The district derives its name from Murshidabad. Emperor Aurangzeb sent his Diwan Kartalab Khan
at Murshidabad for collection of revenue during his regime. Emperor became very pleased with
Kartalab Khan for his performance and named him as Murshid Kuli Khan.
Murshid Kuli Khan shifted provincial revenue headquarter from Dacca to Murshidabad in 1704 A.D.
Another school is of opinion that Muksudan Das, a follower of Nanak, founded this city during
the regime of Hussain Saha (1493-1519 A.D.).
Murshidabad is the northern most district of Presidency Division of West Bengal and is located at
its northern eastern boundary. It is lying centrally in the lower Ganga valley.
The area of district is 5324 sq. Km. Population is 7102430.
There are 05 (five) sub-divisions & 26 (twenty six) Blocks and number
of Municipalities stand 07 (seven).
The river Bhagirathi, flowing from north to south through the district, divides it into two
almost equal portions which in their geology, their characteristics, their agriculture and even
the religion of their inhabitants form a striking contrast to each other. The tract to the west
of river is locally known as ‘Rarh’ and the track to the east as ‘Bagri’.
Since the time of Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan (1704-1725 A.D.) to last Nawab Mirjafar (1757 to 1760 A.D.)
many beautiful sculptures, buildings of endearing nature have been built which attract the tourists
even from abroad all the year around.
Murshidabad is truly an historical place, replete with historical & tourist spots.
If approached with academic interest it will take at least 12-15 days even a more to cover the whole.
A few notable / distinguished tourist spots are here only mentioned sub-divisions-wise for a
ready reckoner to the tourists.
Barrack Square witnessed first war of Independence i.e. mutiny of Sepoy broke out at 25th Feb.
1857 A.D. There is “Saheed bedi” situated at south-western side of this Barrack Square.
There is an Armenian church built 1858 A.D. It is the oldest church of Murshidabad.
There is Dutch Cemetery built in 1632 A.D. which is taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt.
of India. Krishna Nath College built in the year 1853 after the structural design of Oxford College.
Palace of Kunjaghata built in 1757 A.D. where Maharaj Nanda Kumar lived. At present it is all in ruins.
At Cossimbazar there are “Bara Rajbari” and ‘choto Rajbari”. Bara Rajbari was built after the grand
design of European style where Rabindranath Thakur presided over the first “Bangiya Sahitya Sanmelan”.
Karnasubarna, 14 km. away from Berhampore, first came into the notice of Calcutta University in
1962 A.D. Many glorious relics are found there of King Sasanka of Gour as well as the relics
of many dwelling house of Vikshuks (Buddhist). Now it is taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt.
of India. Sargachi Ashrama is the oldest Ramakrishna Ashram built by Swami Akhandananda, disciple
of Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
Amongst the 5 sub-divisions Lalbagh is the most prominent place where most of the tourist objects
are located. Most of the tourist places are lying within 4-5 km. except a few.
Here is the palace of last Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad. It is the most conspicuous & imposing
building in the city of Murshidabad widely known as Hazarduari i.e. the house with thousand doors.
It stands on the eastern bank of river Bhagirathi. The foundation stone of palace was laid in 1829 A.D.
and completed in 1837 A.D. during the time of Nazim Humayun Jar. Its plan was conceived by
General McLeod Dancan. The palace contains artistic treasurs, rare pictures, costly jewellery,
old arms and many valuable books etc. The Imambara, on the north of the Palace, built in
1847-1848 A.D. is the largest Imambara in the West Bengal. Both Hazarduari & Imambara are
under Indian Govt. of Archaeological Deptt. by now. Madina is situated inside Imambara-
probably built in 1755 A.D. by Siraj-ud-daulla.
There is a watch Tower built in 1824-38 A.D. in front of Hazarduari. Nawab Wasef Ali Merza
built New Palace or Wasef Manzil in 1904-1906 A.D. after the design of western sculpture of
19-20 centuries. At present it is taken over by Govt. of West Bengal. Murshid Kuli Khan built
Katra Masjid in 1723-24 A.D.. He was buried there after his death 1725 A.D. Now it is taken
over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India. Motijheel is a very historical place, though
at present there are no signs of palace-only some portions of entrance are visible and only
Mosque is over there, though not in good condition. It is lying between Berhampore to Lalbagh.
Many a important events took place at Motijheel during the time of Nawabs.
It is built in 1750-51 A.D. Khoshbagh, 1 km away from Bhagirathi, where Nawab Alivardi Khan,
his mother, Nawab Siraj-ud-dullah and his wife Lutfa and other members of Nawab were buried.
It was built in 1756 A.D.
Temple of Adinath situated at Kathgola garden is the most famous Jaina Temple in the district
of Murshidabad. Lakshmi Path Singh Dugur & Dhanpad Singh Dugur, the affluent merchants of Jiaganj,
built this Palace in 1873 A.D. Palace of Nasipur was constructed after the style of Hazarduari.
There is a temple of Raghunath inside the Palace. Residence-cum-garden of famous merchant Jagath
Seth was deep buried in the waters of Bhagirathi. The residence, as seen now-a-days, was made by
Temple of Radha Madhab is situated at Kumarpur near Motijheel in 1609 A.D.
Both communities – Hindu & Muslim used to talk a lot about this deity. Temple of Kiritesware is 24 km.
away from Berhampore. According to Purana crown of Sati dropped here during “Dakhyayjya”.
A cluster of temples of Baranagar at Ajimganj is very attractive built by Rani Bhavani,
who desired to have turned it out 2nd Baranasi.
At Gokarna, 4-5 km away from Mahalandi, “ Singh Bahini Dalan Mandir” was conceived & constructed in 1744 A.D.
Near it ancient temple of Nrisingh Dev is situated which Gangaram, the Zamindar reconstructed in 1580
A.D.Panchthupi is named after Five stupas of Buddha. Here Jagannath Prosad Ghosh Hazra built temple of
Panchayatan in 18 century A.D. which bears eloquent testimony to best work of terracotta in this district.
At Chak-Islampur “Chandrakanta Lalit Mohan Resam Khadi Samiti” has earned reputation
all over India by way of supplying Silk Saris of high quality.
Kherur Mosque is 2 km. away from Bhumisar . Beautiful works of terracotta art raises
admiration & wonder of this building. It is now taken over by Archaeological Deptt., Govt. of India.
Residence of Zamindar of Nimtita is 5 km away from Bajitpur where Satyajit Roy has made shooting for
his famous films ‘Jalshaghar” & “Debi”. Manindra Narayan in 1897 A.D. made Nimtita Hindu theatre where
Sisir Bhaduri acted.
Farakka Barrage, situated at North-Western of Murshidabad, is a wonderful construction of
modern India – 2 km 65 meter long this barrage is the longest barrage of world.
Farakka Thermal project here is made.
These, in short, are the most conspicuous tourist spots in this distinct.
Besides these, there are hundreds of historically important tourist places which are equally important
and sometimes even more to the tourist.