State Bank of India funds historic palace' preservation
The State Bank of India on Sunday came forward for the preservation of the historic Hazarduari palace, a 19th century edifice built by the Nawabs of Bengal in Murshidabad district.india Updated: Jul 12, 2009 22:23 IST
The State Bank of India on Sunday came forward for the preservation of the historic Hazarduari palace, a 19th century edifice built by the Nawabs of Bengal in Murshidabad district.
The bank's cheque of Rs 7.5 million was handed over by Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to the Archaeological Society of India (ASI) for giving a facelift to the three-storey structure on the bank of the Bhagirathi river.
SBI officials said the amount will be utilised for improving tourist facilities, providing floodlights and measures for preservation of the Hazarduari - literally a palace with a thousand doors - which is the chief tourist attraction of the district.
Built in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humayun Jah, a descendent of Mir Jafar, Hazarduari is a brilliant exhibition of European architectural style. The entire complex covers a sprawling 41 acres.
The palace has now been converted into a museum having an exquisite collection of arms and armour, paintings, portraits of the Nawabs, and other various works of art including ivory articles and other valuables. The armoury has 2700 arms in its collections, including swords used by Siraj-ud-Daula and his grandfather, Nawab Alivardi Khan. Fittan cars used by the Nawabs and their families are the other prime attractions.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and State Bank of India chairman OP Bhatt were present on the occasion.