Tajhat Palace (also known as Tajhat Rajbari) is one of the most attractive architectural sites in Bangladesh. It is located in Tajhat, Rangpur. This palace now holds the Rangpur museum. Tajhat Palace is situated three km. south-east of the city of Rangpur, on the outskirts of town. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in northern Bangladesh.
The palace, with about 76 meters frontage, raises two storeys and faces east. An imposing broad staircase in the centre, paved with imported white marble, leads directly above the portico to the upper storey.
The palace is crowned by a ribbed conical dome in the centre of the roof with a tall octagonal neck, partly supported on a series of slender semi-Corinthian columns.
The balustrade on either side of the imposing staircase was originally embellished with various sculptures of classical Roman figures in Italian marble, but now these are missing. There are two semi-octagonal projections at each end of the front face and a central projecting porch.
The balcony roof above the porch is carried on four graceful Corinthian columns with round shafts, while two similar columns on each of the projecting ends of the building support a triangular gable.
The palace is laid out in the form on a "U", with its open end to the west. Beyond the entrance at ground-floor level there is a very large hall. A 3 meter wide corridor runs the entire length of the inner block. Two broad wooden staircases provide access to the upper floor. There are about 22 apartments on two floors.
The palace was built by Maharaja Kumar Gopal Lal Roy in the beginning of the 20th century. He was a descendant of Hindu royal family of Punjab. He was emigrated from Punjab to the Indian subcontinent.
He was a jeweler by profession.The mysterious name of the place 'Tajhat' perhaps came from his profession. 'Taj' means 'crown', and 'hat' means 'local market'.
Although Gopal Roy was a zamindar (landlord) from British region, he had very good relations with his tenants. For the huge request from his tenants, he started to make a Royal palace.
Maharaja Gopal appointed 2,000 workers to complete the work of his royal palace. He invested 1.5 million dollars at that time to make the palace.
From 1984 to 1991 the palace was used as a Rangpur High Court Branch of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. In 1995 the palace was declared as a protected monument by the Department of Archaeology.
Recognizing its outstanding architectural value the Government of Bangladesh shifted the Rangpur Museum to the second floor of the palace in 2005.
There are a number of fine examples of Sanskrit and Arabic manuscripts, including copies of the Mahabharat, Ramayan, and a Quran whose provenance is attributed to none other than the Mughal Aurangzeb.
The back rooms have several examples of black stone Hindu carvings in its back rooms, mainly of the deity Vishnu. Many people from every race visit the palace every year.
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