Explore THE HISTORY

The district derives its name from Murshidabad. Emperor Aurangzeb sent his Diwan Kartalab Khan at Murshidabad for collection of revenue during his regime. Emperor became very pleased with Kartalab Khan for his performance and named him as Murshid Kuli Khan. Murshid Kuli Khan shifted provincial revenue headquarter from Dacca to Murshidabad in 1704 A.D. Another school is of opinion that Muksudan Das, a follower of Nanak, founded this city during the regime of Hussain Saha (1493-1519 A.D.).

Murshidabad is the northern most district of Presidency Division of West Bengal and is located at its northern eastern boundary. It is lying centrally in the lower Ganga valley. The area of district is 5324 sq. Km. Population is 7102430. There are 05 (five) sub-divisions & 26 (twenty six) Blocks and number of Municipalities stand 07 (seven).

The river Bhagirathi, flowing from north to south through the district, divides it into two almost equal portions which in their geology, their characteristics, their agriculture and even the religion of their inhabitants form a striking contrast to each other. The tract to the west of river is locally known as ‘Rarh’ and the track to the east as ‘Bagri’.

Since the time of Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan (1704-1725 A.D.) to last Nawab Mirjafar (1757 to 1760 A.D.) many beautiful sculptures, buildings of endearing nature have been built which attract the tourists even from abroad all the year around.

Murshidabad is truly an historical place, replete with historical & tourist spots. If approached with academic interest it will take at least 12-15 days even a more to cover the whole. A few notable / distinguished tourist spots are here only mentioned sub-divisions-wise for a ready reckoner to the tourists.

Berhampore
Barrack Square witnessed first war of Independence i.e. mutiny of Sepoy broke out at 25th Feb. 1857 A.D. There is “Saheed bedi” situated at south-western side of this Barrack Square. There is an Armenian church built 1858 A.D. It is the oldest church of Murshidabad. There is Dutch Cemetery built in 1632 A.D. which is taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India. Krishna Nath College built in the year 1853 after the structural design of Oxford College. Palace of Kunjaghata built in 1757 A.D. where Maharaj Nanda Kumar lived. At present it is all in ruins. At Cossimbazar there are “Bara Rajbari” and “Choto Rajbari”. Bara Rajbari was built after the grand design of European style where Rabindranath Thakur presided over the first “Bangiya Sahitya Sanmelan”. Karnasubarna, 14 km. away from Berhampore, first came into the notice of Calcutta University in 1962 A.D. Many glorious relics are found there of King Sasanka of Gour as well as the relics of many dwelling house of Vikshuks (Buddhist). Now it is taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India. Sargachi Ashrama is the oldest Ramakrishna Ashram built by Swami Akhandananda, disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
Lalbagh
Amongst the 5 sub-divisions Lalbagh is the most prominent place where most of the tourist objects are located. Most of the tourist places are lying within 4-5 km. except a few. Here is the palace of last Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad. It is the most conspicuous & imposing building in the city of Murshidabad widely known as Hazarduari i.e. the house with thousand doors. It stands on the eastern bank of river Bhagirathi. The foundation stone of palace was laid in 1829 A.D. and completed in 1837 A.D. during the time of Nazim Humayun Jar. Its plan was conceived by General McLeod Dancan. The palace contains artistic treasurs, rare pictures, costly jewellery, old arms and many valuable books etc. The Imambara, on the north of the Palace, built in 1847-1848 A.D. is the largest Imambara in the West Bengal. Both Hazarduari & Imambara are under Indian Govt. of Archaeological Deptt. by now. Madina is situated inside Imambara- probably built in 1755 A.D. by Siraj-ud-daulla. There is a watch Tower built in 1824-38 A.D. in front of Hazarduari. Nawab Wasef Ali Merza built New Palace or Wasef Manzil in 1904-1906 A.D. after the design of western sculpture of 19-20 centuries. At present it is taken over by Govt. of West Bengal.

Murshid Kuli Khan built Katra Masjid in 1723-24 A.D.. He was buried there after his death 1725 A.D. Now it is taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India. is a very Motijheel historical place, though at present there are no signs of palace-only some portions of entrance are visible and only Mosque is over there, though not in good condition. It is lying between Berhampore to Lalbagh. Many a important events took place at Motijheel during the time of Nawabs. It is built in 1750-51 A.D. Khoshbagh, 1 km away from Bhagirathi, where Nawab Alivardi Khan, his mother, Nawab Siraj-ud-dullah and his wife Lutfa and other members of Nawab were buried. It was built in 1756 A.D.

