Shobhabazar Rajbari

Walk with history is very close in Kolkata. This city believes in nostalgia. This city gives the love to live in full bloom. While you walk with the empty streets of North Kolkata morning you will feel:

I walk a lonely road

The only one that I have ever known

Don’t know where it goes

But it’s home to me and I walk alone

Alone walking in the streets of North Kolkata gives you not only a nostalgic feeling, but also you can see the grey British colonial architecture of early modern times. And Shobhabazar Rajbari is one of the prime examples of the early Bengali Nawabi architecture. The greyscale time Bengali architecture has a close influence with Roman and Greek style of architecture. This architecture is a common in Bengal Raj family, particularly those who were in close patron of British East India Company.

DSC_2271Shobhabazar Rajbari or Shobhabazar Palace of Saborno Roy Choudhury is among one of the oldest Royal houses of aristocracy of Kalikata village. It was built by Raja Nabakrishna Deb, a prominent aristocrat of Kolkata. He helped British East India Company to built Kolkata as a royal seat in India. He was an ardent exponent of Brahmo Samaj Movement initiated by Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Shobhabazar Rajbari is famous for its Durga Puja in the month of October-November. Now this royal palace is also an important heritage site of Kolkata resplendent with memories of the old Zamindari era that dominated the region in sepia time.

Shobhabazar Rajbari was built in the middle of 1700 by Raja Nabakrishna Deb, the youngest son of Ram Charan Deb, who was a businessman and a Dewan under the Nawab of Cuttack. However, after the death of his father, the family of Nabakrishna Deb settled at Gobindapur. Later, with the conglomeration of the three villages of Kalikata, Govindapur and Sutanati, today’s Kolkata is formed by the British East India Company. And from there brought the royal prosperity to the family after British East India Company set up a fort at the village of Gobindapur.

DSC_2283.JPGThe acquaintance of Nabakrishna Deb with Robert Clive changed his fortune for good. Being well versed in Parsi and educated well he started his career as a munshi and got engaged in the personal service of Lord Clive and gradually rose to power and fame with time. After Clive appointed him to the post of his personal Confidential Secretary, he became an influential negotiator between the British East India Company and the age old Mughals of Delhi, Nawabs and Provincial kings. Everyone treated him with great respect in spite of his allegiance to the British.

The Nat mandir of Shobhabazar Rajbari is the cynosure to the visitors during the Pujas. Also known as Thakurdalan, the Natmandir of Shobhabazar Rajbari is an open courtyard area in the middle of the palatial building. It is situated at the northern end and is supported by pairs of columns with multifoil arches on top supporting the columns. The bases of the columns are squared. The courtyard of the palace was used for special festivals and functions of this royal family.

DSC_2287The architecture of Shobhabazar Rajbari was also known as saat-khilan thakurdalan. The double storied  wings of Shobhabazar Rajbari on either side of the courtyard connect the thakurdalan with the dancing room to the south. A set of eight massive Tuscan columns support a wide projecting cornice at roof level. The two rows of multifoliate arches at the northern end provide access to the Nabaratna Temple at the rear. The roof of the dancing room or naach room has fallen through and very little of the superstructure remains except for the huge courtyard that still remains intact.

To visit this Royal Palace, come by metro railway to Central Railway Station or you can come by bus via Esplanade on one side and Shyambazar on the other. Close to Shobhabazar Rajbari, you can see Jorasanko Thakurbari, the house of Rabindranath Tagore, Marble Palace and the Royal House of Daw Family.

3 thoughts on “Shobhabazar Rajbari

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s