On day three of our Lower Ganga river drive we drove our Toyota Corolla Altis to two 19th century monuments: Plassey Monument and Hazardwari Palace. They both hold a significant place in the colonial history of India as they were erected during the start of the British rule of the Indian provinces.
We left Kolkata early morning and after sipping a refreshing coffee in a dhaba on the NH 38, we headed straight to Palashi in Nadia district of West Bengal where the Plassey war memorial is built in the memory of the Battle of Plassey. The war was fought between the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah and Robert Clive, the commander of the British East India Company. The Nawab of Bengal lost the battle and the East India Company took over the region and eventually ruled the entire Indian subcontinent which today includes, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The memorial is built on the banks of the Bhagirathi river, one of Ganga’s tributaries. It’s also near the Plassey Sugar Mill where the battle is said to be fought.
Next we drove our Toyota Corolla Altis to Hazardwari Palace in Berhampore. While the Berhampore town is very small, the Palace stands out as the only major landmark. The construction of the Italian style palace completed in 1837, at a cost of 16 lakh Swarn Mudra or gold coins. But more importantly the palace is known for its 1000 entry doors, which were built to trick the enemy from reaching the Nawab. 100 doors are fake while others are either traps or access gates. The palace also houses a museum of fine weaponry used in the Battle of Plassey and a massive garden.
Meanwhile, our travel companion, the Toyota Corolla Altis is extremely comfortable as we’ve already covered about 1000km in the car and not once has it caused any problems. Our back seat passengers, Rohit and Alameen, have been dozing off for hours during long drives. Also on a hot sunny day, the air conditioning cools up the cabin in just a couple of minutes. Moreover, the air purifier is a great addition in this car as we’ve been driving through places where there’s large scale stubble burning and construction activities.
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