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regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 April 2024

Cultural fiesta with a touch of royalty spreads all around in Murshidabad Heritage Festival

t2 was there to soak it all in and here are some moods and moments

Sanjali Brahma Published 23.02.24, 07:39 AM
The first stop of Murshidabad Heritage Festival — Bari Kothi, the heritage resort

The first stop of Murshidabad Heritage Festival — Bari Kothi, the heritage resort Pictures: By author and Murshidabad Heritage Festival

As the clock struck 8am, the Balurghat Express on February 9 left from Howrah station for Azimganj with almost 60 people onboard for the Murshidabad Heritage Festival. Hosted by the Murshidabad Heritage Development Society, the festival has been an annual affair over the last few years. Interested attendees from all over the country come together to delve deep into the history, culture and offerings of Murshidabad, the erstwhile royal capital of Bengal.

The festival which was held from February 9 to 11, closely examined the Sheherwali history which originated in Murshidabad when Rajasthani royals moved to Bengal and a cultural medley was born of Bengal, Jain, Rajasthan and British influences. Beginning from monuments of architectural history to experiencing historic dishes, the festival covered it all. t2 was there and here are some moods and moments...

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THE HERITAGE DRIVE

Bari Kothi warmly welcomed everyone with the women staff blowing the conch shell and performing aarti

Bari Kothi warmly welcomed everyone with the women staff blowing the conch shell and performing aarti

The Nasipur Rajbari Museum was once the court of Debi Singha, who was the expense gatherer of the British during the Nawabi era. Today, the personal belongings and legal documents are on display inside with a 100-year-old Baluchari sari worth lakhs being a prime showcase.

The lion gate (Shinghadwar) at Kathgola Palace

The lion gate (Shinghadwar) at Kathgola Palace

DISPLAYS AND ACTIVITIES

After the ceremonial lamp was lit, the presentation on Murshidabad’s history began in the lustrous garden at Bari Kothi that looked even more gorgeous in the evening.

Pradip Chopra, president of the Murshidabad Heritage Development Society took the aid of an AI-developed video to narrate the history of Murshidabad and its founder Nawab Murshid Quli Khan.

Day One of the festival saw a melodious end as Anindya Banerjee played the sarod at Bari Kothi and soothed the crowd after a day full of travel and touristy activities.

Day Two saw a well prepared kathak performance by local girls who danced to Mohe rang do laal.

FOOD

After a four-hour-long train journey when tourists rested at Bari Kothi, the Sheherwali lunch that awaited them was scrumptious to say the least. The spread consisted of besni poori, pithe, fried moong dal and much more. The Sheherwali cuisine is completely vegetarian and in sync with the traditional Jain culture.

The lunch at Kathgola Palace was a Rajasthani one with the authentic dal, baati, choorma and more items.

Refreshments were handed out while tourists returned from Char Bangla Temples to Bari Kothi. These sweets can only be found in Murshidabad.

What better than sugarcane juice on a hot day! We had a glass outside Katra Masjid

What better than sugarcane juice on a hot day! We had a glass outside Katra Masjid

Sandip Nowlakha, founder of the Murshidabad Heritage Development Society, said: “This festival is a way of familiarising more people to this hidden heritage gem — Murshidabad. When I founded this society over a decade back, the rajbaris here were crumbling. Our society took several efforts to rebuild these places and convince the owners to not let history fade away.”

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