Bari Kothi
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Bari Kothi Heritage Hotel, Jainpatty, Azimganj, West Bengal, India
A cultural getaway in a wonderfully restored heritage mansion in rural Bengal.
Bari Kothi

Murshidabad is a historical town about six hours from Kolkata and flanked alongside the eastern bank of the Ganges river. As you arrive, it feels like you have stepped into a bygone era. Buildings big and small greet you; they beckon a second and third glance and seem to whisper tales of their prosperous past. In the 18th-century, Murshidabad was a wealthy cosmopolitan city, home to affluent banking and merchant families from different parts of the Indian subcontinent and wider Eurasia, including the Armenians. European companies, including the British East India Company, conducted business and operated factories around the city.

 

Perfectly Rare

Bari Kothi is perfect for the Indophile and those interested in history, architecture and stories from yore. There is one room on the ground floor for the differently abled and those who may have issues climbing up stairs. Children are welcome and it is an opportunity to spark their curiosity in to...

Know Your Host

Brother-Sister duo Darshan and Lipika Dudhoria are the current owners of Bari Kothi.

By the mid 1900’s, many Sheherwali families left their homes in Murshidabad and moved to Kolkata. Their growing business in silk also took the Dudhoria’s away from Murshidabad leaving Bari Kothi...

Bari Kothi was built in the late 1700’s with influences of Greek, Roman and French architecture by the Dudhoria family. The Dudhoria’s come from the Sheherwali merchant community that travelled across the country from Rajasthan to Bengal to set up businesses. Their astute sense for commerce led to them amassing great wealth.

This lavish mansion was extensively restored and renovated over a number of years and opened in 2018 as a heritage hotel. Step into the property and it feels like you have walked into the set of a period film. Every nook and corner is decorated in bright colours and rich fabrics, showcasing the wealth and opulence of the merchants that once called this beautiful mansion home. One can get lost in its corridors as they lead into various purpose-built rooms and chowks (courtyards) embellished with colourful glass and patterned tiles. Guest suites are richly decorated with ornate pieces of furniture, fine fabrics, chequered tiles and decorated windows.

Leisure spaces within the property include a library, a music room, open courtyards and lounging areas: Janana Chowk, Gaddi Ghar, Halwai Khana, and Gulabi Chawara and a riverside café as well.  

Bari Kothi offers 15 rooms divided across 3 categories, Heritage Suites, Royal Heritage Suites and Maharaja Heritage Suites. Period furniture adorns all the rooms; some pieces are more than a century old with various artefacts.

 

The Heritage Suites is the base category with traditional interiors and antique décor. The Royal Heritage Suites are furnished with 250-year old antique furniture, high ceilings and rich fabrics themed around the jewellery and other aspects of the life and lifestyle of the erstwhile residents of Bari Kothi.

Three Maharaja Heritage Suites embody the quintessential luxury of Bari Kothi; elegantly appointed with hand-picked fittings, intricately carved archways and traditional furniture; some suites also feature a sunken bath.

Dining

Food features prominently at Bari Kothi and includes the finest vegetarian dishes; a wonderful melange of the cuisines of the west and the east of India. Typically, Rajasthani food used ingredients like gram flour, lentils and pulses and rich preparations in keeping with the dry desert climate.

Bengal offered a range of fresh and leafy vegetables as well as regional spices, and both were fused together to create some unique savoury and sweet delicacies.

Particularly noteworthy, are the local mangoes; at one point it is believed that 200 varieties of mangoes were grown in the orchards of Murshidabad. They are not only delicious to eat as they are, but at Bari Kothi they are also turned into delectable deserts, sherbets, jams, chutneys and preserves as well.

Breakfast on the banks of the river are an ideal way to begin the mornings at Bari Kothi. There are three main dining areas in the property: Naubat Khana, a Mughal inspired dining room with hand painted floral motifs, the atmospheric Zareen Mahal with hues of gold and Durbar Hall, the erstwhile royal dining room with a magnificent 18-seater dining table and 250-year-old chandelier that has witnessed eminent guests from Nawabs and British officials.

You will be spoilt for choice for things to see and do around Bari Kothi. There is a range of specially curated experiences; from heritage walks around town to see historic buildings like the impressive Hazarduari Palace and Footi Mosque, afternoon tea overlooking the river, boat cruises on the Ganges as well as immersive craft experiences at Tantipara Weavers Village and Islampore known for its sericulture.

The signature experience is the signature “Lunch-On-Ganges” experience where guests are offered a unique dining experience while sailing in a country boat with the 1000 doored iconic Hazarduari Palace as a backdrop.

Every evening at Bari Kothi is about showcasing the heritage culture and lifestyle. This may take the form of story-telling in one of the courtyards or performances of folk dance and music. Lost dance forms such as the 500-year-old Rai Beshi and the more popular Baul and Fakiri are signature evenings at Bari Kothi.

