The article speaks about the defeat of Siraj Ud Daula in Battle of Plassey. The history of battle of Plassey is restored in Hazarduari Palace which is a good site for travellers.
The battle of plassey took place in 1757, and for the first time the British colonial group captured the first state in India and that was Bengal. The historical events that led to the defeat of Siraj Ud Daula and the weapons used had been displayed in the Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad.
At that time in the 17th century, Murshidabad was the capital of Bengal. In 1756, Siraj Ud Daula captured Fort William in Kolkata. Then he locked up 146 prisoners of war inside Fort William and it led to Black Hole Tragedy and more than 100 persons died in the incident.
Colonel Robert Clive and Admiral Watson was called up from Madras to Bengal to recapture Calcutta. Clive recaptured Calcutta. Lord Clive’s army were less in number than Siraj Ud Daula’s army.
So Lord Clive hatched a plan of conspiracy with those generals who were unhappy with Siraj. The group included commander in chief Mir Zafar, banker Jagat Seth, Mahtab Chand and Swarup Chand, Rai Durlabh, Yar Lutuf Khan and Omi chand or Amin Chand. Admiral Watson entered a contract with Omi Chand and promised him a huge sum of money, in real case made 2 agreements. He executed the forged document and transferred less amount of money.
On the day of battle at Plassey very close to river Bhagirathi, the soldiers under the command of Mir Zafar did not fight. It resulted in defeat of Siraj Ud Daula and victory of Lord Clive. Lord Clive kept his word and made Mir Zafar the puppet king who ascended on the throne. But the British Government continued demanding more revenue and Mir Zafar failed. He ruled Bengal till his death in 1765. Mir Qasim ascended to the thrown of Bengal after that.
The history in respect of downfall of Nawabs of Murshidabad is very complex. But the arms being used, the paintings, the furnitures and utensils of the Nawab period is restored in Hazarduari Palace.
Hazarduari Palace means a palace consisting of 1000 doors. Out of them 100 doors are real, the rest 900 are false. They were purposely built so that the perpetrators of crime could be detected and arrested by the Nawab. Hazarduari had been built by Nawab Nazim Humayun Jah. Duncan Mcloid completed it in 1837. The archaeological survey of India had restored it and presently it has been converted into a museum. There is a nominal ticket fee for entering into the museum. But the visitors are not allowed to take photographs inside the museum.
The palace is located in a Campus called Kila Nizamat. Other than the Hazarduari Palace the campus has Nizamat Imambara, Murshidabad Clock Tower, Madina Mosque, Chawk Masjid, Bacchawali Tope, Shia Complex, Wasif Manzil and Nawab Bahadur’s Institution. There are also two pairs of mirrors in the museum, that are placed at an angle of 90 degrees in such a way that one cannot see one's own face but others can see. It was used by the King or Nawab himself to prevent predators from harming him, and was kept at a place so that the predator cannot see his face and think a mirror to be there but the Nawab could and he would be caught. Gallery No 1 and 2 is called Armoury Gallery. This gallery is rich in technical skills and is used to display the various weapons like knives, guns, pistols, revolvers, cannons, lances, spears, shields, bows, arrows, rifles and so on. They are inscribed with holy verses from the Holy Quran which is considered sacred text by Muslims all over the world. The dagger by which Muhammad i-Beg killed the Nawab of Murshidabad Siraj Ud Dawla can also be seen here.
Gallery no. 5 is known as the British Portrait Gallery. As the name suggests it has busts of the Indian Governor Generals and agents of the British East India Company (which was a trading company at one point of time) like Lord William Bentick, Lord Corwallis, A. Thompson and so on. There are other galleries like Gallery No 3 having Royal Exhibits and Gallery No 4 having Landscapes. Gallery no. 7 is the Durbar Hall. It is the center attraction of the palace cum museum. It is circular in plan and has four doors at the cardinal points, some of which-as mentioned above-are fake. The Durbar also has a vaulted roof with the crystal chandelier (as discussed above, is perhaps the second largest in the world after the one at the Buckingham Palace) hung from the ceiling. It was presented to the Nawab by the Queen of England, Queen Victoria. Earlier when there was no electricity the chandelier was lit by 1001 candles; at present it is lit by 96 bulbs. In addition, one can see the royal silver throne which was used by the Nawabs to sit, a Durbari Hookah marble candle stands, all of them witnesses of the long regime of British in India for more than 200 years.
It is a lifetime experience to visit Hazarduari palace. If visitors want they can book a guide who takes a nominal fee and explain the things that are exhibited within the palace. There is a beautiful Imambara seen from the Hazarduari Palace in the vicinity. It was built by Nawab Nazim Feradun Jah. It consisted of 207 meters and it took 7 months to build the Imambara with a cost of Rs 6 lakhs. The Imambara mainly had prayer rooms and at the centre there was a big madina. Before this Imambara was used for prayer purposes there was another Imambara built by Siraj Ud Dawla himself. The Archaeological survey of India had taken the Imambara also along with the Hazarduari Palace for restoration. Visitors must take their children and explain the history when they visit the Hazarduari Palace.
Winter is the best time to visit Hazarduari Palace. But visitors flock to these places at all times of the year. As Archaelogical Survey of India has declared it as heritage site it is preserved and restored very well.
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