New Cooch Behar railway station gets facade of local palace

The palace built by Koch kings is the most attractive heritage property in Cooch Behar

By Main Uddin Chisti in Cooch Behar
  • Published 17.01.19, 12:59 AM
  • Updated 17.01.19, 1:01 PM
  • 2 mins read
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The New Cooch Behar station, whose facade is modelled on that of the palace Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

Tourists can get a taste of what is in store the moment they get off trains here with the facade of the New Cooch Behar station being remodelled like that of the Cooch Behar palace.

What added to the charm of the station is a vertical garden, near to which a fountain will be erected.

The station bears semblance to the Gothic style of the palace built by the Koch kings, the most attractive heritage property in Cooch Behar. The station has recently been painted like the colour theme of the palace.

The project was implemented by the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR).

“The facade of the station was built like that of the palace. We have also raised a vertical garden on the station premises and will soon install a fountain to give it a complete look,” P.J. Sharma, the chief public relation officer of the NFR, said over the phone from Maligaon.

The royals had set up the Cooch Behar State Railway in 1901 and trains used to run from Gitaldaha to Jayanti.

Later, a metre gauge line was set up along the Alipurduar-Bamanhat-Golakganj route, which connected Assam with Cooch Behar, a princely state then.

The vertical garden near the station.
The vertical garden near the station. Picture by Main Uddin Chisti

When train services commenced along the Barauni-Guwahati route in 1966, the New Cooch Behar station was built.

Gradually, it has developed as the principal station in Cooch Behar district.

“It is nice to see that the station has decked up like a replica of the royal palace. The building carries a similar grandeur like the frontage of the palace and I stopped for a couple of minutes to click photos,” said Abhay Kalita, a Guwahati resident who had been to Cooch Behar.

According to sources in the NFR, the fountain will be installed in a circular garden in front of the station.

The garden is spread over 4,298sqm and was certified as the largest of its kind set up ever by the Indian railways by the Limca Book of Records in 2012.

Along with tourists, local people are also visiting the station to check out the new look.

“Two days back, I had been to the station with my daughter. It was nice to see the brick-red coloured building that looked almost like the palace. The vertical garden is also attractive. We clicked some photos. We have seen stations with such heritage look at places like Lucknow (Charbagh) but there is no such station in north Bengal. It is a matter of pride for Cooch Behar residents,” said Shefali Rani Roy Sarkar, a schoolteacher.