Kolkata was a cultural melting pot during British rule.
The opulent aristocracy of Bengal and the city’s nouveau riche lived in lavish houses inspired by Europe’s Greco-Roman architectural histories.
During the British Raj, these rajbaris, or royal residences, belonged to West Bengal’s landed nobility, known as zamindars.
Centuries later, the royal families have resurrected these beautiful historical masterpieces to their former glory.
Some of these Rajbaris are now used as heritage resorts, where you can book a stay. Others, however, are in ruins. Still, you can visit these historic landmarks and explore their past glory.
In this article, you will get to know about the following Rajbaris that you can visit near Kolkata,
- Serampore Rajbari
- Mahishadal Rajbari
- Itachuna Rajbari
- Bawali Rajbari
- Amadpur Rajbari
- Kalna Rajbari
- Cossimbazar Rajbari
- Jhargram Rajbari
- Kashipur Rajbari
Let’s see each of these places in detail.
1. Serampore Rajbari
Serampore Rajbari is an opulent mansion that belonged to the Goswamis of Serampore.
It was constructed between 1815 and 1820 by Raghuram Goswami, son of Harinarayan Goswami. Later, the locals began to refer to it as Goswami Rajbari.
The palace is standing with its intriguing architecture. The grand building has two independent blocks from the outside. A complicated labyrinth of corridors linked these blocks.
The part to the north is more impressive, with ionic columns, and cast-iron gates.
The most prominent feature on the inside is the “Chandni,” or “Natmandir,” a 120-foot-by-30-foot covered courtyard.
The Chandni serves as the location for Durga Puja, during which the Serampore Rajbari greets a large number of people.
2. Mahishadal Rajbari
Mahisadal Rajbari is a popular Rajbari that is less than three hour drive from Kolkata.
The royal palace is also known as Phool Bagh.
The Garg family became rulers of Mahishadal after the lineage of the previous rulers, the Upadhyay family, ended due to the lack of a male descendant.
The tranquil palace became one of the primary attractions for locals and tourists visiting the adjacent tourist sites. It was opened as a museum in the year 2012.
Many religious festivals like Durga Puja and Jagannath Rath Yatra are organized here.
The dining hall is beautifully adorned with a lovely fresco panel depicting the stories of Shakuntala.
Lal Kothi, Madangopal Temple, and DadhiBaman temple are some of the important attractions in Mahishadal Rajbari.
3. Itachuna Rajbari
The Itachuna Rajbari, also known as the Bargi Danga, is a well-preserved Rajbari that has been modified into a historic destination and a palatial homestay now.
The name Bargi is derived from the Marathi word Bargis. The Kundans were one of the Bargis who settled in Bengal and were known as the Kundus.
The Itachuna Rajbari was built by the Kundu family. It is located about two and a half hours from Kolkata.
The Rajbari hosts many events and programs, including Sandhya arati, and traditional rural music programs.
The red and yellow colors of the building, as well as the adorable mud cottages, add to the elegance of the palace.
This magnificent 200-year-old mansion with five courtyards, ancient caskets, elaborate woodwork décor, and framed texts from the past makes it an ideal location for an elegant wedding or pre-wedding shoot.
You can enjoy the delicacies prepared by the cook whose family has served the royal family for decades.
4. Bawali Rajbari
The Bawali Rajbari is one of the spectacular architectural masterpieces located in Nodakhali, South 24 Parganas.
It was built about 250 years ago.
The roots of the Mondal Dynasty of Bawali palace date back four hundred years.
This architectural Marvel has a glorious history, as Eminent guests, grand parties, festivities, and lavish lifestyles were an integral part of Baawali Rajbari for over 170 years.
But after the independence, the zamindars lost their wealth which led to the ravishing of the Rajbari gradually.
Today the Rajbari has been transformed into a luxury heritage resort near Kolkata.
Once you step into the Rajbari you can experience a vintage ambiance of zamindari grace, styles, and opulence.
A treasured palace wrapped with royalty will surely amaze you.
Premium comforts, royal services, appealing beverages and food, and the enticing piano room are the prime highlights here.
5. Amadpur Rajbari
Amadpur Rajbari is another heritage homestay in the village of Amadpur. It takes about two hours to reach this place by car from Kolkata.
