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Cooch Behar

A grand town of Cooch Behar, established at the banks of the river Torsa by the erstwhile Koch dynasty, welcomes you to experience its rich heritage and culture. The only planned town of the North Bengal region, Cooch Behar is also the capital of the district of its namesake.

During the British Raj, the town of Cooch Behar was the seat of a princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Kings of the Koch dynasty. At the end of British rule, the then Maharaja Jagaddipendra Narayan transferred full authority, jurisdiction and power of the state to the Dominion Government of India, effective 12 September 1949. Cooch Behar was merged as a district of the state of West Bengal on 19 January 1950, with Cooch Behar town as its headquarters.

The rich heritage of Cooch Behar is witnessed in the numerous palaces, monuments and temples that were built by the rulers. One of the main tourist destinations in West Bengal, it is the location of the Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Temple and has been declared a heritage town. Moreover, it also is the maternal home of (Late) Maharani Gayatri Devi, the Rajmata of Jaipur.

Places of interest in Cooch Behar

  • Rajbari Palace
  • Madan Mohan Temple
  • Baneswar SivaTemple
  • Madhupur Dham Temple
  • Kamteswari Temple at Dinhata
  • Madan Mohan Temple, Mathabhanga
  • Rasikbil
  • Gosanimari Rajpat excavation site
  • Ranir Bagan (Memorial of the Kings and Queen)
  • Sagar Dighi (a lake where migratory birds visit)

Fairs & Festivals of Cooch Behar

  • Raas Mela
  • Raath Yatra
  • Baradebi Mela
  • Sri Panchami Mela
  • Dol Purnima
  • Annapurna Puja
  • Durga Puja
  • Shibratri Mela
  • Astami Snan Mela

Special Attractions

Cooch Behar Palace:

Also known as the “Rajbari”, Cooch Behar Palace was designed on the model of London’s Buckingham Palace in the year 1887 during the reign of Maharaja Nripendra Narayan. The Cooch Behar Palace is renowned for its elegance and grandeur of the rich royal heritage of this region. Built on the concept of classical European style of Italian Renaissance, this magnificent palace is currently under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India. This remarkable architecture & royal grandeur of the Rajbari, is undertaken and being developed by the Archeological Survey of India as a museum for the visitors to get a glimpse of the glorious royal past of this region.

Madan Mohan Bari & Raas Mela:

The Madan Mohan Bari represents a rare congregation of Hindu beliefs and Baishnav cult. Located in the heart of Cooch Behar town, the temple is devoted to Lord Krishna and Balaram. The temple complex, apart from the magnificent temple houses a beautiful pond and a magnificent gate. The grand celebration and festivities during the auspicious Janmashthami, Ratha Yatra and Raas Purnima are the main attraction for the people in Cooch Behar. The Madan Mohan Bari turns into a fusion of religious, social and cultural aspects of the people of Cooch Behar especially during the Raas Purnima when Lord Madan Mohan is believed to take a journey (Raas Yatra). The Madan Mohan Bari is beautifully decorated and the special worship and offerings to Madan Mohan is carried out for 15 days.

The Raas Mela, a fair held during the Raas or Kartik Purnima, that is full moon day in the month of November every year attracts large crowds not only from the Cooch Behar district, but also from the neighbouring districts and states to enjoy the fun and frolic filled events and acts in the Mela. Today, Raas Mela has developed into a tradition of its own and holds a separate identity to the people of Cooch Behar for their unique heritage and indigenous cultural interactions.

Rasikbil

Rasikbil is situated just one-and-a-half hour drive from the town of Cooch Behar near the town of Tufangunj. Rasikbil - a huge lake surrounded by lush green forests is a very popular bird watching spot famous for local and migratory birds. The bird varieties which live in and around the lake includes cormorants, different varieties of storks, ibis, spoonbill, kingfisher, parrots, owl and many others. There is a deer park and a crocodile rehabilitation center by the side of the lake. There are also a leopard house, a python house, Aviary & a Tortoise rescue entre. This following water birds may be found in Rasikbil - Lesser Whistling Teal, Common Teal, White eyed pochard, Red Crested pochard, Shoveler, Pintail, Wigeon duck, Grey headed Lapwing, Northern Lapwing, Pied Kingfisher, Stork billed kingfisher, Small blue kingfisher, Little Cormorant, Large Cormorant, Gadwall etc.