Breathtaking Cooch Behar Palace - a heritage site


Night-view of beautiful Rajbari.cooch

Central hall dome. cooch
Cooch Behar,  the district headquarters of the Cooch Behar District in the Indian state of West Bengal is  ideally located in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas  and is an attractive destination for the fun-loving people.  The  very name Cooch Behar is a derivation of the  name of the Koch or Rajbongshi people who are indigenous in this this region for many centuries. The word behar is derived from Sanskrit: vihara. Cooch Behar is a heritage town. It was once the princely state of Koch Bibar ruled by the Koch dynasty. Since 20 August 1949, Cooch Behar District, formed out of the  princely state, has been around with the town of Cooch Behar as its headquarters.

Cooch Behar Palace, also known as  the Victor Jubilee Palace, is a popular tourist spot in this town. Designed  and built on the model of the Buckingham Palace in London in 1887, during the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan, it has an elevated basement of 1.5 metres in height and  the building is good example of  classical European  architecture of Italian Renaissance. This  two storied brick building has a dimension of 120 metres from north to south and 90 metres from east to west, covering  an area of 51,309 square feet (4,766.8 square metres). The frontal facade has  a series of arches that rest on alternating narrow and  broad piers to  contain  single  and  double Corinthian pilasters respectively. 

 A porch is in the  center   provides  an access to the  main  entrance that takes the visitors to the building through  the Durbar Hall.   The Durbar Hall is  designed as dodecagonal (12 sided) in shape, resting  on four  arches  supported  by  massive Corinthian pilasters and projecting a lantern at the top and this arrangement is similar to that of  St. Peter's Church in  RomeThe Hall has an elegantly shaped metal dome which is topped by a cylindrical louvre type ventilator. This is 124 feet (38 m) in height from the ground and is in the style of the Renaissance architecture. The inner curve of the dome follows stepped patterns and  are flanked by a small  beautiful balcony with twelve window openings at the base. The attractive feature at the center of the Durbar hall is the the marble floor with  the royal insignia adorned with semiprecious stones. 

The palatial building  has  more than fifty rooms/halls of varied dimensions for various purposes. They include, as in many palaces, the bedrooms, dressing rooms, billiard room, kitchen, dinning hall, dancing hall and library. Also included are  toshakhana where gifts and other valuable items are kept and the  exclusive ladies gallery. Most of the rooms are well embellished, befitting the royal residence.

This amazing building is being visited by coutless people daily and this heritage site connects us with the tumultuous and passionate colonial past.
Entrance gate. Cooch_Behar_Palace.
Night-view of beautiful Rajbari.cooch
Cooch_Behar_Palace. cooch

Center floor with royal insignia .cooch