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1780 Neel Kothi is now heritage home stay

1780 Neel Kothi is now heritage home stay

Balakhana: where history whispers
It was built primarily as a Neel Kothi or ‘Indigo House’ in 1780. Indigo was then prime colonial cash crop in Bengal (West Bengal, India). Indigo Houses were seats of British businessmen and landlords from where a rule over local farmars used to be organised. That rule turned to torture soon to force farmars for cultivating indigo what caused ultimately peasants’ uprising in 1859. British Government banned indigo plantation in 1863, and gradually jute and tea came into the scenario of commerce of Bengal.

‘Balakhana’, built in 1780, the residency and the factory at Maheshganj Estate grew as the centre of indigo plantation network surrounding it. Balakhana is a farsi word meaning palatial building. Italian doctor John Angelo Savi and his French wife Elizabeth were passionate enough to build up Balakhana in a village of Bengal, far far away from their countries. Franco-Italian line of architecture of Balakhana is very much evident.

By the 1870s Balakhana was put up for sale by its then owner, Henry Nesbitt, grandson of John Angelo. This property was bought in 1882 by its present owners, the Palchoudhuris, wealthy traders of the 18th century.
The Palchoudhuris became prominent landowners in the 19th century, and later pioneer nonferrous foundry owners and Planters of tea gardens, still owned by the family.

Guests are welcome to Balakhana, (P.O. Maheshganj Nabadwip Ghat Road District: Nadia West Bengal – 741315). Tow days and one night stay in Balakhana would be a memorable experience. High celinged rooms, antique furnitures, wide balcony with easychairs, reflection of light through coloured glasses are to feel. History whispers in Balakhana.

You can play snooker or billiards on the vintage Lazarus table. Grounds are there for long walks amid trees and gardens, with deck chairs under umbrellas. Go up to the roof and see the starry night. In the morning, go for a slow cruise on a country boat on the Jalangi, flowing nearby Balakhana. Sightseeing can be arranged.

Room tariff: April to September Rs. 5,000 per night for double occupancy (Rs. 6,000 in October to March for the same) with complementry Morning tea, Breakfast and Evening tea.No additional taxes are applicable. Kitchen is alwayas active. Lunch and Dinner charges @ Rs. 700 (non-veg) and Rs. 500 (veg).

How to reach: Nearest railway station to Balakhana is Krishnagar station. Distance of Balakhana from Krishnagar station is 12 Kms. Balakhana authurity arranges vechicular transport on rental basis.

BY roadway Balakhana is 120 kms away from the centre of Kolkata, Dharmatala. You may reach Balakhana by roadway via NH- 34, Kona Expressway.

Phone No. to contact with Balakhana authority: +91 98313 28486, +91 98312 70807.

Photo courtesy: Balakhana Heritage Home Stay.

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