Temple of Adinath situated at Kathgola garden is the most famous Jaina Temple in the district of Murshidabad. Lakshmi Path Singh Dugur & Dhanpad Singh Dugur, the affluent merchants of Jiaganj, built this Palace in 1873 A.D. Palace of Nasipur was constructed after the style of Hazarduari. There is a temple of Raghunath inside the Palace. Residence-cum-garden of famous merchant Jagath Seth was deep buried in the waters of Bhagirathi. The residence, as seen now-a-days, was made by his successor.

Temple of Radha Madhab is situated at Kumarpur near Motijheel in 1609 A.D. Both communities – Hindu & Muslim used to talk a lot about this deity. Temple of Kiritesware is 24 km. away from Berhampore. According to Purana crown of Sati dropped here during “Dakhyayjya”. A cluster of temples of Baranagar at Ajimganj is very attractive built by Rani Bhavani, who desired to have turned it out 2nd Baranasi.
Cossimbazar
Cossimbazar, is a census town in the Indian state of West Bengal. The town on the Hooghly River in the Murshidabad district was at one time included in the Murshidabad municipality.

Though the history of the place cannot be traced back earlier than the 17th century, it was of great importance long before the foundation of Murshidabad. From the first European traders set up factories here, and after the ruin of Satgaon by the silting up of the mouth of the Saraswati river it gained a position, as the great trading centre of Bengal, which was not challenged until after the foundation of Calcutta.

The English, Dutch and French East India companies all maintained factories at Cossimbazar. In 1658 the first English agent of the East India Company (EIC) was established there, and in 1667 the chief of the factory there became an ex officio member of council. In English documents of this period, and till the early 19th century, the Hooghly River was described as the “Cossimbazar river”, and the triangular piece of land between the Hooghly, Padma and Jalangi, on which the city stands, as the island of Cossimbazar. The proximity of the factory to Murshidabad, the capital of the Nawabs of Bengal, while it was the main source of its wealth and of its political importance, exposed it to a constant risk of attack. Thus in 1757 it was the first EIC factory to be taken by Siraj-ud-dowlah, the Nawab; and the resident with his assistant Warren Hastings were taken as prisoners to Murshidabad.

The town was the seat of the Maharajas of Cossimbazar. The maharajas were descended from Kanta Babu, the moneylender (banian) of Warren Hastings, who was governor-general of Bengal from 1773 to 1785. The majarajas built a fine palace in Cossimbazar, portions of which were made of carved stone taken from the palace of Chait Singh, Maharaja of Benares. Maharaja Sir Manindra Chandra Nandy (1860 – 1929) was a philanthropist and patron of education who figured in the Bengal Renaissance.

Cossimbazar Kuthi is a relatively less popular tourist spot in Murshidabad. The bazaar area used to be famous due to its silk production which has reduced these days. However, the Cossimbazar Kuthi stall stands at present. During its heyday Cossimbazar Kuthi used to be the residence of Babu Jagabandhu Roy, who was a high class Kulin during the Nawab’s time. He also became the chief of the Cossimbazar Silk Factory in 1760AD. It is also known that Job Charnock had worked in the capacity of assistant in this Kuthi for INR 300.
Kandi
At Gokarna, 4-5 km away from Mahalandi, “ Singh Bahini Dalan Mandir” was conceived & constructed in 1744 A.D. Near it ancient temple of Nrisingh Dev is situated which Gangaram, the Zamindar reconstructed in 1580 A.D.Panchthupi is named after Five stupas of Buddha. Here Jagannath Prosad Ghosh Hazra built temple of Panchayatan in 18 century A.D. which bears eloquent testimony to best work of terracotta in this district.
Domkal
At Chak-Islampur “Chandrakanta Lalit Mohan Resam Khadi Samiti” has earned reputation all over India by way of supplying Silk Saris of high quality.
Jangipur
Kherur Mosque is 2 km. away from Bhumisar . Beautiful works of terracotta art raises admiration & wonder of this building. It is now taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India. Residence of Zamindar of Nimtita is 5 km away from Bajitpur where Satyajit Roy has made shooting for his famous films ‘Jalshaghar” & “Debi”. Manindra Narayan in 1897 A.D. made Nimtita Hindu theatre where Sisir Bhaduri acted.

