The Hazarduari Palace, or the palace with a thousand doors is the chief tourist attraction of
Murshidabad. This three-storey palace was built in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humaun Jah,
descendent of Mir Zafar. It has thousand doors
(among which only 900 are real) and 114 rooms and 8 galleries, built in European architectural style.
The total area of Hazarduari Palace is 41 acres. It is now a museum and has an exquisite collection
of armoury, splendid paintings, exhaustive portraits of the Nawabs, various works of art including
beautiful works of ivory (Murshidabad school) of China (European) and many other valuables.
The Armoury has 2700 arms in its collections of which only few are displayed. Swords used by
Shiraj-ud-Daulla and his grandfather, Nawab Alivardi Khan, can be seen here. The other attractions
in this floor are Vintage Cars and Fittan Cars used by the Nawabs and their families.
Hazarduari Museum: - The library containing rare collections is not accessible to the public
unless special permission is obtained. The building, rectangular on plan
( 424 feet Long and 200 feet broad and 80 feet high). The Palace was used for holding the "Durbar"
or meetings and other official work of the Nawabs and also as the residence of the high ranking
Madina: - Between the palace and the Imambara is a small mosque, ‘Madina’,
with colourful tiled verandahs. The Mosque has an ornamented replica of Hazrat Muhammad's
tomb at Madina.
The Bachchawali Tope:- Around the palace are other attractions like the Wasef Manzil
(the New Palace) by the bank of the Ganga, Tripolia Gate, the Dakshin Darwaza, the Chak
Darwaza, the Imambara, the Gharighar (the Clock Tower), the Bachchawali Tope (a canon)
and the Madina, the only surviving structure built by Siraj-ud-Doula. The Bachchawali Tope (canon)
was made between the 12th and the 14th century, probably by the Mohammedan rulers of Gour,
and requires about 18 Kg of gun powder for a single shelling.
Motijheel is about one km South of Lalbagh.
This beautiful horseshoe shaped lake was excavated by Nawazesh Mohammad,
the husband of the famous Ghasseti Begum. In the palace adjoining it (now in ruins)
Lord Clive celebrated the acquisition of the Dewani of Sube Bangla (Bengal, Bihar & Orissa)
in 1765. Moti Jheel was the home of Warren Hastings when he became the Political President
at the Durbar of the Nawab Nazim ( 1771 - 73 AD ). Sir John Shore, afterwards Lord Teinmouth,
also lived here. Moti Jheel is also known as the "Company Bagh", due to the fact of it having
been in the occupation of the East India Company. The only old building existing is the Mosque
of Shahamat Jang.
To the east of Nawajesh Muhammad's mosque, is a small enclosure within which are four
tombs and to the east of which and outside it is one tomb. Here lies the mortal remains of
Shahamat Jang alias Nawajesh Muhammad, Ekram-ud-Doula the younger brother of
Siraj-ud-Doula, Ekram-ud-Doula's Tutor, Shumsheree Ali Khan the General of Nawajesh Muhammad,
and the Nurse of Ekram-ud-Doula.
Parallel to the north face of the Hazarduari Palace, stands the Nizamat Imambara,
built in 1847 AD. by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah, son of Humayun Jah,
at a cost of more than 6 lacs, after the Imambara built by Siraj-ud-Doula had been
destroyed by fire. It took only eleven months to construct this Imambara.
The Imambara, which is the largest in Bengal, is perhaps the largest in India.
This Palace was built by Sir Wasef Ali Mirza, Nawab of Murshidabad.
This beautiful Palace was also the residence of Nawab Wasef Ali Mirza.
This palace is very near to the Hazarduari Palace and is near the South Gate.
The staircases made of marble and beautiful statues of this Palace are worth seeing.
The entry fee is Rupee 1 (Indian currency) for Indian nationals.
Katra Mosque is about one and a half km from Murshidabad Railway Station on the
Berhampore-Lalgola Road. This imposing structure was built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan
in 1723-24 and it remains one of the most important tourist attractions.
The gorgeous building with its huge domes and high minarets has a simple cemetery
of the Nawab below the front staircase.
Jahan Kosha, a huge cannon, is about 1 km of Katra.
It was built in the early 17th century by craftsman Janardan Karmakar of Dhaka.
Kadam Sarif is a beautiful mosque near Jahan Kosha said to contain a replica of
the footprint of Hazrat Mohammad, the prophet. The canon is 17.5 ft long and weighs 16,880 lb.,
with a girth of 5 feet at the touch hole end.
The diameter of the touch hole is one and a half inches, and that of the orifice is 6 inches.
Murshidabad District Museum
The District Museum at Jiaganj is the brainchild of Late Rai Bahadur Surendra Narayan Singha
of Jiaganj ,who had contributed everything contained therein. The site of the Museum and the
invaluable sculptures and others antiquities are entirely his contributions and collections.
The Museum is located at Nehalia , Jiaganj just beside the palace of Late Rai Bahadur.
Late Rai Bahadur collected large no. of stone sculptures from different parts of the country
especially from erstwhile Bengal and Bihar. He donated all items to the West Bengal Govt. in 1962.
The construction of the Museum building was started by West Bengal Govt. in 1965-66 over the
land donated by late Rai Bahadur but the construction could only be completed in 1985.
Ultimately in the year 2004, the then District Magistrate, Sri Manoj Pant,IAS
materialized the long cherished dream of Late Raibahadur Surendra Narayan Singha,
Nehalia by opening it to the public with two galleries.
The District Museum is located at Nehalia,Jiaganj- about 2km away from Jiaganj Rly Stn.
on Sealdah-Lalgola route. It is kept open on all days except Wednesdays and a nominal entry
fee of Rs.2/- is charged on each adult visitor. However photography inside is not allowed.
The Curator of the Museum may be contacted for any query over telephone no. 03483-257287 .
One new gallery (third gallery) has been constructed during this financial year.
At present there are three full fledged galleries. Sculptures and different art objects
are displayed in those galleries through wall showcases and pedestals.
Some marvelous masterpieces recovered through recent archeological excavations
in different sites in this district have also been displayed.
The affairs of the District Museum are controlled by a Managing Committee headed by
the District Magistrate, Murshidabad as the President.
SDO,Lalbagh is executing the developmental works of the Museum as
the Member-Secretary. It has been featured as the State assisted Museum and the
Directorate of Archeology & Museum under the Deptt.of Information & Culture,Govt.of
West Bengal constantly renders financial grants and technical expertise to this Museum.
Some of the invaluable art objects of the District Museum are as follows:
1. Black Stone Sculptures(C 8th Cent. AD to C 13th Cent. AD)
2. Early Potteries
3. Manuscripts (on Ayurveda,Tantra,Ramayana)
4. Precious and rare books.
5. Early Terracotta.
6. Dashavatara Pillar.
7. Idols made of metal.
8. Early medieval inscriptions.
9. Antique coins.
In the recently set up third gallery the history and development of famous brass works
of Khagra , Murshidabad and the glimpses of the rich heritage of Murshidabad
silk are also displayed for creating awareness among the visitors.