The biggest magnetism of Cooch Behar is undoubtedly the Cooch Behar Royal Palace. Planned by an English Architect F Berkley, the Cooch Behar Royal Palace was made on classical Italian lines. Its building began during the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan and was complete in 1887. The paintings on the walls and ceiling, a lesser imitation of Florentine and Venetian are still quite vivid.
Situated in the middle of a huge manicured garden, this is a grand two-storied building whose arched ornamental and corridors gateways have the aura of a majestic English home. The giant metal dome on top, beautifully exemplified on the inner surface is demonstrated after the one in St. Paul’s Cathedral in perhaps, or London St. Peter’s in Rome. Underneath the dome, on the marble floor of the Durbar Hall, lies a giant image of Narayan dynasty’s Court-of-Arms, the Lion and Unicorn on the Royal Court of Arms of the United Kingdom, later replaced by an elephant and a monkey was added to the top.
The Cooch Behar Palace, 296 ft in breadth and 394 ft in length, has more than 60 rooms and galleries of varied dimensions. The 405 mt long surki pathway from the main appearance to the palace passes through a garden of 65 acres, immaculately continued with a huge pool.
Noted for its stylishness and grandeur, the property is currently protected by the Archaeological Inspection of India. At the center of the Palace is a projected porch to provide the main visitors entrance to the palace through the Durbar Hall. The palace’s facade has a series of arcaded verandahs both in the ground and first floor.
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The palace includes various halls and rooms that include the dressing room, bed room, billiard room, drawing room, toshakhana, dining hall, library,
thakurghar, lady’s gallery and naachghar. The heavy mahogany doors with illustrated icy glass, imported oil paintings and exquisite chandeliers exude the richness of the lost glory. Unfortunately, most of the royal articles and precious objects of the palace were stolen or sold off before the ASI handover.