Bari Kothi is a beautiful 18th Century palace, a heritage home built by the Dudhoria family more than 250years ago that was sensitively restored to its former glory over a period of 5years with a team of over 150 local artisans to preserve and share the story of this region’s heritage for generations to come. Still owned by descendants of the family that founded Bari Kothi, the Dudhoria family originally hail from Rajasthan. Successful textile merchants, they moved to Murshibadad in Bengal and built their palatial home, Bari Kothi, in Azimganj as at the time this region was a major international centre of business. Incredibly Murshibadad was generating more than 5% of the world’s GDP from its industrial output, this vibrant economy attracting entrepreneurs and business people from around the world, notably English, French, Dutch and Danish companies setting up here from the 1750s. And hard-working and entrepreneurial Sheherwali families like the Dudhorias were quick to take advantage of this gateway to the world and achieved great wealth and business success as a result, leading to the building of palatial family homes and estates like Bari Kothi.
Over time the business centre moved from Murshibadad to Kolkata, so the families followed. By the mid 1900’s, many Sheherwali families had left their palatial homes in Murshidabad and moved, with the business, to Calcutta (modern day Kolkata). As with many other family homes in Murshibadad, Bari Kothi was left empty and unoccupied, slowly falling into ruin over a period of more than 50years until in 2015, Darshan and his sister Lipika took it upon themselves to revive the grandeur of their family home to pass it on to the next generation.
The 15 suites in this beautiful home are decorated with original antique pieces and art, sharing with guests the sense of very much staying in a well-loved and seasoned grand family home. The property houses 3 beautifully kept gardens, 7 courtyards, terraces, a library, a music room, lounge, a riverside café and a wonderful restaurant where the predominantly vegetarian local cuisine is prepared with farm to table locally grown vegetables, fruit, herbs and spices. There is so much to see and do in this region which is famed for its cuisines, traditional arts and crafts, time served silk-textile industry, and the wonderful architecture that tell the story of this region in its rich heritage of carved stone and stucco palaces, temples and mosques. Working closely with the local community the team at Bari Kothi have created a variety of experiences, more than 35 in fact, that provide guests with a unique opportunity to experience this richly historical and culturally significant region. Be as active or as inactive as suits you, the experiences include heritage walks, culinary classes, traditional pottery making, bird watching, story-telling that brings Bari Kothi’s long history to life, cultural evenings and sunset dining on or beside the river. A stay at Bari Kothi truly is an immersive experience one that will share with you the history, the culture, the flavour and the beauty of life in this fascinating region of West Bengal.
Mr Darshan Dudhoria
Your Host and The Team
“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.”
Heritage Suites (6 units)
Royal Heritage Suites (6 units)
Maharaja Heritage Suites (3 units)
Facilities and Highlights
- The grounds at Bari Kothi include 3 gardens and 7 courtyards as well as riverside frontage and terraces. Within the property guests can enjoy quiet time in the library, relax in lounge spaces around the home, a music room, a riverside café and a wonderful restaurant serving the freshest local cuisine, mostly vegetarian, that West Bengal and Murshibadad is so famous for. Highlights of a stay at Bari Kothi have to be the culturally sensitive and uniquely local curated guest experiences.
- Bari Kothi boat tours: dining on the river perhaps to take in the sunset, or a wonderful countryside sightseeing tour along the river while also enjoying a lunch of local cuisine. A variety of boat tours are available to share life along the Ganges with guests at Bari Kothi.
- Mangoes and the Mango Grove Tour: Murshidabad once cultivated more than 200 varieties of mangoes and at least 75 varieties still farmed today. May and June are the best months to enjoy mangoes at Bari Kothi.
- Sheherwali Cuisine: Food and dining are at the very heart of the community at Bari Kothi. Developed and enjoyed over a 300-year history in Bengal, the family’s Sheherwali cuisine is a rich and fresh vegetarian cuisine, truly farm to table the vegetables, herbs, spices and fruit are all locally grown.
- Heritage Walks: wander the lanes and hear the stories of local life on guided walks to Jain temples and palaces nearby.
- Art, crafts and folklife: try your hand at pot throwing (making traditional pottery) or block printing, meet local artisans of some of the many crafts practiced here for centuries.
- Textile tours: Murshidabad has long been famous for producing excellent silk and muslin, and of course the family that built Bari Kothi were textile merchants. A guided visit to learn about the silk and textile heritage of the region is a must. The team at Bari Kothi will take you to Tantipara, a traditional village famed for its generations of handloom weaving of this highly valued fabric.
GENERALTotal number of rooms: 15
Time zone: (GMT+05:30) New Delhi
Currency accepted: INR
Credit cards accepted: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners
Electricity voltage: 220V
Electricity plug type:
CONCIERGEYour concierge is ready to assist you with planning and completing your reservation, contact them on email@example.com
ACCESSBari Kothi is located in Azimganj, Murshibadad, approximately a 5hour drive from Kolkata.
CONTACTJain Patty, PO : Azimganj, Murshidabad 742122 , India
i) the restoration would be completed in a sustainable manner
ii) the project and the resulting hotel should support the local community
“We don’t simply sell rooms, we create experiences”. While it may seem that the guest benefits most from this wonderful arrangement as they enjoy a first-hand experience of the local culture and the stories that surround them, our goal was always to ensure that each visiting guest gave back as much to the local community through their visit as the guest takes away with them. This is the principle that underpins all the Bari Kothi experiences.