Dighapatia Palace (Uttara Ganabhaban) – The Maharaja’s Palace

screenshot_393Dighapatia Palace also known as Uttara Ganabhaban or Maharaja’s Palace is a clear signature of finest architectural beauties of northern Bangladesh. It is located about 40 Kilometres from Rajshahi and 2.40 Kilometres away from Natore town, a short branching road off the Natore-Bogra highway provides access to the royal palace. At present the palace is used as the official residential place of the head of states of Bangladesh in North Bengal.

The Dighapatia Palace was built by Raja Dayaram Roy during the 18th century. Though Raja Dayaram Roy constructed the initial structure of the palace along with few accessory wings but it was Raja Pramada Nath Roy who rebuilt the entire palace complex after a catastrophic earthquake at 1897.On July 24, 1967 the then governor of East Pakistan Abdul Monem Khan declared the Dighapatia Palace as ‘Dighapatia Governor House’. The President of East Pakistan Ayub Khan also resided at the Palace. Later on the President of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Dighapatia Governor House as ‘Uttara Ganabhaban’ on February 9, 1972.

The integrated palace complex is surrounded by a high protective wall. The front entrance of the complex comprises of a gigantic four storied pyramidal gateway with a clock tower. It also have a series of arched openings on three storeys and two hoops flanking the clock on top storey. The east facing E shaped palace presents a 100 feet long facade with a prominently extended verandah at the center and two slightly projecting wings on either ends. The façade is vastly decorated with numerous floral designs on plasterwork. The bastion on the roof is ornated with merlons. The both side of the broad entrance contains two elegant cast iron female statues each holding a lamp on its head. The palace block accommodates in total of nine sleeping rooms, a durbar (reception) hall, a dining room and a dance room. The ceiling of reception hall is over 25 feet high and beautifully ornated with painted floral motifs in wooden sets. There are still some beautiful pieces of relics such as flower vases, neo-classical greek bronze statues, Candleholders, curved wooden mattress and aristocratic furniture. The main lobby of the royal palace displays two armoured knights. The southern wing of the block is also formed on a E shape. There is a large attractive garden with a fountain and some life size female sculptures. A broad verandah leads to a series of apartments.

The rest of the palace complex comprises of the Kumar palace (Prince’s Palace) which is at south-east and close to the main palace is a two storeyed building that accommodates four sleeping rooms and a dressing room on the upper floor and subsequent apartments on the ground floor. There is also a single storeyed building at the south of the main palace named Rani Mahal (Queen’s Palace), occupies a vast area of the Palace complex. Apart from all these blockes and sculptures the presence of few lakes and sophisticated greeneries increases the beauty of the Dighapatia Palace (Uttara Ganabhaban) thoroughly.

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