This is a review of stay at the palace (a part has been converted to a guest house) and of the food served
In a NUtshell:
A memorable stay and food at a 150+ year old palace in cossimbazar
Address & other details: Cossimbazar Choto rajbari
Meal for 2: ₹250 onwards per meal
Cuisine type : vegetarian and non vegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews.
No bill for food. We paid in cash for the food. Stay had a bill.
YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
When we decided to visit Murshidabad (West Bengal) last month, we started with the usual – make my trip etc. We were a bit surprised to find very few good stay options here. Then we stumbled upon this rajbari and that changed the whole experience of our trip – thanks to sayantan and Anandam.
We were strictly adviced to travel by train as roads are bad. We found kolkata hazarduari express to be the best option in terms of timing – reaches at 10am one day and then one can leave next afternoon at 445 pm.
The family who own this place can be traced back to 1700s – read their history here – cossimbazar rajbari
The family currently owns the famous sugar and spice bakery chain of kolkata, in addition to other miscellaneous businesses owned by them.
There are several parts of the palaces in different buildings. The stunning ones are the Durga mandap, the Gopal temple, the drawing room, dining hall, bedroom in the main building and a beautiful, imposing durbar hall.
Can’t forget the stunning nag keshor flowers lying below the huge tree in the morning or the hundreds of white n orange flowers lying on the cement path forming a flower bed.
The two large ponds do not have water in them anymore but still have the old ghats.
In general the open area is very well maintained. Some buildings like the guest house, Durga mandap etc. are completely renovated while retaining the original architectural essence. Some are yet to be renovated, like the durbar hall.
Staying in this ‘beyond century’ old palace with high ceilings (wooden beams) was a revelation. Wooden windows with sliders, old wooden furniture, sunshades made of wood, French windows, beautiful lampshades etc. The only thing that spoils the look is the new floor tiles. Though they look beautiful, they clearly stand out as a mismatch to everything else.
What compliments this feel is not an object but a person – Gobindo. Started his career at a hardware shop salesman in kolkata, moved to sugar and spice kolkata and now he is the caretaker. ‘Amazing’ is an understatement. The guy is probably more hospitable than one’s relative. His warmth and attitude to be of service was genuine.
The cook (I did not get to meet him) deserves a 5 star. He cooked us some lip smacking dinner – I over ate!!!!
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Let’s take a round of the rajbari first and we will end with the food:)
The guest house
This is housed in one of the buildings. There are only 3 rooms in the first floor with beautiful names of each.
The balconies in front of the rooms are beautiful – lots of light due to reflection of whites and light pastels. Not too hot due to the high ceilings, old ceiling fans. One can just sit here, chat/ read a book and spend good time.
The room that we stayed in had a beautiful name – mayurpankhi. It was written on top of the gate.
The ceilings were high and were held by massive wooden beams. The rooms had super thick walls that kept it cool. Loved the French windows – an outside facing wooden window from floor to lintel and an inside glass window with wooden frame. The outside facing window had the traditional adjustable wood plants that let air cross ventilate but not the sun rays.
Only thing we disliked about the stay was the cheap Chinese tea makers in the room where water and tea would smell plasticky!!!
The rest of the rajbari –
On the ground floor main building was a long balcony with framed photos of the family over the generations. It also had stuffed animal heads that would have been hunted down a hundred years back.
The bedroom of the palace (only exhibit) had two huge wooden cots with super thick mattresses. There was a hand pulled punkhah (hand fan) atop each bed. A person would be sitting outside the room and pulling the punkhah whole night for his masters, a century back.
I was amazed seeing the skylight in the room that would allow natural light to come in the whole day.
The drawing room was massive and had beautiful wooden furniture. There were some unique and beautiful porcelain figures as well. All furniture was covered with plastic and that was a put off for me.
The dining room had a massive heavy central dining table with wooden chairs around it. If everyone sits and dines here wearing traditional indian dress, it might look as if nothing has changed.
The durbar hall was massive in height and had a imposing effect as we walked in. Thick mammoth pillars , beautifully ornate. This was one of those places which was clean but needed a coat of paint. This can come to life and can be a star attraction of the rajbari.
Durga mandap was real – yet it looked straight out of a period movie. Freshly painted, this hall looked stunning. It was a Durga puja set up I would remember for a long time.
Was spellbound seeing the two lampshades that looked like birds.
We also visited the Gopal temple.
The breakfast is included in room charge. They provide an egg omelet with endless amount of crisp toasted bread and butter. Would have loved to have an option to pay and have a Bengali breakfast like luchi and aloo torkari / luchi and chholar dal / triangle parota etc. That Wud hv made sense with the context.
For lunch and dinner one has to order 3 hours in advance coz after an order is placed a person goes to the market, buys the ingredients and then prepares from scratch.
When Gobindo asked us about dinner, he offered chicken curry, mutton curry, fish curry, egg curry. I asked him if he could get us country chicken (desi murgi). He said he will try and he succeeded.
The curry was so good that we licked it off till the last drop. The chicken flavours and masala flavours complimented each other very well. The chicken itself was perfectly cooked and was full of flavours ( unlike broiler chicken). Some of the pieces were juicy on the middle where marination could not reach. Outstanding I Wud say and rate it 4.95/5
We also were given a mixed vegetable curry. It takes a genius to make that super simple and delicious curry out of daily vegetables. No spices on the face. Veggies retained their texture. So refreshing. Rate it 4.75/5
Overall – look forward to revisiting years later. Hope there are more rooms to choose from then and hope there is a paid pick up service from train station. Currently one has to travel 9 km by toto from station!!!