This old structure is embellished with high ceilings, elegant verandahs, and antique furnishings. There are twelve terracotta temples in the rajbari dating back more than five centuries.
The magnificent orchards and lakes are ideal spots for photography.
There are natural pools for a pleasant soak, and the surrounding scenery is evergreen with well-known attractions like Baithkkhana, Dol Mancha, and Shiva temple.
For centuries, the Rajbari have celebrated Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Dol Jatra with grandeur.
You can enjoy authentic Bengali cuisine prepared here in a traditional homemade manner with the hand-ground masala paste.
Posto Bora, Shukto, and Labhra with fish, mutton, and chicken, as well as local Mishti Doi, are the most popular cuisines here.
Overall, Boro bari will fill your hearts with immense pleasure.
6. Kalna Rajbari
Kalna Rajbari Complex is a popular historic landmark situated in the Purba Bardhaman district of West Bengal.
The glorious attraction of the beautiful terracotta temples within the rajbari complex dates back to the 18th century.
These temples were built by the Maharajas of Bardhaman.
The entire raj bari Complex consists of a plethora of temples namely The Pratapeshwar Temple, Ras Mancha, Pancharatna Temple, Lalji Temple, Vijay Vidyanath Temple, and Krishna Chamdraji.
These temples represent stunning architecture and regal cultures.
These temples have finely carved intricate designs of terracotta and many important gods and goddess of Hindu Mythology are worshipped in these temples.
The terracotta panels also depict battle scenarios from great epics and daily lives in the past.
The temples spread along with the large green complex, with well-maintained lawns and gardens, and the blue skies make it an ideal tourist spot.
7. Cossimbazar Rajbari
Cossimbazar Rajbari is a magnificent palace located in Murshidabad with a blend of Indian and European architecture.
This stupendous royal colonnaded facade was founded by the Roys in 1700.
Later they transformed some of the rooms into guest rooms and others into a walk-through museum.
The ideal time to visit is during Durga Puja when the family celebrates the yearly rituals in the hall with an open courtyard on a marble platform named ‘Chandi Mandap’.
The central ballroom, bedrooms, and dining area are intricately and luxuriously designed.
The Rajbari’s magnificent bedrooms, dining halls with “Tana Pakha”, eye-catching paintings, chandeliers, finely carved dressing tables, and Victorian-era furniture, are ideal for a lavish stay and wedding festivities.
Nagalingam, The Sabha Ghar, the Malkhana, and Clock Tower are some of the interesting historical attractions in Cossimbazar Rajbari.
8. Jhargram Rajbari
Jhargram Palace is a wonderful tourist spot with a blend of culture, tradition, heritage, and prolific beauty.
It is located in the Jhargram area of Purba Midnapore.
This palatial structure combines Islamic and Italian architectural styles. The exquisite Italianate building built in 1922 CE under Raja Narasingha Malla Dev Bahadur, is situated in well-maintained landscaped lawns and gardens.
The Royal family of Malla Dev currently resides in this royal Palace.
They have transformed about 10 rooms on the ground floor into a Heritage Hotel with well-furnished rooms, ponds, and restaurants.
The Palace campus, which is reminiscent of a regal existence, brings glory to a past life.
There are also temples near the Rajbari that are dedicated to Lokeswar, Lord Bishnu, four-faced Shiva, and Manasa Devi.
9. Kashipur Rajbari
The Kashipur Rajbari is a well-known heritage palace located in Purulia. It was constructed in 1916 in Kashipur.
The 800-old Rajbari has housed the Royal family of Panchakot.
The grand place has an ancient Durga Temple and numerous significant antiquities.
It is a melting pot of rich legacies, classical music, and poetry. Many Navaratna meetings were held here by scholars.
Festivals like Ras Utsav, Dol, and Durga puja are celebrated with grandeur and fervor here.
A huge chandelier is the main attraction of the court hall of Rajbari.
Special exhibits of Kashipur Rajbari are the Belgian-painted glass, stone statues, and weapons like swords and spears used by the KIngs.
The history of Purulia is incomplete without the opulent palace and the rich history of Kashipur.
These imperial palaces may be a pleasant refuge for individuals who love to paint, write, or take stunning photographs.
These heritage locations were seen in movies like Lootera, Piku, and the Netflix movie Bulbul.
Many couples visit these destinations for pre-wedding shootings as well.
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