Mahishadal is a historical town in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district.
This location is well-known for its grand Mahishadal Rajbari (palace) complex and the Rath Yatra festival.
The Mahishadal Rajbari is the residence of the Mahishadal Raj Gargs.
It comprises two palaces ( the old one known as Rangi Basan Palace & new), a cutchery or court house, a ghat, and a massive Navaratna temple.
The opulent property, which had been neglected for many years, is now being refurbished and made available to tourists.
Mahishadal Rajbari is an excellent weekend destination from Kolkata, particularly for history enthusiasts.
In this article, you will get to know the following points about the Mahishadal Rajbari,
Let’s see each of these points in detail…
Location of Mahisadal Rajbari
Mahisadal Rajbari is located in Haldia, West Bengal. It is about 100 kilometers from Kolkata.
Although you can take the train from Howrah, driving down to this palace is a more pleasant choice.
History of Mahisadal Rajbari
The Upadhyay’s were the rulers of this place after the reign of Bimanarayan Roy Chowdhury.
When the dynasty of the previous rulers, came to an end due to the absence of a male successor, the Garg family took over as rulers of Mahishadal.
Janaki Devi, who managed the estate after her husband Raja Anandalal Upadhyay died, turned over control to her grandson (eldest son of her daughter), Guruprasad Garg.
Ramnath Garg, his grandson, who was childless, adopted Lachman Prasad Garg.
The current generation is descended from Lachman Prasad Garg.
To keep the mansion functional, cousins Shankar Prasad Garg and Hara Prasad Garg decided to establish a museum on the ground floor.
The family has kept the upper floors for personal usage.
Mahisadal Rajbari Museum
|Museum Timings||Every day from 10 AM to 6.30 PM|
|Museum Ticket Price||Rs 10 per person (full charges apply for children above five years)|
The museum was first opened in 2012. It quickly gained popularity and became a famous destination.
The ground floor of the museum has fascinating items on display.
This includes weaponry, ancient furniture, Belgian glassware, and even a letter from Lord Lansdowne conferring the title of “Raja” to the head of the family at the time.
Unless specific permission is acquired, photography is not allowed in the museum.
Both locals and people visit the neighborhood for tourism and for picnics during the winter.
Accommodation at Mahisadal Rajbari
The Garg family has recently constructed a two-room homestay facility on the ground level, near the museum, in response to the museum’s popularity and requests from travelers.
It presently offers two well-appointed rooms (with adjoining bathrooms) available for visitors.
One double-bed and one six-bed.
Rates of the rooms are between Rs. 4,000 and Rs. 7,000 (may vary).
However, these are provisional rates.
Architecture of Mahisadal Rajbari
The historic Mahishadal Raj palace is also called the Phool Bagh Palace. This structure was built in 1857 and is now dilapidated.
Built in the well-known “Navaratna” or “Nine Jeweled” style of Bengal, the entire palace has more like a European setting.
This is uncommon in the rural region of West Bengal.
The roof is supported on both sides by lofty ionic columns.
The white façade is adorned with elaborate embellishments in golden tones, such as shields and floral designs.
In front, ornate wrought iron seats are erected, with a cannon mounted on a carriage in the center.
A basement with a storage room is also visible.
The cutchery (court house) and the majestic Radha Gobindo temple, which houses the family deity of the Mahishadal Rajbari, are also situated nearby.
Many smaller yet gorgeous residences surround the Phul Bagh Palace. A small army of guards is still employed to protect the land today.
Things to see in Mahisadal Rajbari
There are a lot of things that you can see in the Mahisadal Rajbari complex.
Old oil paintings and current pictures depict the life stories of the successive generations of the Garg family.
Various antique pieces of furniture, including a chair with the family crest, and bric-a-brac were scattered in the room.
But images and artifacts of great Indian classical singers have always remained the main interests of tourists.
Weapons, animal trophies, furniture, musical instruments, and vintage record players are among the things that reflected the past lifestyles of the early monarchs.
Even if you aren’t staying here, don’t miss the dining hall, which has a magnificent fresco panel on its walls portraying the narrative of Shakuntala.
The palace has long been a favorite of filmmakers, and many major Bengali films have been shot here.
The palace is surrounded by a large garden with palms and other trees. A statue of Raja Sati Prasad Garg Bahadur can be found at the fountain corner.
The fountains, which are decorated with colored lighting, look fantastic at night.
Behind the palace lies the partially ruined Lal Kothi, which is surrounded by a lake. To escape the summer heat, family members used to go to this house.
The semicircular Dadhi Baman Temple is located in another corner (dedicated to Rama).
Make sure to check out the Rangibasan palace (old palace) where the family used to dwell before the current palace was built.
It is a short walk from Phool Bagh Palace.
Occasions held at Mahisadal Rajbari
The Mahishadal Rajbari hosts many occasions throughout the year.
During the various religious occasions held here, the family members make sure that all the guests are attended well.
These festivals include the more than 200-year-old Jagannath Rathayatra and Durga Puja.
Except for the Rathayatra, the elaborately ornamented 13-spired chariot can be seen lying idle in the center of Rath-Tala.
The Rathayatra (chariot festival) of Mahishadal, draws a huge number of throngs and lasts nearly a month.
It was founded by Rani Janaki Devi in 1776.
In line with historical customs, the chariot will not begin to roll until a member of the royal family (who comes in a palanquin from the palace) tugs on the ropes first.
Until the Bahuda Yatra (return journey), the idols are housed in a temple known as Masir Bari (aunt’s house).
The family’s Durga Puja adheres to Vaishnava devotional principles.
As a result, no animals are sacrificed. Cultural events are held in the evening.
The Mahishadal Raj family’s musical concerts were well-known throughout the country.
Faiyaz Khan was a renowned singer in the rajbari.
Khan sahib and his entourage would frequently stay here, and other stalwarts would pay him visits on special occasions.
Except on festival days, the royal compound is quite peaceful.
So, if you want to spend a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Phool Bagh Palace is an excellent choice.
It might also be a wonderful destination for individuals who love to paint or write.
You can also explore the area, which is filled with agricultural fields and fish ponds.
Alternatively, go in search of the ‘Gohona Bori’ (sun-dried lentil paste). You can pick up a package or two before your return journey home.
While returning from the peaceful ambiance of the palace, you can also visit the Bargabhima Temple (one of the Shakti Pithas).
This is another prime attraction near Mahisadal.
The wonderful historical Mahisadal Rajbari will surely gift you with an essence of old charm and refreshment.
Once in a lifetime trying to visit this mansion on special occasions of Rath Yatra and Durga Puja.
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