Eve of festivals and celebrations make people want to spend time in a beautifully decorated environment with members of the family. Often people like to visit places which are historically and archaeologically enriched. Tajhat zamindar mansion of Rangpur is one such place for antiquarians.
Only 3kms away from the hustle and bustle of Rangpur city, Tajhat zamindar mansion stands 210ft high from the ground and can be compared to the height of a four storied building. Inspired by ancient Mughal structures, the zamindar palace takes upon many formative designs one of which is having a hidden pathway underneath the palace which connects it to Ghagot river. However, the pathway is closed down due to security reasons.
To grace-up the zamindar mansion, even more, there is a beautiful staircase ornamented with a white stone which was exclusively imported from Italy. A total of four white stone staircases along with 28 rooms and 11 hinged doors concludes the interior of the palace like a mansion.
Once a trader of precious jewels, diamonds, and stones Mannalal Rai came to Mahiganj of Rangpur city. He used to trade hats, jewels and crowns embellished with beautiful stones and diamonds. Once a week there would sit a “haat’’ or more appropriately a market day. It was called “Taj Hat” deriving the name from the famous “Taj” or crowns Mannalal Rai used to make. The name “Taajhaat Zamindar Bari” also came from the famous and popular “Taj Hat” itself.
Mananlal Rai made a fortune of his business and built a house for himself and his family to live in. But the house was destroyed in a tremor which broke Mannalal Rai’s heart. He fell ill and died within days. Mannalal Rai did not have any children of his own. The place was later inherited by his adopted son Gopal Lal Rai who later founded the famous Tajhat Zamindar Bari.
The road that connects Mahiganj with the Rangpur city is a 3km long road which as legends say was built within one night. It was named after Gobindo Lal Rai, son of Gopal Lal Rai.
The zamindar mansion was used as Rangpur’s Bench of High Court division of Supreme Court of Bangladesh during the tenure of President Ershad in 1984. After the withdrawal of the High Court bench in 1992, the zamindar mansion was handed over to Archeology Department in 1995. On March 20, 2005, onwards it is used as a Rangpur Museum.
There are many hundred years old, traditional and valuable properties that are preserved in Tajhat zamindar mansion museum. Among the most notable examples are the Arabic inscriptions, Bengal inscriptions of sandy stone, the arrows and spears used by Santhals, terracotta pottery, terracotta peacocks, bronze statue of Durga found in the nineteenth century, Shivlinga, stone statues, meteorite, chandelier (metal), black stone Sanskrit inscription, Begum Rokeya`s handwritten letters, Sanskrit handwriting on cotton paper, Persian poetry etc.
Besides, the exterior of the house is decorated with 3 huge ponds in front and beautiful gardens all around. The surroundings are adorned with kamini, mahagoni, jackfruit and mango trees.
One can use some buses to commute from Dhaka to Rangpur, among them are Nabil Paribahan, Green Line, T.R. Travels, Agomoni Poribahan, S.R. Paribahan, Shyamoli, Hanif, Keya Paribahan, etc. These buses are available from dawn to dusk. An auto-rickshaw ride from Rangpur’s Ship Company lane or Shapla roundabout which will take Tk. 20/30 per person can easily take you to the famous Tajhat Zamindar Bari of Mahiganj.
Bangla Insider/MA / ZA