Murshidabad, the district of West Bengal is situated on the left bank of the river Ganges. Legends believe that the capital of Shashanka, the empire of great king called Gau?a in the 7th century AD and probably the Mahipala, one of the later Pala kings of Bengal are the part of this district. As per the historical evidences, in the early 18th century the district got its current name and its present shape came out in the later half of the 18th century. The district is named after its founder, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan. At the very beginning the region was popularly known as Makhsudabad, founded by the great Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century. In 1701 CE Aurangzeb appointed Kartalab Khan as Diwan of Bengal Subah. Then in 1702 CE he shifted his office from Dacca (today’s Dhaka) to Maksudabad. In 1703 CE, Aurangzeb honoured him with the prominent title, Murshid Quli Khan and later he granted the permission to rename the town as Murshidabad in 1704 CE after his newly acquired title. After sometime, Murshidabadbecame the seat of power of the Nawabs of Bangla. The whole Bengal was once governed from the Murshidabad city. But when the Nawab Siraj-ud-Daula lost to the British at the Battle of Plassey, the capital of Bengal was shifted to the newly founded city of Calcutta. In the modern period, the first wave of movements for freedom from the rule of company was led by the Ulema until the middle and late 19th century. Finally, in the 19th century the mode of the struggle changed and all communities became united for independence from the British rule.
Anwar Pasha, aBangladeshi author and novelist was born on 15th April, 1928 at Dabkai village in Murshidabad. He was a martyred intellectual of 1971. He was honoured by Bangla Academy Award in 1972. Syed Mustafa Siraj, another eminent Bengali writer was born on 14th October, 1930 at Khoshbaspur village in the district. In 1994, he received the Sahitya Akademi award for his famous novel Mythical Man (Aleek Manush).
Geographically, the district lies at 24°18' N latitude, 88°28'E longitude and 20m Altitude.In the year 2021, there was a total 6.45% forest area of total geographical area. The district encompasses a geographical area of 5,324 sq km. and it is bounded by Malda district on the north, Jharkhand's Sahebganj district and Pakur district on the north-west,Birbhum on the west, Bardhaman on the south-west and Nadia district on the south. The principal rivers of the district are Bhagirathi, Jalangi and Hoongly. The district has a tropical wet and dry climate. The annual mean temperature is approximately 27 °C; monthly mean temperatures range from 17°C to 35°C (approx). Most of its rainfall occurs in the monsoon season.The actual rainfall in the district was 1404.4 mm in the year of 2021-22.
Administrative wise, the district comprises five sub-divisions are namely Barhampur. Domkol Lalbag, Kandi and Jangipur. In order to administer in a smooth way the district is divided into 26 tehsils. Moreover, the district comprises 72 towns and 2,166 villages. The administrative language in the district is Bangali.
As per 2011 census the district has a population of 71,03,807 including 36,27,564 are males and 34,76,243 are females. The district has a sex ratio of 958 females for every 1000 males. During the year 2001-2011 the population growth of the district was 21.09% out of which 20.72% were males and 21.48% were females. According to 2011 census the major religions in the district are Muslim and Hindu with 66.27% and 33.21% of the total population. The population density in the district is 1,334 (persons per sq. km.). As per 2011 census the principal language in the district is Bengali with 98.49%. In the year 2020 the number of live births in the district was 1,96,606 out of which 1,01,071 were males and 95,535 were females. In the same year the number of deaths in the district was 42,045 out of which 24,173 were males and 17,872 were females.
The backbone of the economy of the district is based on agriculture.The district is famous for the high quality silk produced here. The core crops of the district are rice, jute,legumes, oilseeds, wheat, barley, andmangoes. Some old industries of the district are industries of ivory, wood craft, Indian cork and bell metal works. In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Murshidabad as one of the country's 250 most backward districts.
As per 2011 census the literacy rate of the district is 66.59% including 69.95% are males and 63.09% were females. The district has a good number of schools, colleges and training institutes. The total number of literates in the district is 40,55,834 including 21,77,187 are males and 18,78,647 are females.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, a member of the 16thLok Sabha ofIndia was born on 2nd April, 1956 in Murshidabad. He represents the Berhampore constituency ofWest Bengal and is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) political party.
Murshidabad, the place of Nawabs has many magnificent palaces which allures a huge number of travellers every year. The Hazarduari Palace with a thousand doors is the chief tourist attraction of Murshidabad. This three-storey palace was built in European architectural style in 1837 by Duncan McLeod for the Nawab Najim Humaun Jah, descendent of Mir Zafar. Madina, a small mosque with colourful tiled verandahs is situated between the palace and the imambara. The Mosque has an ornamented replica of Hazrat Muhammad (SM)'s tomb at Madina. Around the palace some other attractions are like the Wasef Manzil, Tripolia Gate, the Dakshin Darwaza, the Chak Darwaza and the Gharighar (the Clock Tower). The Bachchawali Tope (canon) was made between the 12th and the 14th century, probably by the Muslim rulers of Gaur, and required about 18 kg of gunpowder for a single shelling. The Royal Library building, rectangular on plan (424 feet Long and 200 feet (61 m) broad and 80 feet (24 m) high). The Palace was used for holding the meetings and other official work of the Nawabs.