The first tourist attraction that strikes a visitor is undoubtedly the Rajbari or the Royal Palace. The massive brick and white coloured building is awe inspiring.
This used to be the residence of the maharajas back in the day, ones who were responsible for planning Cooch Behar the way they did, well ahead of its time. Later on, the Rajbari was used by the British Empire. Today it has been converted to a museum that speaks and exhibits volumes about the town’s history.
The Baneswar Siva Temple is situated 10 km away from Cooch Behar. It is famous for two rather peculiar things. Located 10 ft below the temple is a Shiv Ling that people come to worship from all over the country.
The temple also features a pond nearby with a huge number of turtles which are also worshipped as part of the rituals. The campus comprises of 2 separate shrines and the idols within the temples are carried back and forth depending on the time of the year. Hence, the name, movable Baneswar.
The name of this temple roughly translates to the shrine of 12 Goddesses although this explanation has been open to debate. Dussera and Durga Puja celebration at this temple is not to be missed. The way the temple is decked up for the celebrations and the prayer ritual is a once in a lifetime experience. Surprisingly, this temple features signs of European architecture.
Gosanimari Rajpat has been an important excavation site close to Cooch Behar. Archaeologists have been working at the site for years and have come up with significant findings to prove the existence of ancient civilizations of Buddhist influence.
Various stone engravings and planned complex structures like water supply systems and wells have been excavated. The place is really well laid out and a walk through Rajpat is a great way to spend an afternoon.