urshidabad, lies on the eastern bank of the river Bhagirathi and is situated to the north of Kolkata (24°10'N 88°15'E) at a distance of 219 km by road and 197 km by rail. The town, lends its name to the district. Mukhsusabad ("The Select City") or Makhsusabad (Makhausabad or its variant Makh-sudabad meaning the Desirable City), as it was known earlier, owes much to its present name, Murshidabad (মূর্শিদাবাদ), to Murshid Quli Khan মুর্শিদকুলি খাঁ (1706-1727 AD), the Dewan and subsequently who shifted his Dewani Daftar (office) to this place from Jahangirnagar, Dacca (Bangladesh) in 1704 AD, and renamed it to Murshidabad.
Murshidabad remainded as capital for 74 years, from 1717 AD to 1790 AD. During this period three successive Islamic dynasties namely the Nasiri, Afshar and Najafi ruled Bengal from Murshidabad. The glory of this place reached its zenith during the time of Suja-ud-Daulla (সুজা-উদ-দৌল্লা) and Alivardi Khan (আলীবর্দী খাঁ) who made this city vibrant with numerous constructional and cultural activities. But the defeat of Siraj-ud-Daulla (সিরাজ-উদ-দৌল্লা) at the Battle of Plassey পলাশী (1757 AD) prooved disastrous for the Murshidabad Royalty. The Khosh Bagh (খোশ বাগ) Cemetery, contains the tombs of Alivardi Khan, the last great Nawab, and Siraj-ud-Daulla, his grand nephew, who was defeated by the British at the Battle of Plassey. In 1765 AD, The East India Company received the grant of Dewani or financial administration of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa from the Mughal Emperor of Delhi, Shah Alam, and in the following year Lord Clive, as the Emperor's Dewan, presided in person at the Poonneah, or annual collection and settlement of revenues. On this occasion the young Nawab Nazim (as administrative and military representative of the Mughal Emperor of Delhi) Najam-ud-Daulla sat on the masnad, with the Dewan (Lord Clive) on his right hand. Murshidabad continued to be the capital under the British until 1790 AD and is still the seat of the prominent descendants of the Nawabs of Bengal. In 1790 AD under Lord Cornwallis the entire revenue, civil and criminal staff were shifted to Calcutta. In 1793 AD the supreme power of the Nawab Nazim Murshidabad was abolished, and the Governor General and Council were the controlling power over the subordinate District Courts. The Murshidabad Mint, the recognized emblem of metropolitan supremacy, was abolished in 1799 AD. Thenceforth, Murshidabad has been left only as the residence of the Nawabs, the descendants of Mir Jafar. The title of Nawab of Bengal was ultimately stripped off by the British imperial power in 1880 AD, during the time of Feradun Jah ফেরাদুন জাঁ.
Constituted a municipality in 1869 AD, Murshidabad has its district headquarters in Berhampore (বহরমপুর), located at distance of 12 km south of Murshidabad. Berhampore is one of the most important towns in the district of Murshidabad. After winning the battle of Plassey, East India Company shifted civil court and administrative buildings to Calcutta (now Kolkata), but they found it is important to set up a subsidiary treasury at circuit courts of Sadar Dewani সদর দেওয়ানি and Nizamat Adalat নিজামত আদালত at some place near Murshidabad. At that time English traders and Industrialists used to reside on a donated land of 133 acres by Nawab Mir Jafar Ali Khan at the southern part of a settlement named Brahmmapur (ব্রহ্মপুর), near Murshidabad. The site for the second treasury and Circuit Court was chosen in this Brahmmapur, and a Cantonment was build over there. It was the residential settlement of British soldiers, army officers, and their families. This was known as Gorabazar (গোরাবাজার). "Brahmmapur" ব্রহ্মপুর is the original name of later known Berhampore town. Berhampore continued as a cantonment until 1870. The cantonment was constituted as a municipality in 1876 and was made the headquarter of Murshidabad district.
The Barrack Square Field, in the town of Berhampore, was used to house the British army and the first rumble of the Indian Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 actually started here on 26th February. Towards the middle of the 19th century,
The British built the Krishnath College (কৃষ্ণনাথ কলেজ) here, styled after England's Oxford University, is a part of the history of western education in Bengal and, in a wider sense, forms a chapter in the history of social and cultural progress of Bengal in the 19th and 20th centuries. Long, before 1853, the year of the birth of this Institution , the objective conditions were ready for the foundation of a college at Berhampore for imparting western education. The College first as "Berhampore College" started in the building now known as the Main Hostel of the Krishnath College. Mr. A. S. Harrison was the first Principal of Berhampore College. The foundation of the present college building was laid by Sir Cecil Beadon the then Lieutenant Governor on Wednesday, the 29th July, 1863.
During the thirties and forties of the last century the people of Murshidabad felt the impulse of the Renaissance which had its start in Calcutta with the foundation of the Hindu College in 1817 AD. For two decades the idea of western education had struck root; attempts and experiments had been made; but the aspirations of the people remained unrealized. When at last, in 1853 AD, a College was founded at Berhampore.
