Tajhat Palace in Rangpur
Located in the Rangpur Division in northern Bangladesh, the city of Rangpur has a number of interesting attractions visitors may want to add to their touring itineraries. These include the Tajhat Palace, the Town Hall, the Rangpur Central Zoo, and Chicli Vata – a picturesque natural area near the city’s sports stadium. The city is the commercial center for the region’s agricultural production, with crops in the area including jute, rice, tobacco, wheat and potatoes. It has two major shopping centers, government offices, private banks, hotels, fast food outlets and restaurants.
Located on the southeast outskirts of Rangpur, Tajhat Palace was built at the beginning of the 20th century for Maharaja Kumar Gopal Lal Roy, who had reportedly emigrated from Punjab. Between 1984 and 1991, the palace buildings served as a High Court Branch of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and in 1995 the spectacular buildings were declared by the Department of Archeology to be a protected monument. In 2005 the Rangpur Museum was installed on the second floor of the palace, which in itself is an historical monument.
Visitors to Tajhat Palace will find numerous display cases with superb examples of 10th and 11th century terracotta artifacts, along with fine specimens of Arabic and Sanskrit manuscripts. These include copies of the Ramayana, Mahabharat and Quran. Other displays in the museum include several Hindu carvings in black stone, most of which depict the Hindu deity Vishnu.
Facing east and laid in a “U” shape, the two-story palace measures around 76 meters across the front, with a broad staircase leading to the upper floor portico in the center. The steps of the staircase are paved in superb white marble. The palace has a central conical dome supported by an octagonal tower with semi-Corinthian columns. On either end of the front of the palace are semi-octagonal extensions three floors high. The ground floor glass doors are adorned with the Coat of Arms of the Maharaja Gopal Lal Roy.
Reportedly, due to lack of funding, the museum is not always open. Nonetheless, the architecture of the building and the grounds surrounding it make it worth visiting when exploring the region and city of Rangpur in Bangladesh.