- This article is about the city. For the district, see Rajshahi District. For the division, see Rajshahi Division.
|Nickname(s): Silk City, Education City|
|Granted city status||1991|
|• Body||Rajshahi City Corporation|
|• City Mayor||Md. Mosaddeq Hossain Bulbul|
|• Metropolitan City||37.33 sq mi (96.68 km2)|
|Elevation||59 ft (18 m)|
|Population (2012 est.)|
|• Metropolitan City||842,701|
|• Density||23,000/sq mi (8,700/km2)|
|Time zone||BST (UTC+6)|
|National Calling Code||+880|
Rajshahi (Bengali: রাজশাহী; historically Rampur Boalia; nicknamed "Silk City") is a metropolitan city in Bangladesh and a major urban and industrial centre of North Bengal. It is the administrative seat[note 1] of Rajshahi District and Rajshahi Division. Located on the north bank of the Padma River, near the Bangladesh-India border; it has a population of more than 800,000. The city surrounded by the elevated terrain of the Barind Tract.
Modern Rajshahi lies in the ancient region of Pundravardhana. The foundation of the city dates to 1634, according to epigraphic records at the mausoleum of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Makhdum. The area was a trading post of the Dutch East India Company during the 18th-century. The Rajshahi municipality was constituted during the British Raj in 1876. It was a divisional capital of Bengal.
Rajshahi is a prominent commercial hub. It has a venerable silk industry. The city is home to the prestigious Varendra Research Museum. The University of Rajshahi is the second oldest and one of the largest public universities in country. The Rajshahi Agricultural Development Bank and the North Bengal branch of the Bangladesh Bank are based in the city. It is served by the Shah Makhdum Airport, and is connected via road and rail to Dhaka, Khulna and the Port of Mongla.
- 1 History
- 2 Climate
- 3 Civil administration
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Sports
- 7 Heritage
- 8 Media
- 9 Places of interest
- 10 Healthcare
- 11 Parks and zoo
- 12 Accommodation and food
- 13 Shopping
- 14 Educational institutions
- 15 Notable people
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Rajshahi district was a part of the Pundra region of ancient Bengal. The capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia was located 9 miles (14 km) to the west of Rajshahi town. In medieval times, the region came to be known as "Rampur Boalia". The origin of the present name of "Rajshahi" is debated among scholars. Most say that it takes its name from Hindu Kings and zamindars (or "Rajas") as Raj and the persianized Shahi; both of which means Royal or Kingdom. The administrative district was established in 1772 and the municipal corporation in 1876. Rajshahi was dominated by various Maharajas, Rajas and Zamindars.
It was made a city corporation in 1991. During the British Raj, it was also known as "Beuleah" and was the administrative headquarters of Rajshahi district in Eastern Bengal and Assam. It was originally chosen as a commercial factory for the silk trade, which was being officially encouraged by the agricultural department of that time. The town contained a government college, and an industrial school for sericulture. Most of the public buildings were severely damaged by the earthquake of 12 June 1897. Throughout much of the early part of the twentieth century there was a daily steamer service on the Ganges which connected it to railheads that led to the then provincial capital of Calcutta as well as other cities in the province of Bengal. Along with all of Bangladesh, Rajshahi witnessed both great atrocities by the Pakistan army and heroic struggles by the freedom fighters during the liberation war in 1971. The largest mass grave in Bangladesh is located in Rajshahi University, which was used as an army camp during the war. On the other hand, one of the great battles of the war took place near Rajshahi. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir, who died in battle, was awarded the highest honor (Bir Shrestho) by the Bangladesh government after the war.
Under Köppen climate classification, Rajshahi has a tropical wet and dry climate. The climate of Rajshahi is generally marked with monsoons, high temperature, considerable humidity and moderate rainfall. The hot season commences early in March and continues till the middle of July. The maximum mean temperature observed is about 32 to 36 °C (90 to 97 °F) during the months of April, May, June and July and the minimum temperature recorded in January is about 7 to 16 °C (45 to 61 °F). The highest rainfall is observed during the months of monsoon. The annual rainfall in the district is about 1,448 millimetres (57.0 in).
