Koch Bihar Palace Museum (West Bengal)
Koch Bihar (26° 19' N 89° 26' E) is situated on the river Torsha, a tributary of the River Tista. It is well connected by rail and road and other parts of the country. The most significant architectural edifice in the town is undoubtedly the palace built by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887 AD.
The palace at Koch Bihar was taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India in 1982 for protection and preservation. The present museum was established in 2002 with the antiquities and objects collected by the Kolkata circle of the Archaeological Survey of India as well as the state government. The exhibits are arranged in seven galleries.
Gallery No.1: The Durbar Hall of the palace is now the main hall of the museum. The main attraction is the royal insignia at the center, painting of coronation of Maharaja Nripendranarayan, photographs of royal family of Koch Bihar state. Few excavated materials in the form of stone heads, busts and terracotta plaque from Rajput site at Gosanimari near Dinhatta in Koch Bihar district have been displayed.
Gallery No.2 is the billiard room with all its accessories and photo blow ups of the royal personages.
Gallery No. 3 & 4 are the ethnic galleries organized with the help of Anthropological Survey of India wherein life styles of different communities in Koch Bihar region with their daily use, objects of occupations, masks, musical instruments etc. has been displayed.
Gallery No. 5 & 6 are the sculpture gallery wherein masterpieces of sculptural art datable to 7- 8th century - 12 th century AD have been displayed. The stone sculptures of Brahmanical faith such as Vishnu, Brahma, Surya, Mahismardini, Simhavahini, Navagriha etc. In Gallery no. 6 sculptures of Brahmanical and Buddhist pantheon such as Vishnu, Surya, Sadyojata, Uma Mahesvara, Parvati, Tara, Avalokitesvara etc have been displayed. The objects of galleries 5 and 6 are mostly collected from different police stations and custom offices of North Bengal. In addition to this, Gallery no. 6 also houses objects and antiquities like royal standard weights, iron dyes for making coins, badges of Koch Bihar kingdom and the Raj family of Koch Bihar.
Entry fee: For Indian citizen Rs. 5/- US $ 2 or Rs. 100 for foreigner.
Museum remain closed on Friday.