Berhampore is famous for its ivory marts, silk weaving, the Indian Cork (Shola শোলা) craftsmen, the Kansa (bell-metal কাঁসা) marts. Shola - pith is a white spongy wood material which is used for carving marvelous and artistic objects. Production of large quantities of brass and bell-metal utensils is being carried out in Khagra at Berhampore. These utensils are of superior quality (Known as Khagrai Kansa, খাগড়াই কাঁসা) and are also exported to foreign countries. Now many of the craftsmen have also diversified, like the Fiber glass work, Coconut (with fiber) work etc. Berhampore is also popular for Khaza (খাজা) made from sesame seeds (তিল), date palm Jaggery called Khejur Gur (খেজুর গুড়) and a sweet called "Chanabora" (ছানাবড়া). Berhampore is also a rail and road hub of the West Bengal state and is an important agricultural center. The new bus terminus named "Mohona" (মোহনা) set up here is the second largest bus terminus in Asia, after Mofussil Bus Terminus or CMBT of Chennai. The bus stand was innagurated by Shri Pranab Mukherjee (প্রণব কুমার মুখোপাধ্যায়) on 15th August 2009.
The town of Berhampore also shares its name with Berhampore at Wellington (41°19'S 174°47'E) , New Zealand. Local land owner George Hunter married the daughter of Major Paul, an ex-Indian Army officer, and used this name for his holding in honour of his father-in-law. Many of the streets in this suburb were also then given Indian names. like Khandallah Village, Ganges Road, Agra, Simla, Delhi, Madras, Cashmere...etc (Reference:Khandallah Library41°22'S 174°43'E , 8 Ganges Road, Wellington, New Zealand). The tourism industry of Murshidabad centers round the rich cultural heritage of the district. The relics of the ancient buildings embody the civilization and the culture of the dynasties dominated here since the pre-historic times. The antiquity of Murshidabad helps the tourism industry to attain a thriving popularity. The interesting centers of Murshidabad fetch tourist throughout the year. The tourist spots of Murshidabad have been differentiated according to its location. Southern, Northern and Middle part. The town of Murshidabad today stands guard to all the monuments, that were once witness to Indian history.
One can tour Murshidabad all round the year. Winter is the best time to visit and the months are from October to March. Otherwise the temperature out here is 38° C almost throughout the year. During the month of January the temperature varies from 8° C to 12° C, so always carry sufficient wollen clothes during this time.
Air: Murshidabad is well linked with Kolkata. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is nearest to it. Berhampore, the headquarter town of Murshidabad is just 186 kms by rail from Kolkata.
Road: There are regular bus services between Kolkata and Murshidabad town (219 km By National Highway No 34). All North Bengal going buses take a halt at Berhampore Town. Buses are also available on regular basis to/from Rampurhat, Suri, Bolepur, Maldah, Krishnagar and Durgapur to Berhampore. One can take a halt at Berhampore town where a lot of hotels are avaiable and tour various spots of Murshidabad.
Calcutta State Transport Corporation [CSTC] (From Dharmatola / Esplanade) Ph : 033-22481916, 033-22482401, 033-22371212
06:30 AM, 05:35 PM
10:30 AM, 12:00 PM
09:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 08:30 PM, 10:00 PM
06:30 AM, 09:45 AM, 09:30 PM
Siliguri (Rocket / Super)
07:00 AM, 04:00 PM, 06:00 PM, 07:00 PM, 08:00 PM
North Bengal State Transport Corporation [NBSTC] (From Dharmatola / Esplanade) Ph : 033-22430736, 033-22371806
08:00 PM, 09:00 PM
04:45 AM, 08:00 AM
06:00 AM, 10:00 AM
06:00 AM, 07:30 AM, 08:30 AM
06:00 PM, 07:00 PM, 08:00 PM
06:45 AM, 12:00 PM, 12:30 PM, 01:15 PM, 03:30 PM
07:00 AM, 09:00 PM
South Bengal State Transport Corporation [SBSTC] (From Dharmatola / Esplanade) Ph : 033-22486259,033-25530340
05:00 AM, 05:30 PM
NOTE : Apart from these lots of private buses ply between Kolkata and Berhampore daily Download this timetable :: time-table-buses.pdf
Rail: Murshidabad Railway Station stands on the Sealdah-Lalgola শিয়ালদহ-লালগোলা line of the Eastern Railway. The town of berhampore is about 12 km from Murshidabad. Berhampore Court Station of Berhampore is also linked by railway service from Kolkata. The Bhagirathi Express and the Lalgola Passenger from the Sealdah Railway Station reach Berhampore Court Railway Station covering 186 km in 4 to 5 hours. Khagraghat is another nearby station connected by Howrah. The Hazarduari Express runs daily from Kolkata (Chitpur চিতপুর) Station to Murshidabad. Dhanadhanya Express (ধনধান্যে এক্সপ্রেস), inagurated on 11th, October 2010 by Smt Mamata Banerjee, runs three days a week from Kolkata/KOAA to Berhampore Court/BPC Station.
Murshidabad, due to its exciting past, houses different elements of History. It has also elements of Natural Beauty, as it is a land of rivers & Water bodies. Life style here is very much attached with social and religious custom, so the festivals also add to the intensity of celebrating mood of the people. After the Battle of Plassey in 1757 A.D, Clive on entering Murshidabad describes it thus : "The city of Murshidabad is as extensive, populous, and rich as the city of London, with this difference, that there are individuals in the first possessing infinitely greater property than in the last city. The inhabitants, if inclined to destroy the Europeans, might have done so with sticks and stones" [ Riyaz-us-salatin, a history of Bengal - By Ghulam Husain Salim, Translated from the original Persian By Maulavi Abdus Salim (1902) ]