Cooch Behar is a small town in the Eastern region of the state of West Bengal. This town is surrounded by Assamese towns on its East and the neighbouring country of Bangladesh on its South. Cooch Behar is often regarded as a historically rich town and houses some of the most ancient artefacts and remains of pre-colonial rule in India. The entire city of Cooch Behar is divided into five sections and offers many tourists destinations for the visitors. Rich varieties of migratory birds, ancient religious temples and annual cultural fairs are other important attractions of this city. Cooch Behar is a lively city as it hosts a significant number of monthly and weekly fairs including the Book fair, fruit exhibitions, flower exhibitions and the famous Rath Yatra. This town is also famous for its weather as it remains uniformly pleasant throughout the year. If you are planning to visit Cooch Behar, here are top 5 places that you should have on your list.
1. Cooch Behar Raj Bari Palace
Raj Bari Palace was built in the 1880s as a princely palace by Bengali ruler Nripendra. This palace was built on the architectural model of Victoria palace in Kolkata and is often regarded as one of the most peaceful places in the town of Cooch Behar. The outer complex of the palace is surrounded by a beautiful network of lush green lawns and the inner compound houses some of the most important historical artefacts from the 1800s. This palace is now being taken care of by the Archaeological department and is an immensely important historical site of Cooch Behar.
2. Sagar Dighi
Sagar Dighi is an artificial lake and is one of the largest water bodies in the town of Cooch Behar. The lake is surrounded by ancient political buildings on three of its sides and is popularly known as the administrative centre of Cooch Behar. Sagar Dighi is also known for housing some of the most delicious food stalls of the town. If you are someone who loves watching or clicking birds, this lake will impress you beyond measure as it attracts a large number of migratory birds throughout the year.
3. Madan Mohan Bari
Madan Mohan Bari is an ancient Hindu temple located in the center of the town and is dedicated to Goddess Kali. This temple was constructed under the guidance of Bengali ruler Nripendra and is one of the biggest centres of faith in the Northern part of West Bengal. Madan Mohan Bari temple receives maximum visitors during the festival of Raas Jattra which is considered as the most important festivals of North eastern Bengal. The temple also houses a little lake and remains decently crowded throughout the year.
4. Siddhanath Shiva Temple
Siddhananth Shiva temple is an ancient Hindu temple and is located at a distance of around 8 km from the main town of Cooch Behar. This temple was built during the period from 1800 to 1844 and comprises of a large number of peaks, pillars and domes belonging to ancient history. A large number of devotees visit this temple as it houses a five feet long ‘Shivling’ of Lord Shiva. Siddhanath Shiva temple is also known for its rich architecture and ancient carvings on the inner walls of the temple.
5. Baneswar Shiva temple
Baneswar Shiva temple is located at a distance of around 12 km from Cooch Behar and is known for its serene and peaceful surroundings. The entire temple complex is divided into several sub temples that include the images of various Hindu deities like Goddess Gouripat and Ardhanishwar. Baneswar temple also houses a small lake which is believed to have spiritual and medical healing powers. According to a famous tradition of this temple, no devotee is supposed to leave the temple complex without taking a bath in the ancient lake. Dol Poornima, Chaturdashi and Mahashivratri are three of the most important festivals of this temple.
Cooch Behar can be aptly described as an amalgamation of history, spirituality and devotion. On one hand it mesmerizes you with its beautiful artificial lakes and on the other hand it makes you fall in love with its devotional centres or temples. If you are planning to visit Cooch Behar, make sure that you have the above mentioned places in your list as they will give you the most memorable experience of this town.
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