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Cooch Behar Palace

The Cooch Behar Palace, locally known as ‘Rajabari,’ is a prominent landmark in the city of Cooch Behar in West Bengal. Also called Victor Jubilee Palace, the construction displays the architectural splendour of the Renaissance period. Clad in classical Italian-style design, the model of the palace resembles the Buckingham Palace of London. Koch king Maharaja Nripendra Narayan built it in the year 1887. This two-storied construction covers an area of 51,309 square feet; it stands on a basement of approximately 1.5 metres and is 120 metres long and 90 metres wide. The columns inside the palace are of the European Corinthian type. The Durbar Hall inside is a recall of the St. Peter’s Church of Rome. There are more than 50 halls in total inside the palace, including a vestibule, bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen, dining hall, dressing rooms, dancing hall, library, billiard room, ladies gallery, and treasure house (tosh khana). Most rooms are painted in a myriad of colours and bear lovely designs on the ceiling and wall surfaces. A heap of artifacts and precious objects were found inside, which are now lost. Cooch Behar is also famous as the home of Maharani Gayatri Devi.

Madan Mohan Bari

Another tourist attraction in Cooch Behar is the temple of Lord Madan Mohan, locally known as the Madan Mohan Bari. Located in the heart of the city, this architecture, too, was constructed by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan sometime during 1885-1889. The temple is devoted to Lord Krishna and Balaram; it homes four deities –Lord Madan Mohan, Ma Tara, Ma Kali, and Ma Bhavani. Madan Mohan Bari witnesses the famous Raas festival, which is accompanied by a puja and a fair. This is the biggest and most pronounced festival of North Bengal and is celebrated with great pomp and show. During this time, the temple is thronged by one and all. Other than that, the temple also welcomes festivals like Rath Yatra, Dole Yatra, Durga Puja, and Janmashtami with equal zeal. The top of the construction is dome shaped and accompanied by a beautiful pond in the yard and a majestic entrance. The construction is also a symbol of the historical bond shared by West Bengal and Assam. This is because the Koch dynasty during the medieval times, reigned over lower Assam and North Bengal. Try to visit the temple during the time of ‘aarti’ when the aura is most alluring.

How To Reach Cooch Behar Palace And Madan Mohan Bari

To visit the Cooch Behar Palace and the Madan Mohan Bari, you will have to arrive at the city of Cooch Behar first. Your journey can start from Siliguri and Kolkata. New Cooch Behar is the nearest Railway Station and Bagdogra is the nearest Airport. The two destinations are incorporated in most Dooars tour packages and are accompanied by other destinations like the Baneswar Shiva Temple, Chilapata Forest, Jaldapara National Park, Kunjanagar, Chapamari Wildlife Sanctuary, Bania Ruins, Neora Valley National Park, Rasik Bill, Madhupur, Jayanti Forest, Siddheswari Kali Mandir, and Buxa Tiger Reserve.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Bari?

You can visit the two destinations at any time of the year. However, make sure to visit the palace and the temple during sunrise, when the rush is less. In addition, visiting Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Bari during festive times is a different kind of thrill in itself. April-June and September-December make the ideal time slots. The rain is at bay, the temperature is ambient and the festivals are in a full swing.

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