Murshidabad is a town filled with history and historical monuments. It can be like a journey on to the history of Bengal if you ever visit Murshidabad. One of the most popular Murshidabad Tourist Spots is the Hazarduari Palace. The place holds age old history and the museum inside the palace is like a place of admiration for the history lovers. So if you are searching for the best tourist spots of Murshidabad, the Hazarduari Palace Murshidabad should be in your list of must visit places. Keep on reading to know all the information you need before visiting the place.
Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace location: Siraj ud Daulah Road, Hazarduari, Murshidabad, West Bengal
Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace timings: Open from 9 am to 5 pm. Museum is closed on Fridays.
Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace entry fee: The ticket price for Indians is Rs. 25 and for foreigners it is Rs. 300.
How to reach Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace:
How to reach Hazarduari Palace by train:
You can get trains from Sealdah like the Sealdah Lalgola Passenger trains and Bhagirathi Express. From Kolkata Junction you can take the Hazarduari Express to reach Murshidabad Railway Station. It takes about 4 hours to reach. Hazarduari Palace is about 3km from there. You will get e-rickshaws or Toto easily.
How to reach Hazarduari Palace by road:
You will get direct buses to Murshidabad from Kolkata. You can also take buses to Krishnanagar and then take another bus to Murshidabad. It would take around 6-7 hours to reach there by road. The distance from Kolkata to Murshidabad is 204km.
About Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace:
The Hazarduari Place is a huge area spreading across 41 acres. Previously the Palace was also known as the Bara Kothi. The palace is located on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. As the name suggests Hazarduari literally means 1000 doors. The palace has a total of 1000 doors but only 900 of them are real and 100 doors are fake. The idea was to confuse the trespassers and intruders while they try to get out of the palace and then by the time they figure this out they will be caught by the royal guards. The palace is constructed in the most elegant way and you can witness an amalgamation of the Greek and Italian style of architecture. The palace stands tall as a part of the rich history and tradition of Murshidabad and holds a lot of significance.
During the time of the construction this was a mansion and now this has been turned into a museum that houses old relics and prized possessions of the Nawabs. This is a three storeyed palace with a grand entrance. The building is yellow coloured and spreads across 424 feet in length and 200 feet in breadth. The shape of the place is rectangular and the gates are massive and can accommodate the passing of an elephant with a carriage. Just above the main gate there is the Nahabat Khana or the Musician’s Gallery. You can see a majestic flight of stairs that takes you to the palace. There are about 37 steps and it is 108 feet long. On the base of the stairs there is a lion statue that looks exquisite.
The Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace is situated in the Nizamat Kila complex that also houses some other important historical monuments. There is the huge Nizamat Imambara which is a place for the Shia Muslims. There is a clock tower inside the premises as well. You will find the Bacchawali Tope as well which is a cannon placed between the Imambara and the Hazarduari Palace. It is said that this cannon was fired only once and the power and sound of the cannon was so strong that it could induce the delivery of a pregnant woman within the vicinity of 10 miles. That’s where the cannon got its name from. The palace is now maintained by the Archeological Survey of India and is considered as a Heritage Monument.
History of Murshidabad Hazarduari Palace:
The Hazarduari Palace was built during the reign of Sayyid Mubarak Ali Khan II who is popularly known as Nazim Humayun Jah in 19th century. He was the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa at that time. The chief architect was Duncan Macleod and the construction started in 1829 August. Previously the place had the Nizamat Kila in the same location which is a fort and it was later demolished to start the construction of Hazarduari.
The Nawab wanted a palace that almost looked like the Buckingham Palace in London. After the construction was completed the Nawab was not satisfied with the outcome and he did not prefer to make this palace his residence. He decided to make this palace his Royal Durbar or Main Office for all the important works and ceremonies like public meetings, parties and coronations.
It is said the foundation of this palace runs very deep. It is believed that when the Nawab went down the ladder to lay the foundation stone he almost suffocated and choked and then fainted. He was then rescued and later after gaining consciousness the stone was laid.
What is inside the Hazarduari Palace Museum?
The Hazarduari Palace Museum is one of the enriched museums that will be like a heaven for the history buffs. The historical relics and grand architecture will give you a well informed idea of the lifestyle of the Nawabs. The different artefacts inside the museum are exhibited well and the place is divided into different galleries. There are more than 100 rooms that display clothes, jewelleries, thrones, cutlery, antique furniture and a lot more.
The ground floor has displays of used items by the Nawabs, Weapons, Clothes, and Cannons etc. The second and third floors have chandeliers, furniture along with a library with the rarest of the rare manuscripts and books dating back to 18th and 19th centuries. The books are not accessible to the general public but scholars and researchers can access them with prior permission from the authorities. There is also a huge display of marble statues.
You can see the weapons and swords used by Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah. There are vintage cars, Victorian carriage, and camel carriage on display. The photographs are displayed in the gallery along with lavish paintings and details about different historical events. The armouries and the hunting equipment like shields, swords, bow and arrows, knives, guns, pistols, spears, daggers, rifles, revolvers, cannons etc are a sight to observe. Various precious stones, precious metals and artefacts made of silver and ivory are also displayed in the museum.
One of the unique and fascinating things here is the magic mirror or mystery mirror. If a person stands in front of the mirror they would not be able to see their own reflection in the mirror, but others will be able to see it. The reason behind the mystery is the placement of this mirror at a 90 degree angle. The purpose of this was to mislead the intruders in such a way that the Nawab can see them even before they notice themselves. You can see the mirror outside the gallery and experiment with it yourself.
Other than the paintings you can see portraits of the Nawabs, Dewans, Nazirs and Prince here. There are separate rooms like the Drawing room, Dining Room, Court Room, Royal Durbar, Billiards Room, Archive Gallery and the Main Hall. The daily used objects and religious objects are also displayed here.
Photography is strictly prohibited inside the museum. Also you can take a guide to know about the relevance of this place more and to explore the campus better. The guides are however not allowed inside the museum.
Nearby places to visit from Hazarduari Palace:
Some of the popular tourist spots near the Hazarduari Place are :
- Madina Masjid
- Katra Masjid
- Jahan Kosha Cannon
- Khosbag Garden
- Kiriteshwari Temple
Hotels near Hazarduari Palace:
Some of the best hotels in Murshidabad are:
- Hotel Hazarduari
- Hotel Meridian
- The Fame
- Hotel Samrat
- Golden Retreat
- Hotel Sanjay Regency
Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad is one of the most popular historical monuments in West Bengal. If you are interested in getting a glimpse of the royal life of the Nawabs then this place should be a must visit for you. The palace is very well maintained and the separate rooms along with the descriptions will give you a deep insight into the history of Bengal.
So pack your bags and visit this gem and enrich yourself. Do let me know if this particular article was helpful for you.
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