Coordinated effort needed to turn Rajshahi a tourist hub

Published : 08 Mar 2021 09:05 PM

The tourism sector in north-western region of the country is lagging behind despite having a vast potentiality.

By drawing attention of tourists to the ancient relics and places of historical, religious, cultural and educational interests in greater Rajshahi districts, the scenario of the entire region might be changed turning the region into a hub of tourism. 

The government and the non-government enterprises may draw millions of tourists, devotees and pilgrims from around the world specially from USA, EU countries, Great Britain, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, India and Nepal to develop the tourist spots and places.

The religious and historical sites to tourists include Paharpur in Naogaon- once the largest Buddhist monastery in Asia, Chhoto Sona Masjid in Chapainawabganj, Bagha Mosque in Rajshahi, Kusumba mosque in Manda of Naogaon, the Palace of Dighapatiya in Natore, temple of King Kansa Narayan in Taherpur Baghmara- from where the Durga Puja was originated, Kheturidham in Rajshahi - where the Vaisnab religion was originated, Varendra Research Museum- the ancient most museum of the country and the Sadharan Granthagar-the ancient most library of the country.

Famous Sompura Maha Viharan (Bouddha Bihar) in Paharpur was founded by the great Pala emperor, Dharmapala (770-810 AD). Situated upon 21 acres of land, the Bouddha Bihar is known to be the biggest single monastery in Asia. This vast rectangular monastery, enclosed by a massive brick wall comprises 177 living cells for the hermits arranged

This immense Bihar is conspicuous for its complicated scheme in adornment of its basement walls with carved 

   brick cornices, friezes of terracotta plaques and stone sculptures. Many Buddhists from several countries of Asia throng here to learn Buddists' Philosophy, astronomy, religious studies, History and Geography. The richness, variety and exuberance of technically archaic decorations and beauty of the Bihar are unrivalled. Thousands of tourists, specially believers of Buddhist and Jaina faith, students of Buddhist studies would find it a place of great historical and religious interest.

In Taherpur of Rajshahi, there lies the temple of King Kangsa Narayan, the great king of Gaud. History says, the first ever Durga Puja, the largest religious festival of the Banglee Hindus mainly, was introduced by King Kangsa Narayan in early 16th century.

It is learnt, the first Durga Puja was held in Taherpur with unprecedented pomp and grandeur for 10 days. According to the historians, Taka 900,000 was spent for holding the Puja and guests from various Asian countries attended the celebration on that time. Following the observance of Durga Puja in Taherpur, the Bengalee people all over the sub-continent started celebrating the puja every year. Kangsa Narayan built a magnificent temple at Taherpur on the occasion of the Puja.

The reminiscent of the temple is still at Taherpur. A paragana (now Upazila) under Taherpur has been named as Durgapur to mark the celebration. Thousands of tourists and Hindu devotees from India, Nepal and Bangladesh would visit the famous Durga temple, the place of origin of Durga puja, if proper measures are taken.

The Palace of Dighapatiya which is also known as the Uttara Gaonbhaban in Natore bears the testimony of exquisite beauty and grandeur. Only one kilometre away from the Uttara Gonobhaban, there lies the Palace of Rani Bhabani- the remnants of the largest Zamindari in the Indian sub-continent. The town of Banalata Sen-Natore is also famous for its Kancha Golla (sweet) and gold ornaments. Chalanbeel Museum in Gurudaspur of Natore district is also rich in collection and may draw many tourists.

On the way to Rajshahi from Natore, there is mausoleum of Hazrat Karam Ali Shah(R) at Biraldaha under Puthia upazila. Moreover, there are palaces of the Zaminder of Puthia, the terracotta ornamented Dole Mandir and Govinda Mandir which are exquisite in design and decoration.

Famous terracotta Bagha mosque is situated at the eastern side of Rajshahi. The natural surroundings of the Bagha mosque and the adjacent Dighi (water body) with its thousands of migratory birds will enchant hundreds of visitors. 

The panoramic settings of only Police Academy of the country in Sardah and the Cadet College of Rajshahi are worth visiting.

Rajshahi University (RU) Central Library, the Central mosque in RU designed after the Regent Park Mosque in London, Liberation War Museum, Senate Bhaban, Shabash Bangladesh and the mausoleum of Shahid Professor Shamsuzzoha are also nice places to visit at the campus of Rajshahi University.

The mausoleums of Hazrat Shah Makhdum (R), and Hazrat Turkhan Shah (R), the Dutch establishments in Borokuthi beside the river Padma founded during the 17th century, the internationally reputed and the oldest Museum in Bangladesh (founded in 1910) Varendra Research Museum, the oldest Library of the country and Rajshahi Sadharan Granthagar (founded 1884) are all to attract tourists from country and abroad.

Due to callousness and ignorance about the importance of historical relics and heritage of two Mayors of Rajshahi, two valuable assets of Rajshahi city have been destroyed.

Besides, Rajshahi College, Rajshahi Sericulture factory and institutes and the Postal Complex will also beacon tourists.

Towards of the west on the way of Chapainawabganj, there are numerous relics and remnants of both the Muslim rulers, saints and the Hindu kings. There are Bijoynagar, the forlorn capital of king Bijoy Sen, Majar (mausoleum) of Hazrat Ali Kuli Beg at Kumarpur, the historical 800-year-old Tamal tree where the Hindu Lord Sree Chaitanya Dev paid a visit and the holy Kheturidham from where the Vaisnaba religion was originated, historical relics and mosques in Sultanganj, Jahanabad, the relics of Gaud (Gour)-Laxman Sens' ancient capital of Bengal, Tomb of Bir Shrestha Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir and Historical Sona Masjid mosque and the Sona Masjid land port at the frontier in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts may attract thousands of tourists.

In addition, there are the famous Buddha Bihar in Paharpur, Kusmba mosque in Manda upazila, Dibyak Victory Tower in Patnitola, Bolihar palace, Jahangirpur and Dubolhati palaces in Naogaon and Mohadevpur, houses of Rabindranath Tagore at Patisar and the RNS school of Tagore in Raninagar. The famous Altadighi and forest is also an attractive tourist spots.

A coordinated effort to flourish the tourist industry in the country is needed to attract local and foreign tourists.

All the historical and the places of archeological interests are well connected with roads, rails and air connectivity. The price of food is also cheap in this region. The people are gentle and well-known for hospitality. Rajshahi can be one of the best tourist spot in Bangladesh.