|Climate data for Rajshahi|
|Record high °C (°F)||30.0
|Average high °C (°F)||25.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.5
|Average low °C (°F)||10.2
|Record low °C (°F)||1.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||13
|Average humidity (%)||40||35||37||40||51||79||88||85||80||66||62||59||60.2|
Rajshahi is one of seven metropolitan cities in Bangladesh. A mayor and 30 ward commissioners are elected for a five-year period by direct votes. Mr. Md. Mizanur Rahman Minu, was the first elected mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation. The present mayor (2013) is Mr Md.Mosaddek Hosain bulbul.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) is responsible for all the administrative work related city governance under its jurisdiction. Rajshahi Metropolitan Police,headed by its commissioner has its head office in the city. Deputy Commissioner (DC,) who is the administrative chief of Rajshahi District & other district level civil servants have their offices. There is offices for District judges as well as Metropolitan courts. Divisional Commissioner, who is the administrative chief of Rajshahi Division,DIG for Rajshahi division & other divisional civil servants have their own offices in the city, which functions as part of the government administrative set up. In addition, a governing body called Rajshahi Unnayan Kortripokhkho Rajshahi Development Authority (RDA) plans the development of the city and coordinates the development related works. RDA owns one of the major markets of Rajshahi, which is known as RDA market. Rajshahi WASA is responsible for water supply and drainage system within city area. It started functioning very recently in 2010. Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) headed by a Commissioner,controls law & order as well as traffic movements within the city.
Apart from the usual agricultural products of Bangladesh, such as rice, wheat, potatoes and lentils, Rajshahi and its neighboring regions are specially suited from various crops such as Watermelons, Sugarcanes, Mangoes and Lichies. In spite of being an important city and located on a riverbank, industrial development in Rajshahi has not taken place to any great extent. Though locals have claimed that this is due to lack of attention from the central government in Dhaka, business community of the city also responsible for lack of initiative to build industries in the private sector.In the 60's an Industrial Park had been established in Rajshahi, which is now mainly home to industries producing products of the famous Rajshahi silk. Rajshahi is also home to number of jute mills, textile mills, a sugar mill and mango based industries. No doubt there will be rapid industrial development in Rajshahi because gas has been supplied through pipeline. It fulfills the dream of the people of Rajshahi for a long days. Two 50MW power plants have already been built at Katakhali to meet the growing electricity demand of the city. Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank , a nationalized bank with its head office at Rajshahi is working in a mission to help the agriculture sector of Rajshahi & Rangpur division.
Transportation in Rajshahi is very good. There is bus service, taxi cabs, three-wheeler auto rickshaw and horse-driven tomtom are available to move within the city. Rajshahi is well connected to the rest of country through roads, air, rail and water.
There are two intercity bus terminal in the city.It takes about 5 to 6 hours by road to reach the capital. A number of bus services, including air-conditioned and non-air conditioned buses, are available to and from Dhaka. Bus services to other major cities & districts headquarter are also available from Rajshahi.
Bangladesh Railway's western zone head office is located in this city. Three Inter-City train services are operated by Bangladesh Railway, named "Silk City Express" "Padma Express" and "Dhumketu Express" between Dhaka and Rajshahi regularly. There are other inter-city, mail & local trains operated from here to connect Khulna city & other part of the country.
Shah Makhdum Airport is the primary airport serving the city. It is named after the Islamic preacher Hazrat Shah Makhdum (Rh.) is situated a short distance away from Rajshahi city. Domestic flights from Dhaka and Saidpur are available.
Rajshahi is famous for producing great sportsmen & women.There are three 15000+ capacity stadium in the city.One at the center of the city which is normally called the "Zilla Stadium",another is inside the Rajshahi University & the last one basically used for cricket is located at Terokhadia. There is also an international standard Tennis complex and few sports training academy in the city.
There is supposed to be a regular football/soccer league every year. But the last football league Rajshahi has seen took place in 2010-11. A football league is supposed to take place in 2014. Rajshahi has produced many world class level footballer such as arguably the best goalkeeper in Bangladesh history,"Saidur". The City is the home of several national level club team like Digonto proshari & Sonali Otit. There are also a few football training academies including one in the central eidgah of Rajshahi & in the Zilla stadium . Current footballers such as Mohammad Nehal the goalkeeper of Feni Soccer Club broke out from eidgah. There are also many young talented football protegees in Rajshahi.