Farakka Barrage, situated at North-Western of Murshidabad, is a wonderful construction of modern India – 2 km 65 meter long this barrage is the longest barrage of world. Farakka Thermal project here is made. These, in short, are the most conspicuous tourist spots in this distinct. Besides these, there are hundreds of historically important tourist places which are equally important and sometimes even more to the tourist.
Roshni Bag
Roshni Bag is the mausoleum or muqbara of Suja-ud-Daulah located in Murshidabad district. Suja-ud-Daulah dies in 1739 and was buried in this spot. When translated in English it means ‘garden of lights’.

Once you enter the premises, you will notice a 3 domed brick built mosque in the northwestern part stands enclosed in a walled compound. The mausoleum of Suja-ud-Daulah can be seen from the mosque as a rectangular structure.

Arriving at the spot is easy by a car; taxi or you can simply walk to it if you are staying around. This place is of utmost significance to the students of history and archaeology.
Farah Bag
Farah Bag is the third of the garden trio in Lalbagh which means ‘garden of pleasure’. Farah Bagh is the smallest among the garden trio and is located on the banks of Bhagirath River. Dahapara, the famous settlement of the Qanungo is situated on the south-western part of Farah Bagh. Farah Bagh is reckoned for its beauty and charm and Ali Jah of the Nawabs used to stay here after an extensive tour of his lands. It has canals, palaces, reservoirs, fountains which make it immensely attractive. The common myth about Farah Bagh is that fairies used to come down to this paradise on earth to spend their time.
Nasipur Palace
According to Holiday HotSpot, Nasipur Palace, old name Mahimapur Raj Bari is one of the primary attractions of Murshidabad which generally brims with visitors. Constructed in 1723-24 by Murshi Quli Khan this imposing structure has high minarets, huge domes and also a cemetery of the Nawab just below the staircase.

Ramachandra Temple, one of the largest temples in Murshidabad is inside the palace compound. The Nasipur Palace is only 1.5 Kilometers from the Railway station on the Berhampore-Lalgola route.
Jain Temples of Azimganj
Azimganj small town in Murshidabad is home to 7 Jain temples of immense historical, architectural and spiritual value are located. They are:

Sri Neminathji Temple, Azimganj was built in Samvat 1943 by Shree Singh covering an area of 2933, 2616 Sq. Mt.
Sri Padam Prabhuji Temple, Azimganj was constructed in 1880 AD by Yati Bijay Chandji Khattargachhit covering an area of 764.0173 Sq. Mt. The idols are 500 years old.
Sri Sumatinathji Temple, Azimganj was built in 1856 AD by Uttam CHandji Nahar and was rebuilt by Setab Chandji Nahar in 1897 AD. This temple covers an area of 421.8674 Sq. Mt.
Sri Sambhavnathji Temple, Azimganj was founded in 1886 AD by Rai Dhanpat Singhji Dugar and covers an area of 3665.6731 Sq. Mt. This temple is home to the larges idol of Jain Swtambaras in Eastern India.
Sri Chintamani Parasnathji Temple, Azimganj was built in 1888 AD by Manhot family and the idols are 500 years old.
Sri Shantinathji Temple, Azimganj was constructed in 1873 AD by Gulab Kumari Bibi and one of the idols belongs to Samvat 1510.
Ram Bagh Samalia Parasnath Mandir and Dadabari, Azimganj was built in 1870 AD by Shree Singh. This temple complex is also home to temples from Jangipur, Kiaganj, Cossimbazar which were rebuilt here.
Dutch Cemetery
The Dutch Cemetery is located next to the Cossimbazar railway station at Kalkapur where the Dutch owned huge factories in the year 1666 AD were based. The grandeur of the Dutch has been ruined and small tombs of 43 in number remain to this day.

Most of the monuments were built between 1721 and 1792 AD. The oldest monument at the Dutch cemetery belongs to Daniel van der Muyl who died in 1721.

