Saturday, August 24

15th century Rajbari may find place on heritage tourism map

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Two senior Union tourism ministry officials travelled to the dilapidated yet enchanting Narajole Rajbari in West Midnapore on Saturday to check the feasibility for putting the palace on the heritage tourism map of Incredible India and ascertain if it can be developed as a future destination.

Sandip Khan, a member of the erstwhile Narajole royal family, said: “Narajole Rajabari, which was given a heritage tag by The West Bengal Heritage Commission in 2008, is in need of urgent repair and has become a hub for antisocial activities. The government should take necessary steps to preserve this rich heritage.”

Built sometime around the 15th century, the sprawling rajbari is spread over 70 acres and separated into a ‘Bahirgarh’ and an ‘Antargarh’ by a moat. The magnificent old building known as ‘Jolohari’ in the middle of a lake, with its portico supported by pillars and topped by a pediment, still carries the legacy of glorious craftsmanship.

The ‘Antargarh’, which has several temples devoted to various gods, quarters for the queens, buildings that housed royal offices, is marked by a lion gate at the entrance. The architecture of the palace drew inspiration from classical European architecture, evident from Corinthian pillars and pediments.

Assistant director of Indiatourism, Kolkata, S R Chowdhury, and tourism ministry deputy general and regional director (east), Sagnik Chowdhury, who travelled with Bespoken Architecture and Unique Legacies (BAUL) chief mentor Samrat Choudhury to Narajole were struck by the experience. “We must ensure that this rich heritage is restored,” the tourism ministry deputy general said.

 

Source: Times of India

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