Nripendra Narayan

Nripendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur, Maharaja of Cooch Behar, in the year 1902 in the dismounted review order uniform of a British officer of the 6th (Prince of Wales's) Bengal Cavalry
Born4 October 1862
Died18 September 1911(1911-09-18) (aged 48)
Alma mater
21st Maharaja of Cooch-Behar
Reign6 August 1862 – 18 September 1911 (Ruled as Maharaja from 16 October 1884 - 18 September 1911)
PredecessorNarendra Narayan
SuccessorRajendra Narayan II
(m. 1878)
FatherNarendra Narayan

Maharaja Nripendra Narayan (4 October 1862 – 18 September 1911) was the Maharaja of the princely state of Cooch Bihar, India, from 1863 to 1911.[1][2]

Early life

Nripendra Narayan was only ten months old when his father, Narendra Narayan, died in 1863. He was crowned maharaja in the same year. Since he was still an infant, the administration was handed over to the commissioner appointed by the British Governor General.[3] His elder brother became the Raja of Chitaranjan and Rupnarayanpur, the land of their ancestors.[4] He studied at Wards Institute at Benaras, thereafter, at Bankipur College, Patna and lastly law at Presidency College, Calcutta. In 1878 he married Suniti Devi, a daughter of Keshab Chandra Sen of Calcutta. Immediately after marriage, he left for England for higher studies.[3]

Statue of Nripendra Narayan in Cooch Behar town.
Statue of Nripendra Narayan in Cooch Behar town.


He was the father of four sons and three daughters: sons Rajendra Narayan, Jitendra Narayan, Victor Nityendra Narayan, and Hitendra Narayan, and daughters Pratibha Devi, Sudhira Devi, and Sukriti Devi.[5][6] Of his sons, Rajendra and Jitendra later became Maharajas of Cooch Behar. Gayatri Devi and Ila Devi were daughters of his son Jitendra. His daughter Pratibha later married English actor Miles Mander. Sudhira was married to Alan Mander, brother of Miles Mander. Sukriti (Princess Garlie) was married to Josnya Nath Ghosal the nephew of the Nobel laureate poet Rabindra Nath Tagore. Jitendra Narayan was married to Princess Indira Devi of Baroda.


Nripendra died at the English coastal resort of Bexhill-on-Sea in September 1911. His funeral took place in Bexhill on 21 September 1911. The Maharajah had come to Bexhill to convalesce after leaving Moor Hall, Ninfield. One of his daughters had recently drowned. A memorial drinking fountain dedicated to Nripendra was opened by his second son, Maharaja Kumar Jitendra on 18 September 1913 (jitendra has just succeeded to the throne of Cooch Behar after the death of his older brother Rajendra). The fountain originally stood to the side of the Coastguards Cottages on the present site of the De La Warr Pavilion. When the cottages were demolished in 1934 to make way for the Pavilion, the fountain was re-erected in Egerton Park. It stood near to the park entrance next to the Bexhill Museum until 1963, when it was removed for restoration. It was stored in Bexhill Cemetery for a while but then subsequently disappeared. Its current whereabouts is unknown.[7]

Bexhill-on-Sea's historical society has produced a booklet "Bexhill's maharajah" summarising Nripendra's connections with Bexhill.


Façade of the Cooch Behar Palace
Façade of the Cooch Behar Palace

See also: Cooch Behar Palace and Suniti Academy

He banned the practice of slave-keeping (Kritadas Pratha) in his State by introducing a law in 1884. In the year 1888, for the betterment of higher studies in his own state, he established the Victoria College now known as A.B.N. Seal College. Further, in the name of his queen, Suniti Devi, he set up a girls school called Suniti College in 1881 which was later named Suniti Academy. In 1883 he constructed the Nripendra Narayan Hall in Jalpaiguri city and in 1887 granted land for the construction of the Lowis Jubilee Sanitarium in Darjeeling.[5] He also established the India Club at Calcutta in 1882.[8] He also established the Anandamayi Dharmasala for distribution of free foods for poor at Cooch Behar in 1889. He founded in Cooch Behar, the botanical garden – Narendra Narayan Park in 1892.[9] He was also the first president of Calcutta Club founded in 1907.

Maharaja was a great enthusiast of cricket and promoted Cooch Behar team and would invite top quality players from all over the world. He had a cricket ground at his palace in Cooch Behar and also promoted one ground at Alipore in Calcutta. His team and team of Maharaja of Natore were rivals in cricket in Bengal.[10]



The Nripendra Narayan Memorial High School is named after him, which was founded by his son, Maharaja Jitendra Narayan, in his memory in 1916.

See also


  1. ^ Butt, Ikram Ahmed (2006). Lord Curzon & The Indian States 1899–1905 By Ikram Ahmed Butt. p. 333. ISBN 9781467879767.
  2. ^ COOCH BEHAR (Princely State) Archived 8 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine,
  3. ^ a b Encyclopaedia Indica: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh: Volume 100
  4. ^ Indian Royalty
  5. ^ a b Royal History, Shri. Hemanta Kumar Rai Barma, CHAPTER 6, "Kochbiharer Itihas", 2nd edition (1988), National Informatics Centre, Cooch Behar District,
  6. ^ Profile, Suniti Devi (Sen), (1864–1932),
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ The Golden Book of India: A Genealogical and Biographical by Sir Roper Lethbridge – 2005 pp 269
  9. ^ A Directory of Botanic Gardens and Parks in India by R. K. Chakraverty, D. P. Mukhopadhyay – 1990 – Page 31
  10. ^ Mukherji, Raju (21 February 2015). Eden Gardens Legend & Romance: Eden Gardens, the heritage cricket venue, celebrated 150 years. pp. 31–34, 173. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  11. ^ Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee


Political offices Preceded byMaharaja Narendra Narayan Bhup Bahadur Maharaja of Cooch Behar1863–1911 Succeeded byMaharaja Rajendra Narayan II