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17 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM

Tajhat Rajbari

M Mahmud Ali
Tajhat Rajbari

Tajhat Rajbari is one of the most prominent heritage sites in northern Bangladesh. The royal palace is located at Tajhat Mahalla of Rangpur city.

The palace was built by Maharaja Gopal Lal Roy between 1908 and 1917. He emigrated from Punjab in India and settled in Mahiganj of Rangpur. He was a jeweller by profession. The name of the place perhaps comes from his profession _ ‘Taj’ means crown and ‘hat’ means market.

Maharaja Roy appointed about 2,000 workers and invested almost 1.5 million dollars for his palace. The construction of the palace was completed in 1917. Though Roy was a zamindar (landlord) during British rule, he maintained very good relationship with his tenants.

The palace is a U-shaped structure. It looks stunning for its building materials, which include white stones, marble, limestone and red bricks. The palace has a large open space, with a marble fountain, in the front. An imposing wide staircase in the centre, paved with imported white marble, leads directly to the upper storey above the portico. The edifice is crowned with a ribbed conical dome with a tall octagonal neck, partly supported on a series of slender semi-Corinthian columns, in the centre of the roof. The palace has 28 large rooms. Two broad wooden staircases provide access to the upper floor.

The Tajhat zamindari (estate) was abolished in 1950. Then, the entire palace compound was used as an agricultural institute until 1980. It was later used as the High Court’s Rangpur branch from 1984-91. In 1995, the palace was declared as a protected monument by the Department of Archaeology (DOA).

Recognising its outstanding architectural value, the government moved Rangpur Museum to the second floor of the palace in 2005. There is a huge collection of ancient Sanskrit and Arabic manuscripts, including copies of Mahabharat, Ramayan and the Quran, whose origin is attributed to Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The museum also contains a number of black stone carvings, mainly of Hindu deity Vishnu.

The entire palace complex is surrounded by beautiful nature, flower gardens and trees. The eye-catching aristocratic Tajhat Palace is really worth a visit. n

References: Buildings of the British Raj in Bangladesh, Nazimuddin Ahmed, UPL, 1986;  History in Pictures - Greater Rangpur and Dinajpur, Area HQs, Rangpur, 2008; Eastern Bengal District Gazetteer- Rangpur,

JA Vas, 1911.

Photos: Writer.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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