful items are made from this wood which has a diameter of 1.5 inches and grows in the marsh lands of Murshidabad. Sholapith is extremely malleable, spongy and light. Its brilliant luster and texture makes it perfect for lovely handicraft items to enhance your home décor. This wood is specially used for making the head gear of the Bengali brides during wedding ceremonies. However, the best specimens of sholapith items can be seen during Durga Puja, one of the most elaborate ceremonies of the Bengalis where the Goddess appears beautiful with sholapith huge backdrops and also with sholapith jewelry items. All these pieces are carefully strewn by the craftsmen with intricate designs on them. Every piece appears special. Floral motifs are popular among the sholapith designs. Peacocok boats, palanquins and garlands are also common.

Bell metal or Kansa


Bell metal works or Kansa as the Bengalis refer to it is another popular craft practiced by the skilled craftsmen of Murshidabad. It is a traditional craft basically used to make utensils and are manufactured in large quantities in Kandi, Baranagar, Berhampore and Khagra.  Iron chests, betelnut cutters and locks of superlative quality are also manufactured in these areas. There is a tradition of giving bell metal utensils as gifts to a bride during wedding. It is considered to be auspicious.

Silk


murshidabad-silk-murshidabad-artProduction of murshidabad silk and making sarees and other silk garments is a huge industry in Murshidabad. The clothes especially sarees are in high demand in the local, national and also international markets. The Baluchar town in Murchidabad produces the famous Baluchari sarees which are gorgeous to look at. Rich in composition, these sarees have silk brocaded designs on a silk base with lovely colors. Floral motifs along with scenes from daily life are popular and also colors like scarlet, green, yellow and blue are preferred by women. Know More →

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The handmade artifacts of Bishnupur in Bankura are quite famous all over the world. Terracotta is the raw material with which the highly skilled craftsmen of Bishnupur create various artifacts which are magnificent in design and flawless in their shape.

Terracotta Potteries


Terracotta potteries and artifacts are Bengal’s wealth and have a long and glorious history. The theme of the artifact is usually a folk one and quite explicit in its execution. The clay used to make all the handcrafted items is gathered from the river beds, ditches and pits. Usually 2-3 types of clays are mixed to form an alloy to make the world class artifacts appreciated by people. The craftsmen still use the traditional form of kilns to bake the clay pots using firewood, dry leaves and twigs. The pots are baked at a temperature of 700-800 degree Celsius. Not only men but the women also help in creating these beautiful objects. The women potters generally work on the wheels to give the pots their round neck on the upper halves. These round necks are perfect in shape. The potters also make clay dolls and other toys for children. Most of these toys and dolls are cast in burnt clay moulds which are typical of Bishnupur.  Not only toys and pots, they also make animal figures, wind chimes and jewelry items from burnt clay or terracotta which is quite famous. The terracotta horse structures are treasured by tourists.

Dokra Metal Casting


Dokra metal casting is another interesting form of craft practiced by the tribes of Bishnupur who are known as the Dokra Damar. This eponymous crafting technique is basically done with wax and the items created have a lovely hue and texture. The process of Dokra casting is also referred to as ‘cire perdue’ technique or lost wax casting process. Dokra items have clay as their core material over which wax is coated. After the wax coating, a clay paste coating is applied on the model and dried for some time. The traditional hollow casting method is followed by which wax is replaced by another molten metal; in this case it is usually brass. A number of objects are made from dokra which include cutlery, jewelry items, lamp, chains, religious symbols, bells and many more. People who love tribal designs buy dokra objects to beautify their homes. Dokra jewelries are also popular among women. The art of okra is a surviving legacy of the region.

Handcrafted Silverware


Handcrafted silverware is also hallmark of Bishnupur, Bankura tradition of handicrafts. The art of making silver items is quite old in the region with many skilled craftsmen practicing it. Silver enameling is done on various figures of home décor to enhance the appearance and add to their charm. Filigree designs on silverware can be found in abundance in the region. The objects comprising of these designs look outstanding and delicate. Then there are items made from silver. Various figures, jewelry items, utensils are made from silver which are embellished with beautiful designs making them appear unparallel in their beauty. These can be the perfect gifts for special occasions.

