Look into the Past at Varendra Research Museum

Just a short distance away from the Rajshahi University in Rajshahi, in Bangladesh, is the Varendra Research Museum. Over the years, the museum has not only gained popularity as a research centre, but as an attraction in Bangladesh. Established in 1910, the Varendra Research Museum became a part of the Rajshahi University in 1960 and is known to be the oldest museum in the subcontinent. This fact and that it is home to the largest collection of archaeological and historical artifacts and documents in regard to Bangladesh, makes this an attraction worth visiting.

The massive collection held by the museum includes items that date as far back as the sixteenth century and pays tribute to the history of the Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist religions. Its library, therefore, has an extensive range of six thousand manuscripts and twenty-two thousand books that are not only in the Bengali language, but also in Persian, Sanskrit and Arabic. The museum has always boasted six large galleries, but has recently added exhibits that display ancient and medieval artifacts and historical items in its folklore gallery. Another fascinating exhibit is the tribal culture section that reflects on the heritage of the Rajshahi region.

In the first gallery, visitors will be left breathless at the magnificent exhibits that were conserved and were once owned by the Indus Valley Civilization. Ancient scripts and Sompur items are also displayed, and their history chronicled. The second and fifth galleries have been dedicated by the museum to detailed stone and wood sculptures that were carved by the Hindus and Buddhists. In galleries three and four, beautiful sculptures of the Hindu gods adorn the building, while the sixth gallery has a vast range of stone inscriptions left behind from old Bangla, and some are in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian and others are from the Muslim times. The black stone sculptures are definitely a main attraction at the museum as they are the best preserved and make up the biggest collection in Bangladesh.

As a research facility, the Varendra Research Museum is vital for studies in history, archaeology and in anthropology. Working together with students and the university has enabled the museum to make significant discoveries and explore new territories. Their dedication and the tireless work being done by them is seen throughout the halls of the galleries. It allows locals and visitors to journey back in history and time to reflect on the progress that has been made since ancient times.