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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Image Source: Flickr

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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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Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Pallab Seth, Jyoti Prakash Bhattacharjee, Viejito, Srikanth S

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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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Baranagore or Baranagar is famous for its well-known temple compound which was constructed by Rani Bhabani (1714-1793), who was the Zamindar of Natore in Murshidabad. She wanted to build Baranagar as largely as Kashi. Baranagore is actually a temple complex, consisting of around 12 temples, stretching for around half kilometres. Baranagar is often referred to as Bengal’s Kashi.

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Hazarduari, also known as the Hazarduari Palace, is the main tourist attraction in the Murshidabad district, West Bengal. The distance from Kolkata, the state capital is around 219 km by roadways.You canalso reach there by train.

History of Hazarduari Palace and Museum


Hazarduari Palace and Museum entry at early morning, murshidabad, West Bengal

Hazarduari Palace and Museum

Hazarduari, which means the palace with thousand doors, is the artistic creation of Duncan McLeod, the well-known British military engineer. The construction work of the entire palace took nine years and the whole palace was built with Italian marble. There are three floors and about 120 rooms in the palace. It is situated at Lalbaagh at around two and half kilometers from the Murshidabad Railway Station. Continue reading

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The Char Bangla Mandir or temple is located in Azimganj, Baranagore of Murshidabad district. It was built by Rani Bhavani, the Queen of Natore in 18th century. The temple complex comprises of twin Ek-Bangla temples heavily decorated entrance and the temples standing on 3 arches supported by pillars measuring 0.85m till the first tier and from there to the second tier measuring 0.62m. The main entrance of the complex is west facing and the dimension of each temple is 6.90×7.80m. The height of each of the temple is 5.50m. The temples are exquisite examples of ornamentation on terracotta of Bengal. The temple in the east also has delicate plaster work on it. Some scenes from Hindu puranas and epics have been depicted on the decorated bricks.

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Adinathji Mandir is situated in the premises of Kathgola gardens which also houses the famous Kathgola Palace. Adinathji Mandir is also known as Pareshnath Temple dedicated to Bhagwan Adishvar. The deity is almost 90 centimeters high sitting on padmasana posture and is believed to be 900 years old. Lakhsmipat Singh Dugar built it in 1933 with white marble making it look pristine. The mandir is absolutely white in color with onion shaped domes. The architecture of the Mandir is influenced by Moghul, European, Rajasthani, traditional Jain and Bengali styles. It houses 17 images of Jain Tirthankaras.

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Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Jyoti Prakash Bhattacharjee

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