Ever wondered if we could go back in time? During the reign of Raja-Maharajas, when the air around smelled of royalty and rich culture. Where we could be a part of all the historic tales and revolutions that we now read in our textbooks and novels.
Well now you can, a piece of history is still reserved for us to cherish in the form of architecture, the gigantic royal palaces we read about in our books still exist in Kolkata, where the Royal families used to reside once. Well, standing strong still in the year 2022, Kolkata has beautifully kept the essence of its Royal palaces alive which we call ‘Rajbari’ in local terms. Tracing back to the times of Kings and Maharajas these Rajbaris still reflect the authenticity of that era, the interiors of these palaces/ Rajbaris have been kept intact with a lot of maintenance and are now some of the most well-known tourist spots and heritage stays in Kolkata.
People worldwide travel to the City of Joy to enjoy and explore the rich Rajbari architecture, culture, and tradition.
Let’s have a look with Things2do at some of the oldest lists of Rajbaris in Kolkata that you must visit –
Built-in the 17th century by Raja Nabakrishna Deb who was also an active member of the independent movement. In the year 1757 Raja Nabakrishna Deb, started the famous Shobhabazar Rajbari Durga Pujo, since then Durga Pujo is celebrated here in the most Royal and magnificent way keeping intact the rajbari culture.
Rajbari became the hub of Bengali culture and traditions, with several events being organised here that was being attended by some of the greatest and most eminent personalities like Sister Nivedita, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Warren Hastings, Rabindranath Tagore and Debendranath Tagore. The interior and architectural design of the Rajabri will leave you completely awestruck giving you those royal vibes.
Currently, Surotamo Krishna Deb, the tenth Generation of Maharaja NabaKrishna Deb is residing there. If you’re planning to visit Shobhabazar Rajbari then try to come here around the time of Durga Pujo, as the entire rajbari is beautifully lit up, and Shabeki (authentic/age-old) Pratima is worshipped following all the traditional customs. The puja celebration here is something that will completely mesmerise you!
Location Raja Naba Krishna St, Raja Naba Krishna Street, Sovabazar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700004
Built by the Kundu family, Itachuna Rajbari also known as the Bargi Danga is a well-preserved Rajbari that has now been converted into a tourist destination and staycation. You must be wondering why it is named ‘Bargi Danga’ Well, there’s a history behind it, the name Bargi is derived from the Marathi word Bargis. The Bargis who settled in Bengal were known as Kundus, so Itachuna Rajbari built by the Kundu family was also named Bargi Danga.
A two-hour drive away from Kolkata (in Khanyan station) you’ll witness the magnificent 200-year-old Rajbari with an extravagant ‘Uthon’ (Courtyard), spacious rooms named after Bengali household relationships like ‘Choto Boudir Ghor’ for a comfortable stay. Living space displaying some of the most antique pieces, red and yellow painted Manson along with adorable mud cottages to add up to the beauty of the place.
If you plan a two-day stay here, you will be able to discover the most beautiful activities that they organise, such as the Sandhya Aarti, Cultural rural dance, and performances that will add to your royal experience.
Location Polba – Khanyan Rd, Sankpur, West Bengal 712147
Bawali Rajbari the 250-year-old Rajbari is one of the most spectacular architectural masterpieces located in Nodakhali (South 24 Parganas). Though the roots of the Mondal Dynasty of Bawali Palace trace back almost four hundred years ago, if you come down to this palace you’ll know how beautiful and lavish it actually is.
For almost 170 years, prominent people, grand events, festivals, and luxurious lifestyles have been an intrinsic part of Bawali Rajbari. However, following independence, the zamindars lost their fortune, eventually leading to the Rajbari’s demise. Today the Rajbari has been converted into a luxury heritage resort near Kolkata, well-maintained and organized thereby curating a royal and lavishing stay experience.
Location North, Rajbari, Bawali, Nodakhali, West Bengal 743384
In 1815-1820 the Goswamis built this opulent Rajbari in Serampore- the locals also refer to this as Goswami Rajbari. This Rajbari has undoubtedly passed the test of time as it proudly stands holding up its intriguing architecture, culture and heritage for more than 2000 years.
One of the most interesting features on the inside is the “Chandni,” or “Natmandir,” a 120-foot-by-30-foot covered courtyard- which serves as the venue for Durga Puja. In fact, after the construction of the Goswami Rajbari was completed, the family deities (kula devata), Radhamadhav Jiu and Gopalji were shifted to the Rajbari. The Goswami family placed an “Ashtadhatu” (eight metal) Radharani idol here too.
People from all over the world come here to witness the grand Durga Pujo being celebrated at this alluring Rajbari. Apart from Durga Puja, festivals like KaliPuja, Dhol Yatra, Jhulan Yatra, and Ras Purnima are celebrated with great pomp and show here.
Location Chatra, Serampore, West Bengal 712201
Also known as Phool Bagh, the Mahishadal Rajbari is just a few km away from Kolkata (three hours drive from Kolkata). Initially, the Upadhyay family owned this magnificent Palace which was later passed on to the Garg family due to the lack of a male descendant.
In the year 2012, this palace was opened for the public as a museum to experience the Royal era and vibe that this place holds including weaponry, ancient furniture, antiques and even a letter from Lord Lansdowne conferring the title of “Raja” to the head of the family at the time.
Many religious festivities, like the Rath Yatra and Durga Pujo, are still held here. If you plan on visiting the Mahishadal Rajbari, don’t forget to see the Madangopal Temple, Lal Kothi, and DadhiBaman Temple.
Location Mahishadal Raj-Bari Rd, West Bengal 721628
When it comes to ancient roots and cultural upheavals, Kolkata is a dream come true. As a result, one can discover the essence of the British Raj and Greco-Roman architecture. It has many iconic artworks to discover throughout the world, which is why Kolkata is a popular tourist destination in India. These are the 5 Rajbaris in Kolkata with each Rajbari is distinctive which is what makes them a must-see in Kolkata.
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