Monday, 29 April 2019

A Maratha Temple in Murshidabad

In a country as poorly documented as India, and where apart from the handful of major monuments, no historic site receives the attention, funding or promotion that it deserves, one would not be surprised to find mysterious, undocumented remains and curiosities even at a major tourist attraction. Murshidabad is a case in point. The city served as the capital of the Nawabs, the regional governors of Bengal under the Mughal Empire, from the time Murshid Quli Khan moved the regional capital here from Dhaka in 1702, until the Battle of Plassey in 1757 robbed the Nawabs of their authority and Calcutta rose in prominence. A Ministry of Tourism report from 2015 says that while Murshidabad does not attract nearly as many visitors as the city of Kolkata, the hill station of Darjeeling or the beaches of Purba Medinipur, it does attract a sizeable chunk of domestic tourists every year. As a result of this, hotels have been mushrooming all over the city at an alarming rate and the former capital now has the all the signs of an unregulated, unkempt tourist spot, where the government does little and locals do whatever they can to make a fast buck. Apart from the half a dozen or so monuments that are on the tourist itinerary, nothing else receives any attention, and interesting corners of the city that would give us a more complete picture of what the city was like, continue to wither away. Among them, is a curious little temple on the western bank of the Bhagirathi river.

The Shiva Temple at Roshnibagh