Tussar Silk


Tussar Silk is produced from silkworms. It is also known as Tusser, Tushar and Tussah and the sarees made from this particular silk is very popular in India. Its popularity is due to the gold sheen and has shorter fibres. It is the chosen material for saris and also punjabis for Indian men. The gold sheen makes it appear rich textured and also shimmering. Bulk production is Tussar silk is done in India out of which around 40% is from West Bengal. The tussar silk sarees produced in Bankura are famous for their kantha stitch which is a particular type of stitching process done by hand instead of machines. Kantha stitched silk sarees are quite expensive and exquisite. Tussar silk sarees are available in various beautiful colors. Tussar silk is also used to make punjabis for men and salwar suits for ladies. These traditional apparels also appear beautiful made from this silk. Producing Tussar silk is considered to be a cottage industry in Bankura where a large number of handlooms are found. This is a tradition of Bankura and thus the weavers still maintain the conventional handloom process to produce the silk sarees. Tussar Silk is also known by another name which is Kosa Silk. Tussar Silk clothes are exported to Gulf countries, to the USA and also various European countries. Know More →

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Located in the Bankura district in West Bengal, Bishnupur is also known as Vishnupur. This town is situated in what was previously known as Rarh and is well known for its terracotta temples and a culinary delight named postor bora.

Tourist Locations at Bishnupur


Jorbangla Temple: Jorebangla Temple of Keshto Rai was erected during the 17th century by Raghunath Singha Dev II, who happened to be a local monarch. The roof of this temple is built in the chala style, which is a classical and eminently identifiable tradition of Bengali architecture. The temple also features terracotta carvings that can be described as elaborate.

Shyamrai Temple: Pancha Ratna Temple of Shyam Rai was also built by King Raghunath Singha during 1643. The walls in this temple also have the usual terracotta carvings and depict various incidents from the life of Krishna. This is also one of the bigger temples in Bishnupur.

Dalmadal Caman is historically important as well. It was said to have been used to protect the city when the Bargis or Maratha raiders attacked it.

Madanmohan Temple: The Madanmohan Temple was built by King Durjana Singh Deva during 1694 AD and it has been constructed in the Ekaratna style. It has a flat roof and is square in shape. It also features carved cornices that are topped by a pinnacle. The carvings on the temple walls are also lovely to look at and show scenes from mythological texts like Ramayana, Puranas and Mahabharat.

Rasmancha: The Rasmancha is the most age old structure in Bishnupur constructed using bricks. Bir Hambir built this pyramid like structure in 1587 and it is located right in the midst of the town. When the Rasa Festival is organized deities from all the other temples are brought to this place. Some canons, which were used during the reign of the Malla monarchs, can be seen here as well.

Lalbandh: Bir Singh built the seven lakes named Pokabandh, Shyambandh, Kalindibandh, Jamunabandh, Gantatbandh, Krishnabandh, and Lalbandh in 1658. Lakes were made for drinking water and to protect the town from enemy.

Bishnupur Fair: Newest attraction of Bishnupur is ‘Bishnupur Mela’ or ‘Bishnupur Fair’. It starts at 23rd December and ending date is 27th December near the Madanmohan Temple. Now it has become a national fair.

Bishnupur Utsav: A recent addition is the Bishnupur Utsav just after the fair. It is a classical music and dance festival in recognition of the ‘Bishnupur Gharana‘ in music.

Jogesh Chandra Museum or Acharya Jogesh Chandra Purakriti Bhawan opening time 11 am-7 pm, Entry fee Rs. 5, Telephone: (03244) 252697

Following are the other leading spots for tourists at Bishnupur:

  • Nandalal Temple
  • Chhinnamasta Temple
  • Radhamadhab Temple
  • Jugol Kishore Temple
  • Kalachand Temple
  • Mahapravu Temple
  • Radhagovinda Temple
  • Radhalaljiu
  • Sarbamangala
  • Krishna-Balaram Temple
  • Mrinmoyee Temple
  • Gumgarh
  • Radhashyam Temple
  • Pathar Durja
  • Garh Durja
  • Malleswar
  • Stone Chariot
  • Sanreswar
  • Nutan Mahal
  • Radhalaljiu Temple
  • Shreenibas Acharya’s memorial

Bishnupur is a small town and all the major tourist attractions are located in close proximity. So, one can travel these by foot or by an auto-rickshaw. However, there is also the added option of a car or an auto rickshaw.

Bishnupur History


Bishnupur presents an opportunity of heritage tourism to the tourists all over the world. Belonging to the Bankura district of West Bengal it has a glorious history and some of the best preserved terracotta temples of historical significance can be found in Bishnupur. Only 130 kilometers from the capital city of Kolkata, it is a lovely getaway from the din and bustle of busy metro life and be lost in the charm of the historical marvels.

Bishnupur was ruled by the Hindu rajas during the Gupta period and paid tribute to Emperor Samudra Gupta after which the kingdom fell into obscurity. It oscillated between being a vassal state and an insignificant independent principality. It again regained power and prestige with the Malla rulers due to which it is often known as the Mallabhum. The Malla rulers were the most illustrious ones of the kingdom with a penchant for building Vishnu temples which is the claim to fame of Bishnupur till date.  The Mallas were Vaishnavas and several terracotta Vishnu temples were built under their supervision in Bankura district during 17th and 18th centuries. These temples are the most marvelous specimens of classical architectural style of Bengal.

