Baharampur (Berhampore)

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Image Courtesy - murshidabad.net

Approximately 200 Km. north of Kolkata, the town Baharampur (Berhampore) is situated on the eastern side of the Bhagirathi Rive. The name “Baharampur” derived from the word “Brahmapur” as once it was occupied by Brahmin families. The administrative headquarters of the Murshidabad district is located here. The place is of great historical importance. Baharampur served as the first Head Quarter of the East India Company. The Nawabs and Sultans also had a strong impact in this city. Amidst a collection of history and historical memoirs Baharampur can be an ideal weekend destination with plenty of historical sightseeing in and around the place.

Best time to Visit: Winter is preferably the best time to visit Baharampur as the weather remains cool and pleasant. One must visit the place between October and April.

How to reach: Railway:  

Railway: Baharampur (Berhampore) is well connected by railway to Kolkata and its neighbouring cities. Daily trains operate between Kolkata and Baharampur such as the “Sealdah – Lalgola Bhagirathi Express”, “Hazarduari Express” and “Lalgola Fast Passenger”.

Bus: Frequent bus services are available between Kolkata and Baharampur (Berhampore) which is 199 Km. away from Kolkata. You can avail any private or government bus from Esplanade (Kolkata) going to Baharampur. Volvo bus services are also available.

Must Visit Place:

Krishna Nath College: Built by “Krishna Nath Nandi” this college was started 3 years before the establishment of Calcutta University.

Barrack Square/Cantonment: This is basically a square shaped field surrounded by army quarters which used to be the Army barracks of the British regime created during 1767 AD.. The place has a 40 acres lawn. Each side of the square filed is of 402.36 meters. The Barrack Square or the Cantonment is quite famous due to its historical importance during the time of Indian Mutiny of 1857 AD. And most importantly there were no British troops during that time in Baharampur as well as in Calcutta.

Bishnupur Kalibari: This Kali temple is situated south of Cossimbazar, near Baharampur. The Kalibari was built by “Krishnanand Hota”, the “Gomasta” of East India Company. A large number of devotees gather on Tuesdays and Saturdays to offer their prayers.

Laldighi Park: A beautiful park during the reign of Sashanka in Bengal, Karna Subarna the capital of Bengal. Though the place has nothing much to visit for but still it is a historical sight which you must visit at least once.

Rangamati: 10 km away from Baharampur, “Rangamati” is a village situated on the western bank of river Bhagirathi. Rajbari Danga is also a nice place to visit while in Berhampore. The place is now left with the ruins of the Buddhist Monastery.

Grant Hall: Built in honour of Sir John Peter Grant (1859-1862) the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. The house originally belonged to Mr.J.Marion, Superintendent of Nizamat Palace. The old building was destroyed due to earthquake and it was later rebuilt in 1911 AD. The entire area in and around the Grant Hall is 1.5 Bigha.

Congregational Church: This church is basically the Baharampur branch of the London Missionary Society founded in 1824 AD. When Mr. Micaiah Hill came to Baharampur from Calcutta, had opened seven schools for Hindu and two for Muslim Boys along with this Church. Mrs. Hill however opened two girl’s schools later on.

Armenian Church: Located at Sadiabad near cossimbazar, there is an Armenian Church with ornamented tombstones and an hourglass which signifies the immortality of time. The church
has been recently renovated and is a great place of interest among many tourists.

Baharampur Cemetery: This is a famous cemetery with graves and tombs of military men and their family, namely:  Captain James Skinner 1773 AD, Captain John Friend 1787 AD, Neil Rainy 1793 AD, Caroline Brown 1798 AD, and Colonel Mitchell 1833 AD.

Kunjaghata Palace: The Kunjaghata Palace situated at Sadiabad belonged to Maharaja Nanda Kumar’s son in law “Jagat Chand”. The Maharaja along with his family lived in this family during 1744 AD. At present his personal belongings which include his letters, shawl, sword and other antiques are preserved here.

Karnasubanrna: “Karnasubarna” (Kansona) is a place of great historical importance. This was an ancient capital of King “Gaureshwar Shashanka” of Gauda (Gour). The town of Karnasubarna has also a rich history which tells us that Gautama Buddha stayed here for seven days. Buddha Vihar was built in the front courtyard of the King’s palace in honour of “Gautama Budhha”. There are several other excavated sites near Karnasubarna namely – Rakshashi Danga, Sanyasi Danga, Bhimki Tala. Rajbari Danga” is another important site you can viist from Karnasubarna which situated 2.4 Km. from the place. The mound of Rajbari Danga is 503,500 sq ft.

