Trip to Puthia Rajbari in Rajshahi.
Panchani Zamindarbari is the residence of Maharani Hemantakumari Devi. Puthia Rajbari in Rajshahi is one of the archeological heritage of Bengal. In 1895, Empress Hemantakumari Devi built the present rectangular two-storied palace in an attractive Indo-European style of architecture. During the Mughal period in the seventeenth century, Puthia zamindari was the oldest of the various kingdoms of Bengal. It is said that a Nilambar became known as Puthia Rajbari after receiving the title of ‘Raja’ from the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1605626 AD). The zamindari was divided in 1844. In that division, the eldest son of the zamindar got five and a half annas of the property and the other three sons got three and a half annas. Until 1950 there was a zamindari system. When the custom was abolished, the zamindari of Puthia Rajbari was also abolished. But even though the zamindari was abolished, their palaces, temples, and other structures built during that period still survive. This magnificent palace was built in 1895 by Maharani Hemanta Kumari Devi in honor of her mother-in-law Maharani Sarat Sundari Devi.
The beauty of Puthia Rajbari: Although the zamindari system was abolished after the partition of Bengal, their palaces, temples, and other structures built during that period still survive in glory. Puthia is surrounded by a moat or Nirapao pond around the palace. At present, the moats are known by different names such as Shiv Sarobar or Shivsagar, Gopalchowki, Bekichowki, Govinda Sarobar, and Marachowki. The Queen’s bathing ghat is at Bekichowki. This large palace courtyard is a combination of well-decorated inner courtyard. The pyramid-shaped swing of the palace is very nice. Besides, there is a huge pond of six acres called Shyamsagar in the middle of Rajbari area. Surrounded by moats, the total land area of this palace is 31.93 acres. Five Ani and four Ani palaces were built separately after the partition of Sharik. Apart from these two palaces, no trace of the houses of the other partners can be found at present. The main entrance to the multi-chambered Puthia palace is to the north of Singh Darwaza. There is a huge field in front of the entrance. The pillars in front of the building, the ornaments, the woodwork, the paintings of flowers and herbs on the walls and doors of the rooms bear the hallmarks of excellent architecture. Its roof is flat, iron beams on the roof, wooden beams and tiles have been used.
A total of fourteen eye-catching temples in Puthia Rajbari and its adjoining mouzas are still standing with their heads held high. There are six temples in the palace premises. The temples have two pancharatnas, a dochala, a mixed tri-manidar, an octagonal ekratna, with two flat roofs and the rest with a pyramid-shaped chauchala roof. Burnt clay bricks and limestone have been used in the construction of the temples. Most of the temples are adorned with ornaments of terracotta plaques based on Hindu religious and social themes.
How to get there: Rajshahi can be reached by road, rail, and air from Dhaka. Desh Travels, Green Line, Shyamoli, National, Hanif Paribahan run AC-NonAC buses from Kalyanpur and Gabtali in Dhaka to Rajshahi. Non AC rent 450 TK, AC 900 TK. One kilometer south of Puthia bus stand on the Rajshahi-Natore highway, only five minutes by rickshaw, the fare is only five TK The distance by road from Rajshahi city is 34 km and the fare from Natore is 18 km. The fare is Tk 20 and Tk 15 respectively. If you travel to the place in your own car, the place will fall about thirty kilometers before Rajshahi city. Apart from this, you can take any Rajshahi-bound bus and get off at Puthia bus stand. It takes about an hour and a half to reach Puthia by local bus from Rajshahi. From Rajshahi Central Bus Terminal, you can take a Natore-bound bus and get off at Puthia.
Where to eat: There are several quality hotels to eat in Puthia. If you want, you can do the work of eating there. If you want to eat better quality food, you have to eat from Rajshahi, or you have to travel 30 km from there to Rajshahi city for food.
Where to stay: There are two post bungalows of the district council in Puthia where you can stay by paying the prescribed rent. However, before coming, the room will have to be allotted from the district council. There is also a private residential hotel next to the Puthia bus stand. You can also stay in Rajshahi city. Rajshahi city has the facility to stay indifferent to quality hotels. Next to Rajshahi Zoo is the hotel of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation.