Visit This 290-Year-Old Rajbari For A Glimpse Into Bengal's History & Heritage

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What Makes It Awesome

Did you know there’s an over 290-year-old rajbari surrounded by stunning terracotta temples in a small village in Shantiniketan? Yes!

Surul (previously known as Surulia), a village located a few kilometres away from Bolpur station, houses the Sarkar Bari built in the 1750s. The Surul Sarkar Bari still remains in terrific condition despite being almost three centuries old! It was built by a businessman named Srinivas Sarkar, the great great grandson of Bharatchandra Sarkar (the first person who migrated to Surul village and settled there). Srinivas apparently made a lot of money by selling sails for ships that sailed from the Saheb Ghat port in Illambazar. It also boasts of several dilapidated but unique temples with a lot of intricate terracotta carvings. 

The ancient panch ratna Lakshmi Janardhan Temple has three arches with the central arch depicting a war scene between Ram and Ravan while the two remaining arches depict the former's coronation ceremony and the latter's meeting with his generals. The twin temples made in the rekha-deul style dedicated to Lord Shiva with terracotta panels are also worth a visit. 

We would also recommend visiting a couple of other temples built by Srinivas Sarkar. One is an aatchala showing an eroded Lord Jagannath's rath in terracotta. The other is a rekha-deul style temple depicting Shiva playing the tanpura. There are figures of other gods and goddesses as well. Watch out for the terracotta carvings depicting Goddess Durga with her family and women in European dresses.


The Surul Sarkar Bari is also famous for its Durga Puja celebrations, which have been consistently happening for over 290 years?! Yes. It was started by Srinivas himself and the tradition is followed even today, albeit without the old pomp and show. The rajbari is decorated with lights. Several local artistes perform here as well. The immersion also sees a huge gathering each year.


Obsessed with sunsets and Chinese food.