Explore the wonders of Rajshahi in Bangladesh
Rajshahi is a district of Bangladesh with many great attractions for the average visitor. The small village of Paharpur is usually the first place visitors will start. Paharpur is home to the largest known monastery excavations south of the Himalayas. The excavation site is 27 acres big and is quite a marvel to behold.
There is an elaborate gateway complex on the northern side of the site and a total of 177 rooms are situated along the other three sides of the monastery. The monastery was built in pyramidal cruciform shape and this indicates South-East Asian influence.
There is also a small museum on the site that was built to house the many objects recovered from the archeological site, though many of the findings have also been sent to the Varendra Research Museum at Rajshahi. The terracotta plaques, images of gods and goddesses, coins, ornamental bricks and inscriptions are very interesting to see. Whether you visit the site museum or not, make sure that you pay a visit to the Varendra Research Museum as it has a very rich collection of objects from the 16th – 19th century AD. The museum contains many objects relating to the Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim heritage of the area and admission is free.
The Chhota Sona Mosque is a fine example of architecture from the Sultanate dynasty period. Built by a certain Wali Muhammad during the reign of the Sultan Alauddin Husain Shah, it originally had over 15 incredible domes - each gilded with gold. Not too far away is Puthia. Puthia is home to the Govinda Temple: a large square structure crowned by a number of smaller ornamental towers. The whole design of the place is very intricate and the temple is a wonder to behold. Puthia is also the location of the Siva Temple. This temple is a very good example of the five-spire Hindu style that is most common in northern India. It features three tiers that are topped by four spires. Unfortunately many of the sculptural artworks of the temple were disfigured during the War of Liberation. The 16th century Jagannath Temple is also very interesting as it is an example of a hut-shaped temple. If you appreciate such items of cultural heritage, Rajshahi is a very interesting place to visit and should not be missed.