LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

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Palaces
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Hazarduari Palace:
One of the most important and, perhaps the most significant tourist attractions of Murshidabad, this sprawling palace have been built on 41 acres of land. Built in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humaun Jah, descendent of Mir Zafar, Hazarduari Palace is popular for it's '1,000' doors, 900 of which are real and about 100 were later built ornamentally. The palace has been converted into a museum and boasts a collection of nearly 3,000 artifacts. It includes portraits of nawabs, pieces of ivory, Swords used by Shiraj-ud-Daulla and his grandfather, NawabAlivardi Khan and even some vintage cars used by various nawabs and their families.
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Nazamat Imambara:
Destroyed in the fires of 1842 and 1846, this restored building is divided into three large quadrangles – Central which has the Madina mosque, the Eastern which has Naubat khana and Western which has two-storied mosque.
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Kathgola Palace:
Located a few kilometers off Murshidabad, this palace complex, built in 1870 to entertain European and Muslim guests during trade visits, is a marvel of its own. The place Kathgola (wood war house) acquires its name from the lumber yard that used to be functional in the area before the palace was built. Built ahead of its times, the place is more than just a palace. The palace, endless gardens, ponds, a temple devoted to Adinath and a statue of michealangelo are few of the marvels that can be seen.
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Cossimbazar Palace:
A famous tourist place in Murshidabad, this palace houses the Lakshmi-narayan sila, clock tower, front courtyard, north porch, marble staircases, Andar mahal, Majlish ghar, Chandimandap, etc.
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Wasif Manzil:
Destroyed in 1897 earthquake, this residence was later repaired without second storey and turned into a museum which houses fascinating garden space, marble statues and beautiful staircases.
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Nasipur Rajbari:
Once the residence of Nasipur Raj family, this building is now a museum which is often referred to as the miniature version of Hazarduari Palace due to it similar features.
Mosque
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Katra Masjid:
Another striking tourist spot of Murshidabad and perhaps one of the most well maintained too, Katra Mosque was built in 1724 by Murad Farash Khan, a devoted follower of Murshid Quli Khan.The mosque is also a tomb of Quli Khan who is buried under the flight of stairs comprising the entrance to the mosque from the eastern end. It is believed that the mosque was built after MurshidQuli Khan expressed his desire to be buried in a mosque.
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Yellow Mosque:
Contrary to the white mosques that we see, this is a little yellowish in color which shines like gold in the sunlight. Located near Hazarduari Palace, this mosque is a must visit!
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Footi Mosque:
The structure that we see today was believed to be built by Nawab Sarfaraz Khan in a single night. It could not be completed as the Nawab died in a battle. Hence the people renamed it as Fauti Mosque. It has five domes and four spiral staircases at its four corners surmounted by cupolas. However, the domes are still incomplete.
Temples
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Char Bangla Terracotta Temples:
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this temple was built by Rani Bhavani of Nator. From mythological stories to daily lifestyles and incidents from Mahabharata and Ramayana, the terracotta tablets cover it all.
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Jain Temples:
The Sheherwali merchants and traders who migrated from Rajasthan, settled in and around Murshidaabd. With the wealth they created, they built many jain temples with large courtyards and beautiful idols. The most notable ones are: Kiriteshwari Temple - this 1000+ year old temple is considered to be the sleeping place of Mahamaya; Sanwalia Parasnath (popularly known as Rambagh); Sambhavanath and more.
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Kiriteshwari Temple :
One of the oldest and most scared temples of Murshidabad, built more than a 1000 years ago, this temple is believed to be the sleeping place of Mahamaya. It is known as Mahishamardini locally.

HANDICRAFTS

Murshidabad not only holds a long history in its heritage but also as a producer of exquisite handicrafts- Shola (Indian Cork), Kansa (Bell metal craft) and ivory and wood carving. One of the leading producers of handicrafts, Murshidabad is now struggling and showing a tendency to decline over the last few decades. We believe that creating awarenesss about these unique crafts can help improve their currtent scenario.

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SHOLAPITH (Indian Cork) :

Made from one of the world’s lightest woods, Sholapith is a spongey milky-white dried plant matter which can be pressed and transformed into different shapes. Shola crafts are very much popular In Murshidabad district. Its Flower designs, garlands, beautiful and decorative headress and figurines of gods and goddesses, peacock boats, elephant howdahs, palanquins are some of the exquisite Sholapith crafts produced in Murshidabad. Since sholapith craftsmen used to make garlands for idols and for the nobility, they came to be known as Malakar, meaning "garland maker".

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IVORY AND WOOD :

Ivory and wood handicrafts industry is considered to employ a major population of Murshidabad. The root of this craft can be traced back to the time when Murshidabad was under the rule of the Nawabs of Bengal who patronized the art of ivory and wood carving. These craftsmen were considered to be the best carvers and their products were often exported. However, with the downfall of the Nawabs, this industry started facing a crisis.

