A day at Puthia Rajbar in Rajshahi
A day at Puthia Rajbari
Puthia Rajbari of Rajshahi is one of the traditions of Bangladesh. We boarded the bus from Rajshahi to Natore. Then at Puthia bus stand. Met Nasimon at the bus stand. We pressed on to Nasimon and proceeded towards Rajbari. As soon as I entered the Puthia market, I saw the big Shiva temple on the left side of the Shivsagar Dighi.
The elaborate Shiv Mandir, along with the pure air of the Dighi bank. Built on a raised platform, the temple has a main entrance with a wide staircase on the south side. The wraparound porch has five arched entrances. The lower portion of the porch pillars is richly ornamented and the outer part of the floor is inlaid with sandstone. The main hall of the temple has one entrance each on the east, west and south walls, where sandstone jambs are used and the jambs are decorated with floral designs. On either side of each entrance we found standing statues of deities made of lime mortar.
A ghat is built for landing in Dighi located on the north side. There are separate staircases to climb up and down this ghat. Pyramid shaped peaks are built on top of the quadrangular structure. It is notable among the temples located in Puthia. Rani Bhubanamayi Devi of the Panchani zamindar house built this temple. So this temple is also called Bhubaneswar temple. The Jagannath temple is located at a distance of few miles from the big Shiva temple. Although there is no terracotta plaque in this temple, its architectural style is quite beautiful. There are two entrances on the north and east sides.
The entrance has fine ornamentation on the sandstone plinth. The room on the second floor is small in size and has an open entrance around it. The four-storied temple, situated within the Puthia Bazar, gradually tapers upwards in the form of a swing.
Then we went to the Govinda Mandir located in the courtyard of the Puthia Panchani Zamindar house. We entered through an ancient door in the lower part of the palace. Crowd is not bad at all. It was understood that regular worship was done. There is a room in the center of the temple, four small square rooms at the four corners. The pillars and walls of the temple are decorated with numerous terracotta pictorial panels. The lowest level of the shrine is a floral plaque and the upper row depicts various Mughal hunting scenes including elephants, horses, palanquins, bows and arrows through terracotta plaques. The battle of Kurukshetra and the Rama-Ravana battle are depicted above the entrance on the western side of the temple.
Seeing the plaques reminded me of Kantji temple. We came in front of the main building of the palace. Except for two two-storied blocks north and west of Kachari Angan, other parts of the palace are single-storied. Brick, lime-surki, iron and wood have been used as materials in the construction of this palace. There are two lofty gateways at the western and eastern ends in front of the palace to enter the Kachari courtyard and the temple courtyard. We visited Charani Rajbari, Big Ahnikamandir, Small Govindamandir, Gopalmandir one by one. The best thing about seeing the monuments in Puthia is that all the monuments are located in close proximity. A visit to any archaeological site fills my heart with sadness. Antiquities remind us from time to time how fleeting life is.
Ways to go:
Dhaka to Rajshahi
Rajshahi can be reached from Dhaka by road, rail and air. By road, you have to take a bus from Dhaka’s Gabtali and Kalyanpur. For this reason there are several bus services including Green Line, Desh Travels, Shyamoli and Hanif. The rent will be 400 to 1000 taka depending on the class. By rail there are two trains namely Silkcity Express and Padma Express. Silk City Express leaves Kamalapur for Rajshahi every day except Sunday at 2:40 PM and every day except Tuesday at 11:10 PM. The rent is from 350 to 1 thousand 81 taka depending on the category. Apart from this, Rajshahi can be reached by air from Dhaka’s Shahjalal (RA) International Airport by Biman Bangladesh Airlines, United Air and US-Bangla Air.
Rajshahi to Puthia
The distance of Puthiya is 34 km from Rajshahi and 18 km from Natore. Take a bus from Rajshahi to Natore or take a local bus and get off at Puthia bus stand on the Rajshahi-Natore highway and walk for five to 10 minutes to Puthia Rajbari.