Natore Rajbari

Published:  12:00 AM, 10 December 2016

A sign of Classical Roman style

A sign of  Classical Roman style

Rajbari (also known as Pagla Raja's Palace, Natore Palace and mostly  Rani Bhabani Palace) was a prominent royal palace in Natore, Bangladesh. It was the residence and seat of the Rajshahi Raj family of zamindars.

 Famous queen Rani Bhabani lived here and after the death of her husband expanded both the estate and the palace. It situated in Natore, a district town about 48 km east of Rajshahi, was the zamindari headquarters of the NATORE RAJ.

The main palace block (Baro Taraf), now housing the newly created deputy commissioner's office, faces a large open lawn to the south. Two other single-storied blocks, placed on the west and the south,look over the lawn and are laid out in the form of an English "U" with the open side on the east.

The main northern block, facing south has a frontage of about 100'-0" with a prominently projecting porch in the middle and two slightly projecting bays at either end, all carrying triangular pediments above.

The elegant central porch is supported on a series of Corinthian columns and semi-circular arches in the typical classical Roman style and the veranda in front of the apartments are also similarly relieved.

The whole facade is tastefully decorated with geometric and floral panels in plasterwork. The lofty ceiling of the central hall rises to a height of 30'-0" and is lit by eighteen clerestory windows, originally fitted with colored glass panes, whilst the roof of the other rooms are considerably lower in height.

The entire floor of this block is laid in black and white imported marble. The back veranda is supported on twenty pairs of Corinthian columns,the capitals of which contain within its acanthus leaves, some classical nude female figures.

To the south-west rears of the second block a couple of very ruined single-storied residential buildings overlook a large tank from its northern bank. The main palace block of the 'Chhota-Taraf', perched picturesquely on the western bank of this large tank is now occupied by the District Judge's Court.

The central part of the building, occupied by the reception hall projects above the flanking wings and is crowned by a pyramidal roof with clerestory windows. The parapet of the porch is decorated in plasterwork with two short projecting bays at either end of the building, each decorated with two pairs of Corinthian columns, which are topped by triangular pediments.

The rear of the building also is tastefully relieved with Ionic capitals, floral motifs and bearded human heads in stucco. The two large halls of the palace, probably flagged in marble, are now devoid of their original floor, but the other apartments have white and black marble floors.

Natore Zamindari was one of the largest Zamindaris of Bengal. The originators of this Zamindari were Ramjivan and Raghunandan both sons of Kamdev. Ramjivan's daughter-in-law was Rani Bhawani(1716-1795), a legendary name in Bengal politics in the 18th century and an endearing personality in everyhome of the country due to her boundless generosity and public spirit.

 After becoming Zamindar, Ramjivan built his Rajbari at Natore occupying a huge area of 50.42 acres of land. The Rajbari was protected on all sides by ditches.

There were nine buildings in this Rajbari. They are the palace of Boro Taraf, The palace of Choto Taraf, Kachari Bhavan and Guard House of Boro taraf, Kachari Bhavan of Choto Taraf, Rani Bhavan, Guest House, Madhu Rani Bhavan etc.

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