By Ishani Chakrabarti
Liv’ED It: It is an ED original style where we write about our personal experiences on experiencing and reviewing any app/place/website which gives us a feeling of coming back for more.
Itachuna Rajbari (Haveli) is just one of the few old and extravagantly huge mansions that have been revamped into hotels for weekend getaways.
It is also one of the few mansions that have made it to the list of “The Most Haunted Mansions in India” and “The Top Haunted Places in West Bengal”.
After an awfully tiring week, one always wants to buzz off to a place away from all the materialistic pleasures, diving into the depths of the historic era. If you’re in West-Bengal and ever feel the same way, Itachuna Rajbari is a two-hour drive from Kolkata and believe me, it’s worth it.
The only thing one needs to keep in mind is the advance booking which is mandatory because the only beings entitled to loiter around there are the spirits. (Sorry not sorry!)
Do you remember the ‘Lootera’ (the movie) mansion? Yeah, it’s the same house! I flipped too.
From the high ceilings to the balconies, the corridors probably lead to a maze of history,
From the terrace to the mosaic floors and the rooms that are locked maybe a tiny mystery.
The red brick walls that take us back in time are also the only witness to history being made,
More than 250 years old is this manor that still stands strong will never let the memories fade.
Once you get there, the sight is breathtaking. It’s like flipping through your history books once again. Only a part of the manor has been devoted to accommodation while the other part still stands still in time. The lawns, the courtyard, the staircases just add to the old world charm of the place. The buildings are more than 250 years old but extremely well maintained because, like all of us, they too believe in- Old is Gold.
Is it really haunted?
Like I’ve already mentioned, it has successfully made its way to the clichéd articles. Few reviews and reports would suggest the same. But then again, “ghosts in Bengal are either literary or just underground.” Owners of the Rajbari admit to having heard such stories but never encountered such an incident. Residents of the village claim to have seen and heard a lot but to what extent it is true, no one knows.
The matter in hand is the very fact that old houses, mansions, and palaces tend to be a little eerie (blame it on the articles and word of mouth). The age old stories about the house still doing the rounds clouded my mind when I first walked in but the beauty of the place managed to overpower it.
The other name for Itachuna Rajbari was ‘Bargee Danga’ which might have been a name provided for by those Bengali’s of the Maratha warriors. There was a point when Marathas struck Bengal over and over again to gather the Chauth, which might have been 1/4th of the taxes that was to be paid by Nawab of Bengal( Sub-e-dar), Bihar Also Orissa.
Apocryphally, following Aurangzeb’s downfall of the Mughal realm). The Bargees struck Bengal under the direction of Bhaskar Pandit and Raghuji Bhosle (1742-1752). Katwa, close to Hooghly was made the punctual focus which might have been later transformed on Medinipur.
However the Maratha warriors quit their strike after the death for Mir Habib, they picked up control through Orrisa. As an aftermath, a lot of people Maratha Bargee’s stayed in Bengal Furthermore, they amassed a considerable measure about riches.
A standout amongst such Maratha warriors were those Kundans, Currently known as Kundu’s additionally settled here. The Itachuna Rajbari might have been constructed by the progenitors of Shri Safallya Narayan Kundu for 1766.
The Government of India’s policy of abolishing the Raj-culture hindered further flourishes of the Rajbari. It is the present inheritors of the family- Shri. Rabindra Narayan, Shri. Dhruva Narayan and Shri. Basav Narayan Kundu along with Mylestones & Journeys who have decided to restore the glory.
And are making all efforts to maintain the royal heritage through regular upkeep. The Heritage Homestay is one such initiative through which village tourism may be promoted in this area.
An experience that has carved it’s essence in my memory lane. The Itachuna Rajbari not only takes you back to the prehistoric times but makes sure you live every minute of it. Be it the traditional utensils in which they serve authentic Bengali food with a variety of options to choose from.
Or be it the tiny mud huts recreating the countryside aura. And for the young ones not quite interested in history, they have an array of games/sports/activities which is likely to keep them busy throughout.
That is not it, they arrange for barbecue and Bonfire in the winters, a must watch is the rural musical session, summer camps, day outings and the night walk in the area is something you wouldn’t want to miss.
Itachuna Rajbari takes you a step back in time and when in Bengal, you just cannot afford to miss this opportunity.
Words cannot describe the vibe of the Rajbari. It’s the warm hospitality, coffee and the roshogolla (yes, I said it) that will do the talking for you.
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