Murshidabad district General information

Murshidabad district is a district of West Bengal in eastern India. Situated on the left bank of the river Ganges, the district is very fertile. Covering an area of 5,341 km² (2,062 sq mi) and having a population 5.863m (according to 2001 census) it is a densely populated district[1]. The Baharampur town is the headquarters of the district.


The district got its present name in the early eighteenth century and its present shape in the latter half of the eighteenth century, the earliest evidences of history in the district date back to the pre-historic days perhaps as early as circa 1500 B.C.

The capital city of Sasanka, the great king of Gouda (comprising the most of Bengal) in the seventh century AD and perhaps that of Mahipala, one of the later Pala kings of Bengal, were in this district too. The Nawab Murshid Quli Khan made Murshidabad the capital city of Sube Bangla, comprising of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The East India Company reigned from here for many years after the Battle of Plassey; Travellers extolled its glory through ages.

Here thrived the cultures of many races and of religions like Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vaishnavism, Jainism, Islam and Christianity. Here settled the European traders like the Dutch, the British, the French and the Armenians.

Landscape, Rivers and Vegetation

The district comprises two distinct regions separated by the Bhagirathi River. To the west lies the Rarh, a high, undulating continuation of the Chota Nagpur plateau. The eastern portion, the Bagri, is a fertile, low-lying alluvial tract, part of the Ganges Delta. The district is drained by the Bhagirathi and Jalangi rivers and their tributaries. Bhagirathi is a branch of Ganges, and flows southwards from Farakka barrage where it originates from the Ganges. It flows southwards through the district and divides it into more or less equal halves.

Most of the land is arable, and used as agricultural land. Commonly seen trees are Neem, Mango, Jackfruit.

Jowbona is a popular village near nowda thana and also called greenvillage in West Bangal.


Murshidabad has a tropical wet-and-dry climate (Koppen climate classification Aw). The annual mean temperature is approximately 27 °C ; monthly mean temperatures range from 17 °C to 35 °C (approximate figures). Summers are hot and humid with temperatures in the low 30's and during dry spells the maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C during May and June. Winter tends to last for only about two and a half months, with seasonal lows dipping to 9 °C – 11 °C between December and January. On an average, May is the hottest month with daily average temperatures ranging from a low of 27 °C to a maximum of 40°C,while January the coldest month has temperatures varying from a low of 12 °C to a maximum of 23 °C. Often during early summer, dusty squalls followed by spells of thunderstorm or hailstorms and heavy rains cum ice sleets lash the district, bringing relief from the humid heat. These thunderstorms are convective in nature, and is locally known as Kal baisakhi


Most of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. There are some silk farms and some weaving machines, but they are losing out fast against the modern industries. Murshidabad is famous for the high quality silk produced here.

Trade and business are conducted primarily with Asansol, Burdwan and Kolkata. There were some discussions between India and Bangladesh to open an internal water transport link between Dhulian and Rajshahi but it has not materialized yet.

Tourist Place


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 British Officials. 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.


Imambara..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.

Wasef Manzil or New Palace..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..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.

Jahankosha..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.

Jafarganj Cemetery..About half a mile from the Hazarduari Palace is Jafarganj the ruined palace of Mir Jafar. The Cemetery contains the tombs of the Nawab's Nazim, from Mir Jafar to Humayun Jah. Mir Jafar's father Syud Ahmed Nazafi, Alivardi Khan's sister, Shahkhanum, Mir Jafar's widows, Munni Begam and Babbu Begam, Mohamed Ali Khan, the brother and Ismail Ali Khan and Asraf Ali Khan, the sons-in-law of Mir Jafar, lie buried here. This cemetery was built by Mir Jafar, over an area of 3.51 acres.


Khosh Bagh..Khosh Bach lies on the opposite banks of Bhagirathi. The grave of Nawab Alivardi Khan, Alivardi's Mother, Siraj-ud-Doula and his wife Lutfannesha and other members of the Nawab family lie here. The Khosh Bagh cemetery is built over 7.65 acres of land.

Kathgola..Mahimapur is half a km North of the Nasipur Palace. Here, the palace of Jagat Seth and the once famous Pareshnath Temple are now in ruins.  

Katgola, the palace garden of Raja Dhanpat Singh Dugar and Lakshmipat Singh Dugar and their famous Adinath Temple were built in 1873, by Harreck Chand. The walls of this temple are also intricately designed. A typically Jain style of ornamentation lends a unique beauty to this Jain temple. It is about half a km South-East of Mahimapur. Though some of its glory has been lost, it still remains a major tourist attraction, chiefly because of the beautiful temple with an admirable work of stucco.


Nasipur Palace..The Nasipur Palace was built by Kirti Chand, a descendent of Debi Singh. Debi Sing, who settled here from Punjab, was a tax collector in the early days of the East India Company. Within the palace compound is the Ramachandra Temple, one of the largest temples in the district. Adjacent is the palatial temple of Lakshmi-Narayana, famous for its Jhulanjatra celebrations. The main building of the Raj Bari ,  which is a two storied house with a grand flight of stairs, has an imposing facade.

The present Raj Bari was constructed by Raja Keertichand Bahadur. The founder of the family, namely, Debi Singh of history, settled in a village near the railway station of Bokhara, where his Thakur Bari still exists.

Footi Mosque..Footi Mosque is an  unfinished work by Nawab Sarafraz Khan. Though not well publicised, it is worth seeing for its unique architectural style. About three quarters of a mile to the east of the Hazarduari Palace, at Kumrapore, is the Footi Masjid. It is said to have been built by Sarafraj Khan in a single night.

Moti Jheel..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..
NIMAK HARAM DEORI (The Traitor’s Gate)

The Nimak Haram Deori or the Traitor's Gate is the main gate of Jafraganj Palace of Mir-Zafar.It is one Km North of Hazarduari. Within this palace was killed Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula in an act of great betrayal. On the other side of the road are the cemeteries of Mir-Zafar and his descendents.

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