WEST BENGAL

SURUL RAJBARI..at Bolpur

The affluent zamindar’s made many large mansions in West Bengal. Surul rajbari is one of them. The mansion reflects the ostentatious lifestyle of zamindars. The grandeur and the detail carvings of the mansion portray their affinity towards architecture.

Surul is a village which is in the vicinity of Visva Bharati, Bolpur, West Bengal. The major inhabitants of the village are Bagdis, Bauris, Haris, Doms and weavers. Sarkar family was the zamindar of Surul. The affluent zamindar used to live in their large mansion or Rajbari which are still in very good condition. The temples adjacent to Rajbari are distinct due to terracotta carvings on walls.

inside the Zamindar bari
The Zamindar bari

This colossal zamindar bari is the predominant structure of Surul village. The mansion is a private property and not tumbledown. The owners of the property are conscientious and have maintained the structure very well.

The mansion is baronial. It is a two storied pillared structure. The façade has a beautiful verandah above the main entrance. There is an arch gate at the entrance.  The magnificent building is white in colour and some portions are highlighted with orange and golden.  Doors and window are painted with green colour. The ceiling of the main entrance is of kori- borga.

outside
verandah above the main entrance
main entrance

The entrance leads to open to sky thakur-dalan or courtyard.

courtyard

At the centre of the courtyard, there is Nat-Mandir.  The courtyard is very large and is surrounded by verandahs. Nat mandir is pillared structure where devotees used to sit during puja. 

inside the nat-mandir
Nat-Mandir
nat-mandir

After the Nat- Mandir, there is the temple.

The Durga puja of Sarkar bari is very famous and till today, Sarkar bari continues Durga Puja every year with full glory. The traditional rituals of Sarkar Bari are still followed. At the last day of Durga puja, the senior male members of the family sits with a hundi and the new generation’s male members donate in the hundi according to their capabilities. Sindoor khela, (vermillion game) is another tradition of Bengal where the woman smears each other with sindoor. The married women apply sindoor on Maa Durga’s forehead and feet and seek blessings from her. But in Sarkar bari, this tradition is not followed.

The plinth of the building is approximately more than 1m. The large verandahs at ground floor are arched and are not provided with railing whereas beautiful iron railings with wooden handrail are provided at the verandah’s of first floor.  

I basked happily at the verandah and was imagining the extravagant lifestyle of zamindars.  

The rooms are locked from outside. So, there is no opportunity to witness the spectacular views of antique furniture.  

There are twin shiva and Lakshim temples adjacent to the mansion. The Lakshmi temple is housed with 05 pinnacles in Panch-ratna style of Bengal. In the temples, exquisite terracotta carvings are there which depicts tales of Ramayana.

Twin Shive temple
lakshmi temple
terracotta work

I was elated after visiting the mansion. The place is very serene, immensely beautiful and mystical place and takes you in a different era.  The sophisticated design of the parapet and vibrant colours the structure made it more elegant. The owners have made every attempt to ensure that the old architecture of Bengal is preserved properly for posterity. Whenever I will go to Santiniketan, I will visit this zamindar bari again.

Location

How to reach

Santiniketan is well connected by rail and road. The nearest railway station is Pranteek. The Rajbari is just 5km from Bolpur. Toto’s are easily available.

Entry fee – free

Nearby places to visit

There are so many places to wander in and around Santiniketan.

  1. Visa-varati universities.
  2. Tagore museum
  3. Kankalitala temple
  4. Sonajhuri haat
  5. Deer park
  6. Amar Kutir

Best time to visit

Santiniketan can be visited throughout the year. 

Festivals

  1. Basanta Utsav– This utsav is celebrated in Holi and is very famous in whole world. Travellers from all over the world come here to celebrate holi here.
  2. Kenduli Mela – This mela is dedicated to the famous poet Jaydev Kenduli. This is organized in mid January during Makar Sankranti for 03 days. 
  3. Poush Mela- This mela is organized in December. The main feature of this mela is live performance of Bauls, tribal dance and folk music. This mela is paradise for shopaholic.

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