Coochbehar is one of the Easternmost towns of Dooars and a town with great historical significance. The place got its name from the Cooch dynasty which made this town its capital for more than 400 years. It became part of India at the time of India's Independence. Coochbehar is now a district of West Bengal.
Things to See
Coochbehar Palace - The centre tourist attraction in the town is the Raj Palace. It was established by King Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur in 1887. The huge palace is built in Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture combining British architectural style with the Mughal style. The place is made of red bricks and is said to be inspired by Buckingham Palace. King Nripendra Narayan got his education in London. The palace is inspired by the Italian renaissance. The original palace was 3-storied high but the third floor was destroyed during the great earthquake of 1897 measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale. The building covers an area of 4,700 square meters. The Length of the palace is 120 meters from North to South and the width from East to West is 90 meters.
After the death of the king, Nripti Jagadeependra Narayan (Grandson of King Nripendra Narayan) in 1973 the palace lost its glory and was in partial ruins. In 1982 Archeological Survey of India (ASI) took over the maintenance of the Coochbehar palace. Today the Palace is back in its full glory. In 2002 a museum was set up inside the palace depicting the culture of the local people as well as the royals of Coochbehar. The palace was home to the famous Maharani Gayatri Devi who grew up in this palace as the granddaughter of King Nripendra Nayarayn.
Madan Mohan Temple - At a short distance from the palace is the temple of Madan Mohan of Coochbehar. Madan Mohan is the “Kul Devta” of the Cooch kings. Madan Mohan is a form of the Hindu God Krishna who mesmerizes everyone. The temple was built by the Cooch king Nripendra Narayan in 1889. The temple God is highly revered. Every year tens of thousands of pilgrims visit the temple.
Rash Mela - Rash Mela of Coochbehar is a month-long festival organized in November-December. The Rash festival is organized to celebrate the eternal love of Lord Krishna and Radha. Lord Krishna is referred to as Madanmohan here. Originally the Rash was a festival for the Cooch kings but now thousands of people from near and far gather at Coochbehar to witness the festivities of the fair. The Rash Mela is probably the largest such fair in North Bengal and is an ideal ground to observe the culture and traditions of the local people.
Gosanimari - This is the archaeological site where ASI excavated the ruins of a palace. The excavated site is known as Rajput Mound and is situated 40 km from Coochbehar town and 14 km from Dinhata. The site is the central citadel of the Kamtapur kingdom which occupied parts of present Assam, West Bengal, and Bangladesh. The first account of the Gosanimari ruins was left by Dr Buchanan Hamilton who visited the site in 1808. Stone and Terracotta sculptures have been excavated from the site some of which are from the 9th and 10th Century AD.
Baneswar Temple - The Shiv temple at Baneswar has located about 10 km from Coochbehar. The temple is more than 400 years old. There is also a temple of “Ardhanariswar” next to the main temple. There is a pond at the temple which is home to a number of large tortoises locally called “Mohan”. Some of the tortoises are more than a century old.
You can also visit other important tourist attractions of CoochBehar including Sagar Dighi, Ananda Ashram, Old circuit house, Moti Mahal, Victor Palace etc.
Sitalpati – Coochbehar is also famous for the production of Sital Pati, a mat produced from natural fibre. The Mats are made from the Murta plant. In the Ghughumari area of Coochbehar, the entire village produces Sital Pati. Buyers from different parts of Bengal, Bihar, and Assam come here to purchase these mats. Natural mats are known for their excellent cooling quality. During the summer months, mats are put on the bed to keep the temperature down in rural areas. There is a museum run by the local Sital Pati artisans at Ghughumari where you can see different designs of mats and also buy some of them.
Tourists visiting the forests of Dooars can also take a day trip to Coochbehar. The Buxa forest is just 40 km from here via Alipurduar, Chilapata is about 30 km and Jaldapara is about 60 km. Alipurduar town is 24 km away.
The major airport of the region is Bagdogra and the major rail station is NJP both of which are about 150 Kms and 3.5 Hours drive. Coochbehar has its own airstrip but it is not used regularly. The New Coochbehar rail station (NCB) connects Coochbehar to the rest of the country. Alipurduar Junction station is also just 25 km away. All trains travelling to North East India from the rest of the country have to pass through one of these two important stations.
There are several hotels in Coochbehar town. Most tourists, however, prefer to stay in the natural surroundings of Buxa or Chilapata and visit Coochbehar for a day trip. HUMRO TOURS has its own lodge named Humro Home at both Chilapata and Buxa where guests can stay. We also organize accommodation in Coochbehar town for tourists who want to stay there.
HUMRO TOURS organizes package tours, accommodation bookings and itinerary design for tours to Coochbehar and the rest of Dooars. If you are planning to visit the area and need expert guidance and support, you may click on the inquiry form below and send us your detailed requirement. Our helpdesk experts will get back to you soon