Decoding Bengal Subah (Day 2 – Part II)
Do go through the previous parts before you go ahead 🙂 Thanks!
We knew we had only this day in hand and so not wasting much time, we quickly grabbed a sandwich and was all set for the next location. There are a total of 32 historical spots in this place and we could only cover a few… Our next destination was Futi Masjid.
The Futi Masjid was built in 1740 and is not a complete structure. Only two of the five domes are completed, has five entrances and four towers. It’s a huge structure even though it was not completed. I was highly disappointed with the state of this beautiful structure lying barren with no restoration at all.. what a shame! Now overgrown with jungle and lying in sheer negligence, the Futi Masjid still stands proud as one of the biggest mosque in Murshidabad.
Whats unique about this mosque is , there are small damaged staircases on each cornering it to climb up to its roof, which you will not find in any other brick mosques of the 18thcentury in West Bengal. Another unique thing about this mosque is there are triple Mihrabs on the wall facing the middle entrance.
There are many stories associated with the mosque being incomplete. One among them is that during the construction of this mosque, one day a mason goes missing all on a sudden. He was not found even after repeated search. the incident became so notorious that all mason left the place leaving behind the incomplete mosque.
Nashipur Palace, which was said to be a miniature replica of Hazarduari Palace, was built in the 1900s by Raja Kriti Chandra Sinha Bahadur. The main building of the Palace, which is a two-storied house with a grand flight of stairs, has an imposing facade. The Jhulan festival, celebrating the diving love of Lord Krishna and Radha is still held in this palace every year!
The Nashipur Palace had interesting antiques like huge utensils, a chariot made of gold and silver, a vintage car is kept in small rooms, but none of them have been properly maintained.
Namak 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. Siraj ud dullah, the last independent Nawab of Bengal was betrayed and killed inside this palace. The premise is protected and is strictly no entry for visitors!
Cemetry of Mir Jafar and his decendants
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. There are 1100 cemeteries in total. Now, this graveyard is controlled and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
It was time to end the day and we had kept Moti Jheel as our last destination for the reason that it would fall on the way back to Behrampur, where we were staying.
The Moti Jheel or the Pearl Lake is a horse-shoe shaped lake. There was a palace beside this lake which is called the Sang-i-dalan (stone palace) which was known as the Motijheel Palace. It used to be the residence of Nawazish and Ghaseti Begum, Nawazish’s beloved wife. Later, Motijheel was also the residence of Warren Hastings, Sir John Shore and other British high-ranking officials. So, it is also known as the Company Bagh due to its association with the East India Company. 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.
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.
The palace premises have been beautifully done up and there is a light and sound show held from 6:30pm. Though it’s a little account of how Bengal lost its independence to the British and how the last Nawab, Siraj ud Dullah was deceived and back stabbed by his own people… its beautifully presented. A must watch!
By the time the show was over… we were all drained because of the heat and roaming in the sun the whole day. We had to back to our hotel, get a shower , grab some food and fall in our beds!
The next day we were all set to go back home and on the way back… Dad wanted to meet a childhood friend of his in KrishnaNagar. I knew this place was famous for terracotta and his friend was an artist himself!
I grabbed some lovely pieces as a souvenir which are displayed on my wall proudly now 🙂