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Cooch Behar

Trip Planner Asia  /  India  /  West Bengal  /  Cooch Behar
(3.4/5 based on 70 reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, religious sites
Cooch Behar is the district headquarters of the Cooch Behar District in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas at. Cooch Behar is the only planned town in North Bengal region with remnants of royal heritage. One of the main tourist destinations in West Bengal, it is the location of the Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Temple and has been declared a heritage town. It is the maternal home of Maharani Gayatri Devi.During the British Raj, Cooch Behar was the seat of the princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Koch dynasty. After 20 August 1949, Cooch Behar District was transformed from a princely state to its present status, with the town of Cooch Behar as its headquarters.EtymologyThe name Cooch Behar is derived from the name of the Koch or Rajbongshi tribes indigenous to this region for many centuries. The word behar is derived from विहार vihara.HistoryEarly periodCooch Behar formed part of the Kamarupa Kingdom from the 4th to the 12th centuries. In the 12th century, the area became a part of the Kamata Kingdom, first ruled by the Khen dynasty from their capital at Kamatapur. The Khens were an indigenous tribe, and they ruled till about 1498 CE, when they fell to Alauddin Hussain Shah, the independent Pathan Sultan of Gour. The new invaders fought with the local Bhuyan chieftains and the Ahom king Suhungmung and lost control of the region. During this time, the Koch tribe became very powerful and proclaimed itself Kamateshwar (Lord of Kamata) and established the Koch dynasty.
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