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KANSA (Bell Metal) :

Another popular handicraft produced by the skilled craftsmen of Murshidabad is Kansa Bell metal craft. Utensils made from Kansa and brass are manufactured in huge quantities in Behrampore, Khagra, Kandi, Baranagar and Jangipur. These utensils have a huge demand in the local and are often exported to international markets. This industry is particularly declining due to problems in procuring the raw materials and shift of consumer demand to ceramic and stainless steel products.

Textiles

SILK, the queen of textiles has an unparalleled grandeur, natural sheen and high durability because of which it was initially worn by the Mughal nobility only. In the 18th century, with the growing demand of silk in the international market, the East India Company started a factory at Cossimbazar to meet the competition from the Dutch, French and Armenians; making Murshidabad the nerve-center of silk weaving.

It declined as did the city, when the capital shifted to Calcutta (now Kolkata). But, from past few years a lot of initiatives are being taken by the government and NGOs to restore Murshidabad as a center of trade and a producer of exquisite silk.

Textile Centres
TANTIPARA :

Since Murshidabad is world famous for its Silk, a visit to Tantipara i.e. Weaver’s Village is worth your time. Lying on the outskirts of Murshidabad, this small village is keeping the art of silk handloom alive.

While visiting this village you can experience the age old techniques and highly skilled weavers preparing the finest of silk sarees which are now being recognized in both national and international markets. The weaver’s community prepare the famous Bengal sarees (Garad, Baluchari, Silk Handloom, etc).

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(i)Baluchari Silk Sarees :
Baluchari sarees are pure silk sarees which are characterized by mythologiocal depictions in the pallu of the saree. These depictions are usually taken from scenes of Mahabharata or Ramayana. Production of a ‘Baluchar’ is an extensive process which involves a lot of steps and is woven on a jacquard loom. Baluchari sari has been given a Geographical Indication (GI) status for India.
(ii)Garad Sarees :
One of the finest and lightweight pure silk sarees produced in Murshidabad. Traditional Garad sarees are characterized with a white or off-white body with a red coloured border and a striped pallu. Often variations can be found in the colours of the border and pallu of the saree however the colour of the body remains to be white- or off white.
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ISLAMPORE :

Another place of interest for textile lovers is Islampore where one can experience Sericulture & weaving of 100% Pure Murshidabad Silk. One may also interact with the local artisans and try their hands in getting their initials stitched on Silk stoles.

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(i)Sericulture :
Murshidabad has a loing history of silk production which dates back to the 18th century. Sericulture refers to the practice of cultivating silkworms for the production of silk fiber. It involves a series of process to obtain a fine silk fiber. Come experience the transformation of a silkworm to a silk fiber with us and its further transformation into a silk masterpiece- stoles, sarees elc
Apart from Murshidabad, you should also visit the nearby districts to get a complete tour of the Silk Circuit of East India. Such as - Shantiniketan (Hundreds of artisans are involved in in producing the long-established products for generations - hand-printed, hand-embroidery, leather crafts and fine embroidery on luxurious silks); Phulia (Japan, West Asia and Europe are their main export markets) and Bishnupur (an important cottage industry where about 15% of its population is employed in the handloom sector)

Folk HERITAGE

West Bengal is an abode of culture and folk heritage. The culture of a place reflects its society and people. The district of Murshidabad holds a long lost folk heritage- Raibeshe Dance and Baul/Fakiri music. At Bari Kothi, we’re trying to bring back these unique folk performances to their glorious days and take a route back to our roots.

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Baul/Fakiri Music :
The Bauls and Fakirs are an ancient group of wandering minstrels from Bengal, who believe in simplicity and sing about love, live and devotion influenced by the Hindu Bhakti movements and Sufism of the seventeenth century. They wear simple attires and carry an Ektara in one hand and sometimes a small drum called Bnaya around their waist and engross themselves in their music which represents a long heritage of preaching mysticism and celebrating celestial love.
They form an essential part of the culture of Murshidabad. Their songs depict the story and lives of the locals. We at Bari Kothi give an insight into the culture of Murshidabad through a performance of the famous folk dance by the Bauls. Experience an evening full of mesmerizing music which will definitely make you want to come visit us again.
Raibeshe Dance :
Raibeshe - a unique type of folk dance form hailing from West Bengal reflects the region's folk heritage. ‘Rai’ meaning royal and ‘bansh’ meaning ‘bamboo’ - this dance form resembles martial art techniques by using long bamboo sticks and enacting movements like waving a sword, drawing an arrow and throwing a spear. This dance form is usually performed by men who belong to the depressed castes of the Hindu community like Domes, Bauris etc. You will be surprised to know that this dance has never been associated with any song or verse.
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Bari Kothi, Jain Patty, PO : Azimganj, Murshidabad, Pin Code : 742122

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