About Hazarduari Palace Museum
Have you ever been to a place where you felt like you were stepping back in time? A place where the past comes alive and you can almost hear the whispered echo of history? If you have, then you know what it’s like to visit Hazarduari Palace Museum in Murshidabad, West Bengal, India.
Located in the district of Murshidabad, in the Indian state of West Bengal, Hazarduari Palace Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in history or architecture. Hazarduari is a palatial structure that was once the residence of the Nawabs of Bengal.
The palace gets its name from the Persian words “hazar” meaning “thousand” and “dar” meaning “doors”. This is because the palace is said to have 1000 doors.
However, the palace only has 100 actual doors, with the remaining 900 being fake. This was done on purpose to protect the palace against attacks from enemies. The idea was to confuse intruders, giving the Nawab’s soldiers plenty of time to catch them.
Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in West Bengal. Here, visitors can explore the massive palace and learn about the many fascinating artifacts on display. With its rich history and beautiful architecture, It is an unforgettable experience for anyone who visits. My first visit was in 2004 and It was the second family tour out of my district. Below picture was captured by me with a Yashica roll camera.
History of Hazarduari Palace Museum
Hazarduari Palace Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state of West Bengal, India. The palace was built in 1837 by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan as his main residence. The Nizamat Kila, also called the Hazarduari or the Palace of a Thousand Doors, is a palace that was built in the classical style for the Nawabs of Murshidabad by Colonel Duncan Macleod (1780-1856).
Kila Nizamat now refers to the campus that includes the Hazarduari Palace, Murshidabad Clock Tower, Nizamat Imambara, Madina Mosque, Bacchawali Tope, Chawk Masjid, Wasif Manzil, Shia Complex, and two Zurud Mosques.
The museum houses a large collection of paintings, armours, sculptures, manuscripts and other artefacts from the Mughal and British period. The most famous painting in the museum is the ‘Nawab of Bengal with his Family’ by Zoffany. Hazarduari Palace Museum is one of the must-visit places in Murshidabad and a perfect spot for history buffs and art lovers.
The Battle of Plassey
In June 1757, the Battle of Plassey was fought between the British East India Company and the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daulah. The battle was a turning point in Indian history as it led to the establishment of British rule in India.
The battle took place at Plassey (Palashi) on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. The Nawab had an army of 50,000 men while the East India Company had 3,000 European soldiers and 2,000 Indian sepoys.
The Nawab was outgeneraled by the British and was defeated. He was captured and taken prisoner. This ended his rule and led to the establishment of British rule in Bengal. After the Battle of Plassey, the palace became the property of the East India Company and was used as an office for the company’s collectorate. In 1861, it was converted into a museum by Lord Dalhousie (James Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of Dalhousie) and has been open to public ever since.
The Fall of Hazarduari
The Hazarduari Palace, once a symbol of power and opulence, is now in ruins. It was one of the largest palaces in India, with huge numbers of rooms and a courtyard that could accommodate 5000 people. The palace was used as a summer residence by the Nawabs of Bengal and was also the site of important political events.
In 1947, after the partition of India, the last Nawab of Bengal, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, signed the document officially handing over power to the Government of India. After that, the palace was abandoned and left to decay. Today, only a fraction of the original palace remains; the rest has been destroyed by time and neglect.
Despite its current state of disrepair, the Hazarduari Palace is still an important historical site. It is a reminder of the grandeur of the past and of the changing fortunes of those who once lived there. The palace is recognised by the Archeological Survey of India and has a place on the List of Monuments of National Importance in West Bengal.
Location of Hazarduari Palace Museum
The Hazarduari Palace Museum is located in Murshidabad, in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is situated on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, about three kilometers from the town of Murshidabad.
How to reach Hazarduari Palace Museum?
The nearest airport is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport , located about 193 km away. The best way to reach Murshidabad is by train; the nearest railway station is Berhampore Court railway station , located just 3 km away. Take Hazarduari Express from Kolkata station (Chitpur) at 6:50 AM and It will reached Berhampur court station at 11AM. Took a rickshaw or toto from there to reach your destination.
You can stay in many reasonable hotels in Murshidabad and even you can stay right on the gate of Hazarduari. Distance Between Railway station and Hazarduari is about 3 km. The best hotel in my opinion in the area is Hotel Sagnik (Google Map Link) which is only 2 km from station and 1 km from Hazarduari.
My first visit to Hazarduari Palace Museum
I visited the Hazarduari Palace Museum with my family in 2004 – 05. The museum is home to an incredible collection of Mughal and British artifacts, as well as a variety of weapons and armor. We were able to see some of the original furniture used by the Mughal Emperors, as well as their personal effects.
The tour begins with a visit to the ground floor of the Palace, where you can see the magnificent Durbar Hall and the impressive collection of artifacts on display. The highlight of the tour is the visit to the second floor, where you can see the stunning murals and paintings that adorn the walls of the Palace.
The tour also includes a visit to the gardens, where you can see the beautiful flowers and plants that have been carefully cultivated over the years. The Hazarduari Palace Museum is a fascinating place to visit and a great way to learn about the history and culture of Bengal. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the city.
Later in 2006 I was shifted to Murshidabad for my Graduation. I have completed my B.Tech from Dumkal Institute of Engineering and Technology. During my B.Tech time , till 2010 I visited the place a couple of times. Almost twice or thrice a year. But I love the memories of my first visit to Hazarduari Palace Museum on 2004/05.
Entry fee and timings of Hazarduari Palace Museum
The entry fee for Indian citizens is Rs. 20 and for foreign nationals, it is Rs. 250.
Timings : 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed on Fridays)
The best time to visit the museum is between October and March.
Things to see inside Hazarduari Palace Museum
When you visit Hazarduari Palace Museum in Murshidabad, you’ll be able to see a variety of interesting artifacts and architecture. The palace itself is a massive structure with huge numbers of rooms, and it houses a wide collection of art and artifacts. Here are some of the things you can see when you visit Hazarduari Palace Museum:
- The Grand staircase: This staircase is made of marble and has a beautiful arched design. It’s one of the most impressive features of the palace.
- The Banquet Hall: This hall is where the Nawabs of Murshidabad held their grand parties and banquets. It’s decorated with beautiful chandeliers and paintings, and it has a capacity of over 500 people.
- The Clock Tower: The clock tower is one of the most recognizable features of Hazarduari Palace Museum. It was built in 1837 and is over 100 feet tall.
- The Armoury: The armoury contains a large collection of weapons, including swords, guns, and ammunition.
- The Museum: The museum houses a wide collection of art and artifacts, including paintings, statues, coins, and manuscripts.
Tips for visiting Hazarduari Palace Museum
When visiting Hazarduari Palace Museum in Murshidabad, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, the main entrance to the museum is through the imposing Hazarduari Gate. Visitors can also enter through the side gates, but they will need to purchase a ticket at the main entrance.
- Second, the palace is spread out over a large area, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Third, there are a number of stairs and staircases throughout the palace, so again, comfortable shoes are a must.
- Fourth, there are many rooms and exhibits to see inside the palace, so allow yourself plenty of time to explore.
- And finally, fifth, take advantage of the free audio guide that is available in English and Bengali. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a great visit to Hazarduari Palace Museum!
For more you may visit : Murshidabad, city of history ★ ইতিহাসের শহর মুর্শিদাবাদ