Rajshahi is one of the important place of cricket in Bangladesh. As regular supplier of cricketer in the national team, it is also the home of Bangladesh Premier League team Duronto Rajshahi . The city has two cricket academies Banglatrack & Clemon, to grow and train upcoming cricketers.
Rajshahi is very famous for playing hockey there. There in Rajshahi there is many local hockey practice clubs that gives opportunity to play hockey in National level, Inter University,college,School level etc. There are many famous hockey players of National Team from the Rajshahi.Late Mintu was one of them and by his name there is "Mintu Chottor" at lokkhipur mor,Rajshahi.
Rajshahi is famous for its characteristic sweetmeats, not to be found anywhere else in the country. These special preparations include Roshkodom, Khaja, Raghobshahi and Kachagolla (Natore is specially famous for this particular sweetmeat). Along with neighboring Chapai Nababganj, Rajshahi is the home of the regions best mangoes and lichis. Rajshahi is also the home of Barendra Museum which is famous for its collection of local sculpture and other artifacts dating from medieval times, and of Rajshahi silk, the finest silk produced in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Betar (Radio Bangladesh) has a regional station in Rajshahi which transmits various programs of mass interest. Rajshahi station has a broadcasting house and transmitters in different locations. Two transmitters of 100 kW and 10 kW transmitting capacity transmit the programs developed at the broadcasting house. The Rajshahi station transmits its programs in Medium Wavelength. The popularity of the radio is low in Rajshahi like other places of Bangladesh because of the low quality programmes of Bangladesh Betar.
Radio Foorti has started its regional FM station in Rajshahi from 2010. The station transmits its Broadcasting on 88.00 MHz from the Rajshahi studio. The station airs 24 hour everyday. The station is getting increasingly popular to the young generation in very short period of time. The station broadcasts very high quality programs and music round the clock.
Radio Padma 99.2 FM, a community radio station operated by the Centre for Communication and Development (CCD).
Bangladesh Television commonly known as BTV, is the national television channel of Bangladesh, has a relay center in Rajshahi city.
There are large number of daily, weekly and monthly publications both in English and Bengali. The important dailies are Sonardesh, Sonalisongbad, Sunshine, Natunprovat, Barta, lalgolap etc.
Places of interest
- Shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum (Rh.): A Majar or Dorga (Shrine) is established around the grave of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) at Dargahpara in Rajshahi city. It is said that Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) was the first Islam preacher in the Rajshahi region. It is also said that he came to Rajshahi through the river Padma riding on a crocodile. Even now, some crocodiles are reserved in the Dighi (Large Pond) next to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum (Rh.). Bangladesh Independence War Monument named Smriti Amlaan at Bhadra Roundabout was built in 1990-91 and was inaugurated on 26 March 1991, the 20th Independence Day.
- Dargahpara Dargahpara is famous for the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) and for the large bank of river Padma. Two famous educational institute, Rajshahi College and Rajshahi Collegiate School, are also situated in this area. There is also another shrine of Shah Turkan (Rh.) which is older than the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.)
- Varendra Research Museum, one of the oldest museums in this subcontinent, is situated in the heart of Rajshahi city. Its library contains 22,000 printed books and journals and 6000 manuscripts in Bengali, Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian languages. The library has been moved from the Museum building to a new, modern structure.It was one of the first non government initiatives for building a museum by some enlightened people with Kumar Sarat Kumar Roy during the British era. This museum has a large collection of statues of Lord Surya and some unique masterpieces illustrating the history of the locality and its civilization.
- Bangladesh Railway & Rajshahi central station: The headquarters of Bangladesh Railway (Western Zone) is in Rajshahi. Rajshahi Railway Station is being modified and developed to house more passengers and to offer more services to the city dwellers. Rajshahi Railway Station is Very Nice.
- Borokuthi:In the compound of the Barakuthi there is a small cemetery with groves dating back to the years of the nineteenth century. There are 14 tombs with thirteen epitaphs within the cemetery. Here also some natural calimetari which make people enjoy for time being.
- Bulonpur:The district and divisional offices, the civil and criminal courts are situated in this particular area.
- Boro Bongram:It is a new area, emerging alongside Airport road and the city also growing towards Nowhata airport area. The mango crossing with RAKUB, RDA head office, new bus terminal with a commercial zone are situated here.