You can also visit the Cemetery of Burmese King Thibo, Residency Cemetary of Babulbona, British Home of Jagath Seth, the British Town Hall, Saidabad Palace.

Things to Do: You can enjoy the boat ride from Baharampur to Mushidabad over the Bhagirathi River. Best time to avail the ride is during the full moon nights which can be a mind-blowing experience all in all. Apart from this you can also enjoy and attend several festivals especially Durga Puja. Charak Puja is quite famous in Baharampur and is celebrated with great glory and pompous decorations.

Nearby Places of Interest:

Hazaarduari Palace: Also known as the Nizamat Quila (the Fortress of the Nawabs) was built  by Duncan McLeod of the Bengal Engineers in the year 1837during the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. In 1985 the Palace was handed over to the Archeological Survey of India.

Katra Masjid: The Katra Masjid is the mosque and the tomb of Nawab Murshid Khan, which was built between the year 1723 and 1724. It was a great centre of Islamic Learning apart from being the tomb of Murshid Quili Khan.

Bachhawali Tope: Bachhawali Tope is a Cannon which lies in the “Hazarduari” Campus. The cannon was made between 12th and 14th century.  It was used to protect the city of Murshidabad from the north western attacks.

Nizamat Imambara: It was built by Nawab Nazim Mansoor Ali Khan Feradun Jah in 1847 AD. He was the successor of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah in Murshidabad. This is the largest Imambara in Bengal and in India as well.

Moti Jheel: The beautiful lake was excavated by Nawazesh Mohammad, the husband of the famous Ghasseti Begum. Moti Jheel is situated about one and a half kilometer south of Lalbagh.  This place was the home of Warren Hastings after he became the Political President at the Durbar of Nawab Nazim. Moti Jheel is also known as Pearl Lake.

Kath Gola: Kath Gola was the garden palace of Raja Dhanpat Singh Dugar and Lakshmipat Singh Dugar. Though the glory of this place had faded away but it still has tourists and history enthusiasts who visit this place quite often.

Wasef Mnzil or New Palace: This beautiful palace was built by Sir Wasef Ali Mirzaas his own residence which lies between Hazar Duari and Dakshin Darwaza.The building was constructed by Mr. Vivian, Public Works Department Officer and Surendra Barat, a Bengali engineer.

Clock Tower: The Clock Tower is situated between Imambara and the Palace. It is also known as the “Big Ben of Murshidabad”. It has a bell which can be heard from distant places. The dial is placed and faced towards the river. The Clock Tower was designed by Sagore Mistri, the native assistant of Colonel McLeod.

Fauti or Phuti Masjid: Built by Sarfaraj Khan in a single night in 1740 AD, the Phuti Masjid to the east of the Hazarduari Palace at Kumrapur. It is one of the largest mosques in the Murshidabad Town, which is 135 feet long and 38 feet broad. The mosque has five domes, some of them are incomplete and there are four spiral stairs at the four corner of the mosque.

Khosh Bagh: Khosh Bagh is situated on the opposite banks of the River Bhagirathi. You can reach Khosh Bagh by motor boat from Lalbagh Sadar Ghat or from New Palace Ghat. You will get to see the grave of Nawab Alivardi Khan, Siraj-Ud-Daullah, Mother of Siraj, Siraj-Ud-Daula’s wife Luft-un-Nisa and other member of his family. The cemetery is surrounded by a 2,741 long wall. The mosque is of 2,675square feet area.

Radha Madhav Temple: This temple is located on the east side of Moti Jheel at a place called Kumar Para. This is a 400 years old Hindu Temple built in 1609 AD.

Where to Stay:
You will get a huge range of hotels and guest houses while in Baharampur, consisting of both budget and luxury range with facilities of AC, Geysers, attached bath, conference hall, multi cuisine restaurants etc.

Travel Tips: You can commute in and around Baharampur by autorickshaws and motor vans. You can pay a visit to the historical Murshidabad town which is just 12 Km. away from Baharampur. Hired vehicles are available for the trip from Baharampur and back.

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