The location on the banks of the river is a haven for birding and one can spot Red Avadavat, Barn swallow, Loten's sunbird, Red turtle dove, Olive-backed pipit, Bengal Bush Lark, Blackheaded Oriole, Small Green Bee-eater and Coppersmith barbet to name a few.

Perfect For
Bari Kothi is perfect for the Indophile and those interested in history, architecture and stories from yore. There is one room on the ground floor for the differently abled and those who may have issues climbing up stairs. Children are welcome and it is an opportunity to spark their curiosity in to showcasing the rich history of the region. Children will particularly enjoy picking their own vegetables and seeing them transform in to their meals.

Operational status
Bari Kothi is open all year.

Having being repurposed as a fine heritage hotel with luxurious fittings, Bari Kothi opened in 2018 as a self-sustaining eco system that generates its own income, improves the local economy, betters the lives of the local community, preserves the tangible and intangible heritage and most importantly will carry forward its legacy.

The restoration work at Bari Kothi has followed two main principles – that of sustainable restoration and to enable the development of the community. The team at Bari Kothi almost entirely comprises of the local community. The staff is handpicked, trained (who then help train the others) and interactions with the team reveals the sheer pride with which they engage with guests. There is a genuine sense of ownership and belonging to Bari Kothi that the staff and team revel in. The different ethnic groups with no gender bias are part of the hotel and this shows their commitment in ensuring that the local community is an integral part of the hotel. Future plans include creation of various platforms such as a teaching centre for local artisans to improve upon their skills and promote the handmade products made by them.

For restoration, eco-friendly building materials were sourced, most of the furniture repaired and restored and the décor was done by recycling of other materials. Locally sourced fabrics have used extensively and once it has outlived its purpose, it is recycled and repurposed in another aspect.

There is almost no single use plastic used, and if any is used it is disposed consciously. Water is provided in glass bottles and is safe and filtered. The bathroom amenities are in compostable bottles and a small bit to conserve electricity is the use of a candle in the bathroom all night so one doesn’t grope around in the dark looking for the light switch.

Bari Kothi has been immensely focussed on ensuring that the intangible heritage in the form of cuisine, culture, and folk performances is not only preserved but promoted. Every evening folk dance and music is showcased, be it the Baul or Fakiri singers or Rae Beshi, a martial art dance form, where guests and the team join in as well.

The hotel works in empowering local farmers in tilling their land and the farmers in turn offer the produce to Bari Kothi thus ingredients are sourced from local organic farms and guests are welcome to pick produce and enjoy as part of their meals. The farmers are additionally encouraged to reduce and not use inorganic pesticides and fertilisers.

Recycling of water for irrigational purposes is carried out and training is given to the local community on how to keep the Ganges clean.

No Single Use Plastic Low Impact Tourism Local Community Engagement Heritage Preservation The Human Touch Safe Garbage Disposal Nature and Biological Diversity Conservation Water Conservation Sensitive Destination Discovery
RARE Tip
The best way to go see the sights is by boat. The slow and gentle pace of life in rural India matches the languid pace of the boat gliding along the river. Enjoy a meal or a snack along with a piping hot cup of tea or coffee. And in the cold months, the staff will ensure you are warm, wrapping you with Balaposh – a silk shawl layered with cottonwool in between.
Facilities
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Reviews and Location
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Luxury that you would go back for!
by velocitied on 08/18/2022

Bari Kothi as a place is impressive by itself, the grandeur, the location, the opulence, the history behind the house is a good enough reason to visit, but what makes the stay so memorable are the...

Waiting for my nxt visit...could take it all in one trip
by Swati83golu on 08/16/2022

Just awesome 1)great managers Sreejani Abhirup beyond words great host Most kind hearted..down to earth 2)kids friendly It was like visiting Nani ghar for kids My kids were busy with staff n other...

Superb property!! Highly recommended for all
by Aanchal A on 08/09/2022

Beautiful heritage hotel, commendable service and superb food sums it all!! Mr Abhirup and his team will leave no stone unturned to make your stay a memorable one!! "The sunset at ganges" is an...

Nearest Airport : Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport, Kolkata
Nearest Railway Station : Azimganj railway station

Cancellation Policy:

1. Cancellations 72hr prior to the travel date will not be penalized.

2. There will be no charges for cancellations done a day before arrival due to a medical emergency.

3. In the event of a date change, rescheduling can be done without any extra charges. 

Terms & Conditions:

a. Please make advance reservations via email to assure room availability.
b. The advance amount of 50% of the total invoice needs to be paid for confirming the tentative booking.
c. The balance amount of 50% shall be paid 30 days prior to the date of the stay. If the balance amount is not paid timely, the booking is liable to be cancelled and the entire advance amount shall be forfeited.
d. Rates may change without notice and may vary for special events except for confirmed reservations.