In the late 1500s, European explorers started sailing east for trading purposes (especially spices) and made huge profits. Seeing the great earning opportunities and to claim their share in the spice trade, the English merchants ventured to India and formed the British East India Company (EIC). Apart from Spices, they also started trading cotton, indigo, salt, silk, saltpeter, opium and tea.
Both the Britishers and Jain merchants were earning great wealth and prosperity and so it lead to the construction of many palaces, temples and churches in the region. But then the sun had to set in Murshidabad and after the infamous Battle of Plassey (1757), the region of Murshidabad started losing its opulence and wealth. The last independent Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daula backed by his French allies waged a battle against the company but were quickly defeated the Company’s army led by Robert Clive. This resulted in EIC taking full administrative powers over its territories, including the political domination of the entire Indian subcontinent.
Soon the capital of Bengal shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta and so did the economy; eventually making the region entirely abandoned. Murshidabad now has a various names ranging from the ‘Unknown Wealth Capital of the World’ to the ‘Forgotten Capital of Bengal’. Most of the Sheherwalis moved to Calcutta and abandoned their houses. The palaces were locked down and the beautiful temples and mosques were left in ruins for more than 50 years.