Bishunupur flourished under the patronage of the Malla kings of Bankura district and they made it their capital. The founder of the dynasty was Raghunath I (Adi Malla) in 694 AD whose name when translated means the ‘supreme or unique wrestler. He was also known as the Bagdi king of Bishnupur and was a Vaishnav. Adi Malla was succeeded by his son, Jay Malla followed by 40 other kings among whom Kalu Malla, Kau Malla, Jhau Malla and Sur Malla are quite well known for extending their territory and ruling the land with able hands.

During 1589 AD Bir Hambir, another famous name in history ruled the kingdom during which the worship of Madan Gopal was commenced. He is known to be the contemporary of Emperor Akbar and built the Rasmancha. Bir Hambir was converted to Vaishnavism by Srinivasa, the great devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. After Bir Hambhir, Raghunath Singh rose to power and was the first king of Bishnupur to use Singh- the Kshatriya title. The golden period in art and religion began during his rule with several temples being constructed. The Jor Bangla, Shyam Rai and Kalachand Temples and the Rasmancha were by Raghunath Singh between 1643 and 1656.

Bir Singh took the reins of the kingdom after Raghunath Singh and equally capable a ruler. He built the Lalji temple in 1658 and seven lakes named Pokabandh, Shyambandh, Kalindibandh, Jamunabandh, Gantatbandh, Krishnabandh, and Lalbandh. His queen was also a devotee of Lord Vishnu and built temples of Murali Mohan and Madan Mohan during 1655. Durjan Singh was the last ruler of the Hindu Kings in Bishnupur after which the power fell into the hands of the Muslim monarchs. Apart from the terracotta architecture, Bishnupur also gained importance for its Tussar silk and Baluchari sari along with the Bishnupur Gharana of classical music.

How to get to Bishnupur


Kolkata is the location that is most convenient if one wants to visit Bishnupur from outside West Bengal. From Kolkata one can avail buses run by Calcutta State Transport Corporation or South Bengal State Transport Corporation. These buses are available from Esplanade and the journey lasts from 4-5 hours. The distance by road is shorter than by train at 150 km.

In case one wants to take the train they can avail any of the following options:

Rupashi Bangla Express, Santragachi 6.25 am
Purulia Express, Howrah 4.50 pm
Siromoni Fast Passenger, Howrah 5.45 pm
Santragachi-Porbandar Kaviguru Express, Santragachi 9.25 pm ( Sunday only)
Rajjyarani Triweekly Express, Shalimar 6.40 am
Aranyak Express, Shalimar 7.45 am
Howrah-Chakradharpur Passenger, Howrah 11.05 pm

The journey by train covers 201 km and lasts for 3 and half hours to a shade more than 4 hours. One can also get to Kharagpur, Bardhaman, Midnapur and Durgapur from Howrah by train and then take a bus from there. One could also get to Arambag or Midnapore by bus and then take a local bus from these places to Bishnupur. These local buses are available after every 45 minutes. It takes about 3 hours to get to Bishnupur from Arambagh and from Midnapore the time is half an hour more. One might also take a bus to Bishnupur from Tarakeshwar or Asansol.

What is the ideal time to visit Bishnupur


Bishnupur experiences rather high temperatures during the summer season. So, it is better to visit it during the winters when the temperatures come down and the conditions are better.

Where to stay at Bishnupur


Bishnupur Tourist Lodge, Bishnupur
(Run by West Bengal Tourism)
Tariff: Rs. 300 – 700
Telephone: 03244-252013, 253561
Kolkata booking: 033-22437260, 22485168, 22488271.
Standard double-rooms, 4-bedded rooms and dorms are available here.

Meghmallar Hotel, Opp. Bus Stand, Bishnupur Town
Tariff: Rs. 300 – 500
Telephone: 03244-252258

Hotel Bishnupur, Bishnupur Town
Telephone: 03244-252243

Pourasabha Parytakabas

Bishnupur Lodge

Monalisa Lodge, Bishnupur Town, Bankura
Tariff: Rs. 300 – 700
Telephone.: 09831031895
Monalisa Loge is a budget option to stay in Bishnupur. It offers budget accommodation in its standard double rooms.