Most of the monuments are pyramidal in shape with cenotaphs mentioning the names. Some of the popular and relatively less ruined ones include Gregorius Herklots, Matthias Arnoldus Brahe, tamerus Cantes Vischer. The cemetery is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Jafarganj Muqbara
Jafarganj Muqbara or cemetery was built on an area of 3.51 acres by Mir Jafar. It is located approximately half a mile north to the Hazarduari Palace premises inside the bigger campus of Namak Haram Deuri. The cemetery is enclosed within waved walls and is the final resting place of the Nawabs belonging to the Najafi dynasty from Nawab Nazim to Humayun Jah. Nawab Nazim Syud Ahmed Najafi’s tomb was later shifted to Karbala in Arab. It is also home to the graves of Syud Ahmed Najafi (Mir Jafar’s father), Shan Khanum Begum (Alivardi Khan’s sister), Munny and Babbu Begum (Mir Jafar’s widows), Muhammad Ali Khan (Mir Jafar’s brother), Ashraf Ali Khan and Ismail Ali Khan (Mir Jafar’s brother-in-laws). This cemetery is now maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Ghari Minar
The Ghari Minar or the Clock Tower of Murshidabad, West Bengal is located on coordinates 24°11′15″N 88°16′10″E / 24.187381°N 88.269315°E is a famous tourists spot. It is located to the south of Hazarduari Palace in the Nizamat Fort premises. It was erected in the garden area of Nizamat Fort probably for passengers traveling by boat and sailors. The Ghari Minar comprises of a heavy bell, the dial of a clock facing east towards Bhagirathi River and 4 masonry shields on 4 corners on the ground supported by 4 masonry lions. It is also known as the ‘Big Ben of Murshidabad’, the handles and figures of the clock being visible from the opposite bank. It was designed by Sagore Mistri, the same person who constructed Hazarduari Palace. He was the assistant to Colonel Duncan MacLeod.
Motijheel
Motijhil also known as Company Bagh due to its association with the East India Company, is a horse-shoe shaped lake in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India. It was created by Nawazish Muhammad Khan, the son-in-law of Nawab Alivardi Khan. He also constructed a precious palatial palace beside this lake which is called the Sang-i- dalan (literal translation:stone palace) which is also known as the Motijhil Palace. It is located at the bend of this lake. It was used as the residence of Nawazish and Ghaseti Begum, Nawazish's beloved wife. It is said that after Nawazish died, Ghaseti Begum lived here until Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah took over the palace and seized humongous amount of treasures in 1756 AD. With this money he built a similar lake with a beautiful palace, Hirajheel, on the opposite side of the Bhagirathi River. The palace has a lofty gateway, a mosque known as the "Shahamat Jang" and the Kala Masjid and some other buildings which were all built by Nawazish. This palace was built in 1740. As far as etymology is concerned, the palace has been named so as it was built using black basalt pillars which were brought from the ruins of Gaur. Thus, it was given the name of Sang-i-Dalan or the Stone Palace. This palace was then decorated with different varieties of flower plants and precious marbles. Inside the palace is a huge room having no doors or windows in it and closed on all the four sides. Some say that huge quantity of wealth belonging to the Begum had been kept hidden underground the room. Once labourers were employed to break open the masonry and excavate the treasure, but they ended up vomiting blood, so nobody dares to open it. The room is 65 feet long, 23 feet broad, 12 feet high plinth area, 1339 square feet. According to James Rennell Motijhil is a horse shoe shaped lake. Kala Masjid, is situated in the vicinity of the lake and was constructed in 1749–50 AD. The construction date is also mentioned in a Persian inscription which is embedded in the wall of the mosque.

The mosque is rectangular in plan and has is three domed. The mosque rests on several octagonal drums which are plain and are devoid of any decoration and the domes are crowned by lotus and kalasha (pot) finials. It also has four octagonal minarets at the four corners which taper upwards and are topped by bulbous kiosks which are supported on slender pillars. The minaret shafts are decorated. The facade is also ornamented. Three arched doorways on the east open to a prayer hall. A copy of the Quran, calligraphed by Nawazish Muhammad Khan himself is also kept preserved inside the mosque. The plinth area of the mosque is 5986 square feet. Opposite to this masjid on the east banks of the lake used to be an ornamented mosque known as the Raesh Bagh. Motijheel lake and the structures in its vicinity are protected monuments and are looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Jahankosha Canon
ahankosha 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.