Monday, June 6, 2016

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels (Part 2)

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
This is continuation of the first part of my motorcycle diary on Murshidabad and Malda. My second day started at 6:45 AM with stiff and painful arms. It was the gift of Jumbo cool mode of the cooling imp which affected the fatigued muscles. The moment I got down from bed… Ouch… one of my right toes ached like anything… Gosh there was a shoe-sore! I needed to bandage it to be able to put on my shoes and walk freely. Having taken some dry-fruits breakfast, by 8:00 AM I made my way out for Lalbagh once again.

My plan for the day was to cross the river at Lalbagh to reach Khoshbagh, then from there take the road to Azimganj through the villages, hopping over a few places of interest on the way, to reach Baranagar which is approximately 3 KM from Azimganj, visit the beautiful temples there, come back to Azimganj to cross the river to reach Jiaganj, visit Jain temple, come back to Lalbagh by road to visit the remaining spots which I couldn’t cover the last evening and finally to return back to Behrampur (Ah I just said my whole day plan in a single breath!). My motorcycle had to be carried by a boat again, but by this time my mind had got conditioned to such mode of transportation. Might be I was loving it.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Khoshbagh.
Khoshbagh It means “the garden of happiness”, the burial ground of the last Nawabs of Bengal. In the center of a large walled compound, there is a square shade with three enclosures, on a big platform. Inside the enclosure, the cemetery of Nawab Ali Vardi Khan and his grandson Siraj-Ud-Daula are located. There is also a mosque and small burial ground for female members of Nawab Family.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Tomb of Shuja Uddin Khan.
Tomb of Shuja Uddin Khan The place is also called Roshinibagh, i.e- the garden of lights, hosts the mosque erected by Shuja Uddin Khan. There his tomb lies nearby. You’ll find this on the route to Azimganj from Khoshbagh.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Jagadbandhu Dham.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Charbangla Temple.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
The decorative themes which vary are mainly derived from Hindu epics and puranas.
Charbangla Temple After crossing Azimganj, I had to ride for few more kilometers to reach Baranagar. The road between Azimganj and Baranagar is too narrow, broken and fully dominated by mechanized rickshaw vans. The path gets tolerable only near the temples. These temples lie on the bank of river Bhagirathi. These four temples enclosing a small courtyard were built by Rani Bhavani of Natore. Each temple has three arched openings and three Shiva Lingas. Richly decorated, their facades illustrate the best in the ornamental brickwork of Bengal. The Eastern temple is decorated with delicate plaster work. The decorative themes which vary are mainly derived from Hindu epics and puranas.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Bhavanisvar Temple.
Bhavanisvar Temple The pious and charitable Rani Bhavani of Natore who passed the later days of her life in this village built this temple with several others. Dedicated to Siva and remarkable for its height and unusual style it is an octagonal structure with domed interior and a corridor with sloping roof. In many places, it still retains the original ornamentation on plaster.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Rambagh, a Jain temple.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Dadasthan Temple.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
A new temple was under construction near the old Dadasthan Temple.
Dadasthan Temple After visiting Rambagh I went back to Azimganj to cross the river and reach Jiaganj which lies just opposite to it. It was not hard to locate Dadasthan temple (another Jain temple) but on reaching there the caretaker pointed to a board where the entry time was written (7:30-10:00 AM and 4:00-5:00 PM), where as that time my clock showed fifteen to twelve. Rule is a rule… what could I do… I couldn’t afford to wait till four evening, so made a last self rescue attempt. I humbly informed that aged man that I’d been traveling from Bardhaman, all alone, on a two wheeled caterpillar. This information seemed to have molten him and he opened the gate sympathetically for the poor devotee. Finished visiting the temple had small chitchat and thanksgiving with the caretaker and few more staffs there and then throttled my way to Lalbagh as planned before.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Motijhil Jama Mosque.
Motijhil Jama Mosque After reaching Lalbagh, I took a gentleman’s help to locate this mosque. It was founded by Nawab Md Nowajesh Ali Khan in 1750 AD. 
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Motijhil Lake.
Motijhil It is a horse-shoe shaped lake just adjacent to the above mosque.

I was full with whatever I had seen and done till now, so headed back to Berhampur at around 2:30 PM. I had practically lost my appetite under the sun… so settled with lassi and caffeine drinks before jumping onto the bed. Although I couldn’t extract a proper afternoon doze and the pain had started spreading to shoulder and finger joints, the encroaching evening air created a feeling of guilt against my resting desire. I had to leave the room with my camera and wallet by 6:00 evening. Having met the Range officer while going out, I inquired him about the room charge for two days. He hesitantly informed me of the recent steep hike in their tariff. I was not happy indeed but had to maintain my courtesy. He was nice enough to give me a little discount on the total. But again he was nagging enough to repeatedly advice me not to ride to Malda on a bike, rather I should take the train! I never argue when I’m in any tour, so thanked him and rode to a petrol pump.

There was such a big queue of two wheelers that it made me feel pity for the local bikers. My turn came in almost good 18 minutes. Soon I rushed towards the river bank to watch people running for boats under the glow of yellow neon light. I was pleased to take some night shots and ride few kilometers along the river bank road. What was more pathetic from a tourist's point of view was the worst condition of the entire road along the bank of the river specially in comparison to the roads in the other parts of the city. I went for some small purchases where the shopkeeper got shocked to hear that I was going to Malda the following morning on two wheels. Having finished my dinner I came back to my room.

65+ KM in the whole day was a sweet dessert for this biker. Warning of so many guys against my desire to ride up to Malda was still floating in my mind. Anyhow I had to fall dead asleep… because next day could be a tough day (You never know!). So, Click Here to check out the Next Part of this ride story.

4 comments:

  1. Loving it! Beautiful pictures and wonderful narration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for being a part of my motorcycle diary :-)

      Delete
  2. !alda is incidentally also famous for its mangoes. Isn't it? It's so nice that you can travel like this. Despite having grown up in Kolkata, I haven't explored these parts at all...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, Malda and Mango are synonymous :-P

      Delete

Thank You for Viewing, Reflecting and Leaving a note for me to Ruminate!