India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It has seen the rise and fall of many kings, dynasties, and empires that have left great legacies behind. And it is perhaps surprising to hear that Murshidabad, now a part of rural Bengal, once contributed to 5% of the GDP of the World during the mid-1700s. Yes, 5% of the world’s business was generated in Murshidabad, a humble district in Bengal located 4 hours from the City of Joy, or Calcutta as it was known then. And in light of this business boom, many families saw great success and built great homes and palaces as testament to their family’s wealth and business acumen. Over time fortunes rise and fall, and sadly with the decline in importance of Bengal on the world’s business stage, many great family homes and palaces, perhaps too expensive to maintain, fell into ruin and Bari Kothi was one such palace.
A dream project was born to renovate and breathe life back into the palace of Bari Kothi. Lead by a Canadian restoration specialist architect, Dr. Samar Chandra, and assisted and project managed by Darshan and his sister, Lipika, with a dedicated team of 150 local artisans, Bari Kothi was sensitively restored over 5years to its former glory. From the outset the 3 keys to this restoration and the high ideals of the project were Heritage, Hospitality and Humanity. It was never the goal to simply create a wonderful heritage boutique hotel, though create one they have, but to connect to the community, to celebrate, preserve and share the heritage, and at the same time return to being an integral working property within the community, providing livelihoods and support to local families, offering opportunity and inspiration, as well as providing a wonderful heritage boutique hotel to share the stories of Bari Kothi and Murshidabad with the travelling world.
The property is located on the banks of the River Ganges and set within more than an acre of grounds. With 3 delightful gardens, 7 courtyards and 15 suites guests of Bari Kothi are guaranteed a sense of the opulent lives of the grand families that called Bari Kothi home for the past 250years. Keen to share a truly immersive local experience with guests, the owner and his team have created 35 curated experiences to help guests discover the heritage, history and the local lifestyles of the community around Bari Kothi. So much more than a boutique hotel, a stay at Bari Kothi shares its deep history and heritage, an unrivalled hospitality and rich cuisine, and a unique warmth and personality that is only experienced when staying at much loved and well-seasoned family homes.