Cooch Behar or Koch Bihar is a city and a municipality in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is the headquarters of the Cooch Behar district. It is in the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. Cooch Behar is a planned city in the North Bengal region with remnants of royal heritage. Being one of the main tourist destinations of West Bengal, housing the Cooch Behar Palace and Madan Mohan Temple, it has been declared a heritage city. It is the maternal home of Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur.
During the British Raj, Cooch Behar was the seat of the princely state of Koch Bihar, ruled by the Koch Kingdom of often described as the Shiva Vansha, tracing their origin from the Koch tribe of North-eastern India. Cooch Behar was dominated by different dynasties including the Muslims & the British, it is a land of mixed cultures, similar to those of West Bengal and Bangladesh. People of different castes & creed (Muslims, Christians and Sikhs) inhabit here along with the Hindus. However it is the culture of Hindu Bengali which predominates here.
After 20 August 1949, Cooch Behar District was transformed from a princely state to its present status, with the city of Cooch Behar (Koch Behar) as its headquarters.