Lansdowne Hall of Coochbehar, a heritage building

Lansdowne Hall (south view)Coochbihar

During the British rule, Coochbehar was one of the most important and affluent princely states of the Bengal Presidency and was ruled by  the Rajbanshi clan. The royal family had a close rapport with the British and they never failed to entertain the British dignitaries with grand party and sumptuous meal. Coochbehar, a 13-gun salute state, was soaked in royalty with fine expensive cars, jewelry and impressive palace and public buildings. There were frequent visitors from the elite families of Europe to this rich Himalayan kingdom. This place has many heritage buildings and Lansdowne Hall is an interesting one. Wekk refined and highly cultured, the royal family gave due imortance to education of their subjects. 

Lord Lansdowne.

Above image: Lord Lansdowne (1888-1894) Governor-General and Viceroy of India. Born on 14 January 1845,  he became   Governor-General in India after having served  as the Governor General of Canada and Foreign Secretary of Great Britain and deputy leader of the Conservative Party. During his tenure  he focused his attention on the expansion of railways, irrigation and better administration. He managed to control the political situation in NE India............

Lansdowne Hall, on the Sagardighi West in  the center of the town of Cooch Behar is  an important landmark that houses 
BMO and others. Erected in 1894 in commemoration of the visit of Lord Lansdowne, Viceroy and Governor General of India to  Cooch Behar, Lansdowne hall played a crucial role in the local society for a pretty long time; it was a venue of countless important public meetings, while it was also used as a reading room for literate people of this area.
Lansdown Hall,Cooch
It was on February 2, 1895, the State Library was opened on the ground floor  by Maharaja Sir Nripendra Narayan (4 October 1862-18 September 1911. A Masonic Lodge  was opened on upper floor on  May 7, 1895.

Designed in Italian type of architecture, the dimension of the building is length north and south  109’4’’ and breadth 85’3’’. The width of the main building is 59’6’’. In front there is a carriage porch with three storied structure along with a clock tower atop. The striking features are the tall tower  whose height from the ground is79 ft and the attractive  main doors, which are 12X6 fore fold and have sashes ( a sort of gridles?) embossed "to Lansdowne’s and His Highness" crest. The center Hall  is a big one  92’6’’ X25’  with fairly broad side aisles - 12 feet wide. The clock tower took a severe beating during the massive earthquake of 1897.