Thursday, June 16, 2016

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels (Part 4)

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
This is the final installment as well as continuation of the third part of my motorcycle diary on Murshidabad and Malda. In the penultimate post I had narrated you of my butter-smooth riding experience along the India-Bangladesh road in quest of the historical gems at Gour. I have already acquainted you with the Baradwari Mosque of Gour and now, here I'll introduce you with the remaining monuments of Gour for quenching your historical thirst or simply visual delight.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Dakhil Darwaza.
Dakhil Darwaza This impressive gateway formed the Northern entrance to the fort of Gaur and was possibly built by Barbak Shah. Salutes fired from it also gave it the name Salami Darwaza.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Firoz Minar.
Firoz Minar This tower 25.6 m high with spiral staircase having 73 steps was probably built by Saifuddin Firoz, an Abyssinian who became the Sultan by killing Barbak Shah.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Fath Khan’s Tomb.
Fath Khan’s Tomb Here lies the tomb of Fath Khan, son of Dilwar Khan, Aurangzeb’s General, who was sent by the emperor to kill Saint Shah Niamatullah suspected of advising Sultan Shuja to rebel. On arrival at Gour, Fath Khan is believed to have vomited blood and died on this spot.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Qadam Rasul Mosque.
Qadam Rasul Mosque Remarkable for its highly ornamented bricks, this single domed structure with a square interior and a veranda on three sides was erected by Sultan Nasrat Shah. It enshrined the Prophet’s footprints in stone which now remains with the Khadims at Mahdipur. 
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Lukachuri Gateway.
Lukachuri Gateway This double-storeyed eastern gateway into the inner ramparts of Gour was built by Shah Shuja in 1655 AD and served probably as the royal entrance. Its upper storey was probably used as Naqqarkhana or Drummer’s chamber.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Chika Mosque.
Chika Mosque Containing some carved stones from a Hindu temple and enameled bricks in chronicles, this single domed structure is called a mosque, but probably a mausoleum. Tradition says that it was used as a prison by Sultan Hussain Shah.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Remnant of 22 Yards Wall.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Excavation site where one can see the buried remains of a palace.
22 Yards Wall Only a part of it remains now, which is presently under repair by Archaeological Survey of India’s initiative. In close proximity there is an excavation site where one can see the buried remains of a palace. It is thought that the wall used to fence the excavated royal structures from all the four sides.
Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Tantipara Mosque.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Lottan Mosque.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Gunmant Mosque.

Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels
Kotwali Darwaza at Mohodipur, just on the crossing of Indo-Bangladesh border.
The BSF man on duty was courteous enough to offer me a chair. Sitting there I could see Bangladeshi tourists peeping from the other side to get a glimpse of Indian soil. We had chitchat for sometime. It wasn’t officially permissible but he allowed me to take a snap of the Kotwali Darwaza. Then after half an hour of resting under the shades of tree with that BSF guy I rode back to Malda. It started raining but I didn’t stop, rather kept on pushing with goosebumps over my exposed arms. By 3:15 PM I returned to my den having covered a modest distance of 68 KM. It had to be my daybreak as the remaining portion of the day went uneventful, with me lying most of the time on the bed. Next day, the longest ride of the trip was scheduled!

The caretaker’s repeated banging (yea, not just a knock) of my door woke me up at around 5:10 AM. Slender discontent of failing to start my journey by 5:00 morning didn’t leave my head as I hurried into the bathroom. Bags were reloaded for the one last time of this trip and I zoomed out of the circuit house compound by 6:00 AM. Nothing remarkable occurred throughout my return journey. I kept on riding on rough roads while dipped in the memories of last four days. Each and every day was tiring but at the same time filled to their brim with sense of achievement and gratification.

Relief came in the form of a good road as I took the left turn from NH60. It rained in the middle and made me shiver but who cared! After crossing Dakbangla I got dry weather and a lush green meadow few meters down the road hypnotized my power of decision making. I rested on a plastic sheet over the wet grass gazing the infrequent vehicles passing through the nearby road. I didn’t realize how quickly one hour passed… so had to shake off my infatuation towards nature for that moment. That phase of relaxation helped me to cover the remaining distance. Ultimately, having munched 258 KM I reached Bardhaman at 2:15 afternoon.

Kindly bear with me for one more minute as I would like to add few more lines here. Please don’t judge the potential of Murshidabad and Malda as historical tourist spots by their lack of tourism infrastructure and popularity in media. Just make a travel plan for 3-4 days and get down on the track with your bags. Seeing the road condition I would suggest you to take train route… if you can tolerate little adversity even state transport buses can be second option… and of course cabs for the rest of the tourists who don’t prefer any of the above options. Things are so simple out there that any outsider can easily explore. Locals are mostly cooperative. There are plenty of accommodation and eatery options, so nothing should hinder a traveler. And if you're a motorcyclist- Ride Safe… always Ride with a Helmet… Happy traveling and keep clicking photos on the Go!

If you've missed earlier, checkout all previous parts of this motorcycle diary:
* Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels (Part 1)
* Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels (Part 2)
* Exploring Murshidabad and Malda on Two Wheels (Part 3) 

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