A visit to palaces takes us to the glorious past of the place the royal lifestyle led by the rulers of those times. India has plenty of such palaces, many of them that are unique in their ways. Hazarduari Palace in West Bengal is one such attraction that quips the curiosity of a traveller.
As the name suggests, Hazarduari is a palace with thousand doors. The palace was built in the nineteenth century during the reign of Nawab Nizam Humayun Jah who ruled Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. The architect of this masterpiece was Duncan Macleod.
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What Makes The Palace Unique?
It is not just the number of the doors that make the palace different from the rest, it is interesting to know that out of these thousand doors, only 100 of them were real doors, and the rest 900 were fake ones.
You may wonder what the mystery behind the fake doors is. Well, the doors were built this way to protect the palace from predators. The idea was to confuse the attackers who attack the palace and try to escape, giving the Nawab's guards enough time to catch them.
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The Palace Complex
The palace enclosure is known as Nizamat Kila or Kila Nizamat. Apart from this stunning structure, the palace complex also has Nizamat Imambara (a Muslim congregation hall), Wasif Manzil, Bacchawali Tope, Nawab Bahadur's institution and three mosques that include the Madina mosque.
Built just 40ft away from the banks of Bhagirathi river, the foundation of the palace was laid very deep, so the structure stays strong. The grand staircase to the palace and the Indo-European architectural style are other highlights of this magnificent structure.
The palace was used as a venue for royal meetings and official discussions between the British and the Nawabs, and also as a residence for high-ranking British officials. However, today the palace is a museum that preserves the precious collection of the Nawabs that include furniture, paintings and antique pieces.
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The Hazarduari Palace Museum
The palace museum is today the biggest site museum managed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The antiquities of the palace museum include the belongings of the royal family, which include a stunning chandelier of the Durbar hall which is the world's second largest chandelier in the world, the first being one in the Buckingham Palace. This chandelier was gifted to the Nawab by Queen Victoria.
The museum galleries include Armoury wings, Royal Exhibits, Landscape Gallery, British Portrait Gallery, Nawab Nazim Gallery, Durbar Hall, Committee Room, Billboards Room, Western Drawing room and Religious Objects' Gallery to name a few.
The palace is located at Murshidabad at West Bengal, and here's how you can reach Murshidabad.
Travel to this lovely place on your next visit to the place.