Monday, 27 October 2014

A Palace with Thousand Doors

Hazarduari Palace, Image Credit: wikimedia.org
Hazarduari Palace, earlier known as the Bara Kothi, located in the campus of Kila Nizamat in Murshidabad, in the Indian state of West Bengal, is a wonderful building well designed with nice architecture and workmanship. Every part of the building brings out the imagination of the designer. The name of the palace is Hazarduari meaning "a palace with thousand doors". The palace earlier known as Bara Kothi has been named so as the palace has in all 1000 doors, of which 900 are false and there are 114 rooms in total.

This palace is intruder's or burglar's nightmare. Once  you get in it is difficult to get out because the doors  were so built that if any predator tried to do something wrong  to the ruler or his families and escape, he would be confused between the false and real doors, and by that time he found out the exit door he would be caught by the Nawab's guards.

Image Credit: http://murshidabad.net
It was built in the nineteenth century by architect Duncan Macleod, under the reign of Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa (1824–1838). The foundation stone of the palace was laid on August 9, 1829, and that very day the construction work was started and completed in December 1837. William Cavendish was the then Governor-General. Now, Hazarduari Palace is the most conspicuous building in Murshidabad.
The palace is rectangular in plan (130 meters long and 61 meters broad) and is a good example of Indo-European architecture. The front facade of the palace, has the grand staircase, facing north. This staircase is perhaps the biggest one in India. A grand flight of stairs of 37 steps of stone, the lowermost one of which is 108 feet (33 m) long, leads up to the palace's upper portico. Perhaps it is the largest one in India.

The Durbar Hall of the palace houses the furniture used by the Nawab  and has a huge beautiful crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling. It is the second largest chandelier in the world, after one in Buckingham Palace. It was given to the Nawab by Queen Victoria.

The Bacchawali Tope – cannon which lies in the campus of Kila Nizamat was brought by Murshid Quli Khan. This cannon has been placed on high altar and its mouth has been covered up with an iron plate. It is said that when used, it made such a huge noise that it would force pregnant women to give birth to babies at that very time. It is really the best spot in Murshidabad.  This place is really worth visiting.

Ref:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazarduari_Palace

"Hazarduari Palace". Retrieved March 28, 2012.