Murshidabad is a town in the state of West Bengal in India. It is situated in the eastern bank of river Bhagirathi. Murshidabad got its name after Murshid Quli Khan, in 1704 after he transferred the capital from Dacca and renamed the city in his own name. Moti Jheel or Moti Jhil is a horse shoe shaped lake located in Murshidabad. Moti Jhil is also known as Company Bagh. It is located at 24◦09’37’’ N to 88◦16’55’’ E.
Who constructed the lake Moti Jheel ? It was constructed by Nawazish Muhammad Khan, son in law of Nawab Alivardi Khan.
Moti Jheel is situated one and half a kilometers away from Murshidabad. Moti Jheel is on the former beds of Bhagirathi River. It has been excavated that Moti Jheel is on the beds of Bhagirathi River which once flowed in the region where Moti Jheel is presently situated.
Beside the lake, Nawazish Muhammad Khan built a stone palace which is popularly known as Moti Jheel Palace. Towards the bend of the lake stands the beautiful palace. It was the residence of Nawazish Khan and his wife Ghaseti Begum. Nawab Siraj Ud Daulah took over the palace after the death of Nawazish Muhammad Khan. He seized huge treasures from the palace and built a similar lake and a palace. He named it Hira Jheel and built it on the opposite side of Bhagirathi River. The palace has mosque near by it. The palace was built by using the black basalt pillars brought from the ruins of Gaur; hence was named Sang-i-Dalan.
Warren Hasting lived in Moti Jhil palace from1771 to 1773.
Kala Masjid is the mosque at Moti Jheel. It is rectangular in shape. The dome of the mosque is of the shape of lotus and kalasha. A copy of Quran, calligraphed by Nawazish Muhammad Khan is also preserved inside the mosque.
Raesh Bagh is an ornamented mosque which is situated opposite to Kala Masjid. It is on the east bank of the lake.
Tombs in the Moti Jheel vicinity:
The tombs of Nawazish Muhammad Khan, his general- Shumsheree Ali Khan, his adopted son- Ekram-ud-Daula, Ekram’s tutor and nurse’s lie towards the east of Kala Masjid.
Grave in the vicinity of Moti Jheel:
The Superintendent of Murshidabad Mint and the judge of the court of appeal, Mr. Keating’s son Edward Keating’s grave also lie on the vicinity of the Moti Jhil.
In 1758, at the Battle of Plassey, Siraj Ud Daulah was defeated. After that, Mir Jafar succeeded as the Nawab of Bengal. He constructed a grand palace with 12 doors and named it Bara Duari. Robert Clive lived here to negotiate with the Nawabs of Bengal for the transfer of Diwani to the East India Company.
Presently, Moti Jheel Lake or Moti Jhil Park and all the structures in the vicinity are looked upon by the ASI (Archaelogical Survey of India).
In addition it has to say that whenever you make up your mind to visit Bengal, Murshidabad should be in your list. And your visit to Moti Jheel and its vicinity will not be a waste one. You will feel like being in the period of Nawabs. Your trip to Bengal omitting Murshidabad will be an incomplete one, so visit it and enjoy the glory of the Nawabs period.