Bishnupur Hotel, Bishnupur
Tariff: Rs. 300 – 500

Laxmi Park Hotel, Near State Bank Of India, Gailapara, Bishnupur
Tariff: Rs. 500 – 2,000

Udayan Lodge, College Road, Bishnupur Town
Tariff: Rs. 400 – 900

Dev & Dev Lodge

Mallabhum Lodge

Nearby Places


Mukutmanipur
Forest Lodge: 22437260, 22370060-61
Hotel Aparajita: 033- 22437260

Jhilimili
03243-240217/240300, 033-22485829

Jairambati and Kamarpukur
Ramkrishna Mission- 03244-244214, 03211-244222

Koro Hills
DFO- North Division, Bankura

Botanical Garden
DFO- North Division, Bankura

Kalachand Temple

Susunia Hills
Youth Hostel -033-22480626

Sutan Forest
Forest Lodge-033-24799032/7392, 03242-250758

Amarkanan
DFO- North Division, Bankura

Bankura Beliator
DFO- North Division, Bankura

Ramkrishna Sebadal Ashram
Mandir Guest House

Biharinath Hill

Ranibandh
Ranibandh Forest Guest House

Chhander Gram

DFO- North Division, Bankura

Chechuria Eco Park
DFO, Panchet Soil Conservation
Telephone: (03244) 252189

Sonamukhi
DFO- North Division, Bankura

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Murshidabad is one of the well-known districts in West Bengal and located on the southern bank of Bhagirathi (a tributary of Ganges River). The rich history of the town can be traced in its “Mughal” roots. It used to be the capital of Bengal during the Mughal rule in India. In the year 1704 Murshid Quli Khan, the Diwan of Bengal serving during the time of Aurangzeb had transferred the capital city from Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) and renamed the city after his own name. In 1716 Quli Khan was conferred with the title of Nawab which was further followed by Murshidabad becoming its capital.

Now, Saibad being one of the prime attractions of this historically rich city has its own importance in the West Bengal tourism scene. It lays midway between Murshidabad and Berhampur. One of the primary attractions of Saibad is the American Church with a pond, garden and a graveyard that is here since as early as 1660s. A service is held every Sunday morning and it is situated near Dayamoyi Kali Bari. As per reports, the prime attraction of Saibad- the American Church had been constructed in the year 1758 and reconstructed later in 2007. The calm ambience and the neat and well-maintained surroundings serve as the main draw. Just a mere picture of this church can give you a glimpse of what actually awaits you here- a deeply gratifying touring experience marked by serenity and inner peace. This can be an ideal destination for nature lovers as well. So if you’re planning a trip to Murshidabad soon do not make the mistake of leaving out Saibad from your itinerary besides Baranagore, Cossimbazar etc

How to Reach


You would be able to reach Murshidabad by train, bus or flight. Kolkata is home to the airport that is nearest to Murshidabad.

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Wasef Manzil, alternately known as Wasef Manzil or New Palace had been constructed by Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza Khan. It is placed by the banks of the Ganges river while you’re heading towards the south from the back of Hazarduari (a major attraction here). The entire building was constructed under the able supervision of Surendra Barat, a Bengali engineer and Mr. Vivian, who was the officer of the Public Works Department of the Nadia Rivers Division. The building which shares a proximity to the Hazarduari Palace was exclusively used by the Nawab as his palace.

The 1897 earthquake had destroyed substantial portions of the palace. There were restoration attempts made later but without the second storey that had come down in minutes after the earthquake. The palace is actually built between Hazarduari Palace and Dakshin Darwaza, on the Nizamat Fort Campus. It’s just parallel to the Bhaghirathi- Hooghly River and just opposite the South Zurud Mosque of the campus.

The palace had majorly been designed as a castle with tiny corner turrets on the corners. The palace, which is now maintained by the Archeological Survey of India has a semi-circular pediment with the Nawabs of Murshidabad’s coat of arms on it. The garden space in front of the palace has several marble statues and a fountain. Framed by a neat iron railing, the palace has a Norman archway as the main entrance. The statues and staircases are etched out of marble and serve as tourist attractions as well.

How to reach Wasef Manzil


The driving distance from Murshidabad to Wasef Manzil is 2 kms. Depending upon traffic conditions you can reach this place within 5-10 minutes.

Transportation


Murshidabad is a major tourist hot spot in West Bengal. It receives thousands of footfalls every year and the number is increasing with every passing day. You can reach Murshidabad by train, bus or flight since it is well connected by all these routes. From Murshidabad you can rent a car for Wasef Manzil. The two nearest railway stations are Baharampur Court and Murshidabad railway Station.

Kolkata has the nearest 9to Murshidabad) airport connected with flights to major cities.

Accommodation


Grand World Hotel and Hotel Sonar Bangla are the two nearest accommodations near Wasef Manzil.

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