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     Volume 2 Issue 52 | January 20 , 2008|


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Dighapatia Rajbari, Natore

Shatabdi Biswas

Uttara Gonobhaban, known as the Dighapatia Rajbari and situated in Natore District is an important tourist destination. People from all over Bangladesh come to see the majestic buildings and gardens of the Rajbari.

Dighapatia Rajbari was made 'Dighapatia Governor House' on 24th July, 1967 by Mr. Abdul Monem Khan. Later, after our country's independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared the Dighapatia Governor House as Uttara Gonobhaban on 9th February, 1972.

Here the king's rule prevailed upto their 7th generation but afterwards the abolishment of Zamindari system forced them to leave the Rajbari. This enormous building with lakes and trees was built on one twenty five bighas of land. At first sight, I saw a huge clock on top of the gate and it seemed just like a replica of the Big Ben in London. But the most amazing fact is that the clock is still working and from the curator I came to know that the clock operates on balance. On a recent visit to the awe-inspiring place, I rushed to touch the red brick walls that made up the front gate. I was led into a world of fantasy where kings once lived and ruled their province. Recalling those days and the power of kings made me go nostalgic. On each side of the palace there are two beautiful statues of a woman. Entering the castle I saw two armoured knights on each side. For a moment I forgot that they were inanimate and moved away from them thinking that they might fight challenge me. The armour was covered in awesome designs engraved in brass. Then I moved on to the hall room where the kings used to relax. The room has many pieces of furniture made of high quality wood. There is a four-side chair which enables people to sit on all four sides. The false ceiling made of wood and brass with complicated designs left me speechless. The carpentry works of today when compared to those from the past shows obvious differences. There is also a giant-size mirror on the front side of the room which can easily take one to a fantasy world. All the bedrooms have beautifully decorated beds. There are nine bedrooms in total in the palace.

The bathrooms are entirely made of marble stone. A big stone-made bathtub is kept in the verandah for visitors to take a look. The curator informed us that Raja DayaRam was the first king and his last descendant was Raja Pratibhanath Roy. The Rajbari also has a dance room where dancers danced to the tune of instruments to entertain the kings and their guests. Needless to say, the room is very spacious and accommodated with couches so that the Rajas could comfortably rest and enjoy the performance.

One eye-catching thing was the upside down fan, the inverse form of today's table fan, and the blades of which point downward. This machine was powered by kerosene oil. There are also card rooms, a dining room with two green colour candle stands hanging from the ceiling and most significantly the room of "The Royal Court". Here the kings discussed different matters with the members of the court. The famous chair of the king symbolizes a person who is not ordinary but destined to be someone who is much more than ordinary.

After a last look at the big palace I went to see the trees that surrounded it. They are said to be a hundred and a twenty years old but are still living. The palace of the queen has been destroyed for unknown reasons.

We, the people of today's world wonder about their life of comfort and lavishness. The Rajbari fascinates and amazes the commoners like us. Its charm has not faded away yet. The dynasty of kings and queens exists no more but what they have left behind still amazes us creating everlasting impressions on our hearts.

(Regional Public Administration Training Centre Rajshahi)

It's Semester Time Once Again!

Wasia Mehnaz Minna

I'm staring at the tentative course list at the table in front of me, which I had just bought from the bookshop in the basement of my university building. I cannot believe I have another grueling semester starting in about a couple of days. I did not even have time to catch a breather after the nerve-wracking chaos lasting three months that was my last semester! It seems the vacation just started yesterday, and yet one month seems to have flown by! Hmmm, what did I do to make the 30 days slide past me without my noticing? Apart from the 13 hours of sleeping every day, watching TV and chatting online about almost the same things every single day and munching down tons of junk food, I seem to have done nothing at all. All my pre-holiday plans of using my vacation time constructively went down the drain! Is it just me or is one month too short a vacation after a stressful semester of hair-tearing midterms, teeth-gritting projects and pen-nibbling quizzes? (Excuse my inability to come up with more imaginative adjectives; my mood seems to be too low right now!) Oh, I didn't even have time to go catch a movie at the Star Cineplex (which I've been planning for the last 6 semester vacations or so), nor could I spend as much idle time with as many friends as I had planned, nor could I watch as many movies as I had planned before the holidays started! I was just getting into the holiday mood.

I feel like I'm going to cry now! No more waking up in the afternoons, no more lazy evenings in front of the television and no more Facebook-ing till the wee hours of the dawn for the next 3 months! It is semester time once again, a time for boring lectures, midterms and quizzes, which only translate to study, study and more study! But oh, on the brighter side, I'll still get to hang out with my friends at the campus. That surely does make up a lot for the long blissful hours of sleep that I will not be getting during the semester. Okay, may be it will not be that bad after all. Looks like I did survive the last 7 semesters, I'll get through this one too!

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