A Glimpse into the Magnificence of Bengal's Architectural Heritage
Tajhat Palace - the finest Zaminder Bari in North
Tajhat Palace of Rangpur is a stunning testament to the architectural legacy of Bengal. Built in the early 20th century during the reign of Maharaja Gopal Lal Roy, this exquisite palace is a rare blend of Mughal and European styles, with influences from both Hindu and Islamic architecture. It is a symbol of the luxury and grandeur of Bengal's past. This building houses a museum that showcases various artifacts from different periods of Bengal's past.
History of Tajhat Palace
The Tajhat Palace was constructed in 1906 as the residence of Maharaja Kumar Gopal Lal Roy (1887–1955), a Hindu merchant who migrated from Punjab to Rangpur and flourished as a jeweler and zamindar. (landlord). The name Tajhat means ``crown market, ``and it is believed that it derives from Roy's profession as a jeweler. Roy began the construction of the palace in the early 20th century with the assistance of 2,000 employees and a budget of $1.5 million. He also introduced numerous cultural celebrations on his estate, such as kite soaring and a fair for women.
The British architect Robert Fellows Chisholm designed the palace, who had previously planned several notable buildings in Kolkata, such as the Victoria Memorial Hall.
The palace was completed in 1925 and became the residence of Roy and his family. The palace also served as the administrative center of his zamindari estate. The palace was famous for its grandeur and elegance, as well as its collection of artwork, manuscripts, jewels, and antiques. Roy was also well-known for his generosity and philanthropy towards his tenants and the local community.
After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Roy decided to stay in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), despite being a Hindu. However, he was harassed and discriminated by some local Muslim groups who wanted to take over his property. He eventually left Bangladesh for India in 1950 with his family and some valuables. He died in Kolkata in 1955.
The palace was abandoned for many years before the government of Bangladesh took it over in 1979. The building served as a branch of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh from 1984 to 1991, during the regime of dictator President Husain Muhammad Ershad. It was declared a protected monument by the Department of Archaeology in 1995. It was transformed into a museum in 2005 when the Rangpur Museum was relocated from another location.
Structure of Tajhat Palace
The Tajhat Palace is a great example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, which combines parts of Mughal, European, and Bengali styles. The palace has a U-shaped layout with an open-end facing west. It covers an area of about two acres and has two stories with four towers at each corner.
The standout feature of the palace is its front facade, which has an imposing staircase made of imported white marble leading to the upper floor. The balustrades on either side of the stairs used to have sculptures of classical Roman figures made of marble, but they have been lost over time. The front porch has four Corinthian columns supporting a triangular gable with intricate carvings.
The palace has about 22 rooms on two levels, which are set up around a central corridor. The chambers have high ceilings with wooden beams and panels with floral designs on them. The windows have curved frames and stained-glass panels that show scenes from Hindu mythology.
The central part of the roof of the palace looks like the Ahsan Manzil in Dhaka because it has a conical dome with ribbed details. The neck of the dome is shaped like an eight-sided pentagon, and it is held up by thin columns with semi-Corinthian capitals.
Even though Tajhat Palace is culturally and historically important, it has been ignored and has been falling apart over the years. The palace’s structure has gotten worse because it hasn’t been maintained and preserved well enough. This is shown by the cracks that have appeared in its walls and ceilings. It is imperative that expeditious measures are taken by the government and relevant authorities to conserve this invaluable monument and guarantee its perpetuation as a symbol of Bengal’s opulent cultural heritage for posterity.
In conclusion, the Tajhat Palace stands out as an important part of Bengal’s architectural history. The statement talks about how important Bengal’s historical and cultural heritage is and how important it is to keep these treasures safe for future generations. The Tajhat Palace is a beautiful building that makes a lasting impression on visitors. It helps them understand and appreciate the cultural and historical importance of the area.
Tajhat Palace Museum visiting hours
Tajhat Palace Museum Opening and Closing Hours During Summer: April to September
Friday: 10 AM to 6 PM (1 PM to 2 PM prayer and lunch break)
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Monday: 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Tuesday – Thursday: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Tajhat Palace Museum Opening and Closing Hours During Winter: October to March
Friday: 9 AM to 5 PM (1 PM to 2 PM prayer and lunch break)
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Monday: 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tajhat Palace Museum Opening and Closing Hours During Ramadan:
Friday: 2.00 PM to 4.00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Ramadan visiting hours may vary depending on which season Ramadan falls in.
Usually, the museum remains closed on Sundays and any other public holidays during both summer and winter.
The ticket counter will be closed at least 30 minutes before the museum closing time.
Tajhat Palace Museum Ticket Fees
Students (Bangladeshi) up to the secondary level
Visitors from SAARC member countries
And any other foreign nationalities
No entry fee is required for disabled persons and children under three years.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) has eight member countries: Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Dos and don’ts inside the Tajhat Palace Museum
- Do not touch any display items inside the museum!
- Eating, smoking, spitting, photographing, and speaking on mobile phones are prohibited inside the museum.
- The visitor must keep their entry ticket until their visit is finished.
- A ticket will be valid for the date it was issued and can’t be transferred to another person or any other day.
- The entry ticket sales counter will be closed at least 30 minutes before the museum’s scheduled closing time.