- Kazihata:Kazihata is a small part of the town but quite known for the presence of quite a lot of government and private institutions like Bangladesh Bank, Radio Bangladesh, TV studio (non functional), Christian mission hospital, House building finance corporation, Soil Research Institute and others.
- Shaheb Bazar:This is also known as the zero point of the city, as it is the centre of Rajshahi city. Many shopping malls, markets, banks, insurance offices, hotels are situated within this area. Besides the old municipal office, Rajshahi Collegiate School, Rajshahi College, Masjid Mission Academy, Loknath school, Deaf and Mental schools are located here. The Shaheb Bazar mosque is situated just on the junction of the Natore road with Shaheb Bazar Road. There is an ancient establishment called Amir Ali Avenue within this area. The old municipality building is situated by the side of an old pond Named Sona Dighi.
- Ranibazar:Situated alongside Shahebbazar, it is a busy shopping area with a crossing.
- Alupotti crossing:Its on the Natore road entrance of the city beside shahebbazar area, a commercially important area with cineplex and shopping malls.
- Kadirganj:It is one of the oldest places in Rajshahi.Rajshahi City Corporation building is situated in this place. Shahid Kamrujjaman lived here. Many people come here to see their respect on him. Government women's college and some government and private schools are situated here.
- Hetamkhan:It is a huge residential area with a graveyard and a central mosque.The Varendra Research Museum and Sadar Hospital are situated in this area.
- Uposhahar:Uposhahar is a model township, first built for the Bihari refugees.Its mainly a residential area with some office buildings too.Indian assistant high commission offices are located here.
- Rajshahi Cantonment is located beside this area. There are Government primary school (Upashahor Government Model Primary School) and a High school (Government Satellite High School) in this area. There is a graveyard and 3 mosques. The main one is named Upashohor Koroitola Boro Moszid (mosque). Six playgrounds and an Eidgah are situated there.
- Motihar:Motihar is nearly declared thana under Rajshahi city corporation. Some parts of Charghat Thana is also included in its area. The Rajshahi University is situated here on large campus surrounded by mango groves that presents a panoramic view.
- Kazla/Talaimari:Two prestigious and renowned public universities, the University of Rajshahi (established in 1953) and the Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET - established in 1964 as BIT, Bangladesh Institute of Technology and in 2002 it became the University) are located in Kazla-Talaimari area. Rajshahi is called the Educational Capital of Bangladesh and these two are the major educational institutions here in Rajshahi. Keeping pace with, peripheral campuses of several private universities have also been established in this area of Rajshahi.
- Sopura:It is an industrial zone, and a new township has grown up here on the northern side of the railway station. Here lie the district stadium and the Polytechnic institute. Now it is also a popular living area for the city dwellers.Rajshahi known as silk city for this area.Because all silk industry located here.
- Shiroil:It is the famous place in Rajshahi for the Railway Station and the old Bus Terminal.
- Vadra:Padma Residential Area and few more created by RDA are located here. It is one of the best places in the Rajshahi City. Elites of the city live in this area. The Home Economics College,Shahid Captain Monsur Ali Park are situated here. The only Liberation War Monument in Rajshahi is situated in Bhadra Roundabout.
- Katakhali:Katakhali is situated beside the Rajshahi University and is famous for Rajshahi Jute Mills Limited and Rajshahi Sugar Mills Limited. A huge number of students of different educational institutions of Rajshahi city reside in this area. There is a power station and another one is under construction to meet the electricity demand of Rajshahi city.
- Horagram:This area known as court area, is famous for mango orchard (Roy para). A railway station is also here.RCC established a two stored shopping mall named 'Horogram New Market'. Horogram bazaar famous for green vegetable marketing. The oldest sporting club "Digonto posary" is here.
- Nowhata:Shah Makhdum Airport is situated here. It is a separate municipal area with some industrial units and market place.
The city has many private and government hospitals. Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) is a tertiary level public hospital with teaching facility in graduate and postgraduate medical education. Other than RMCH,there are children hospital, chest hospital, Sadar hospital run by government. There is a Christian missionary hospital in the city area. There is one private medical college and another two are under construction in the city.
Parks and zoo
A central park 'Shahid Qumruzzaman central park' and zoo is one of the main attractions of Rajshahi city. A wide area with lush green trees and grasses also houses different animal species. It is located by the bank of river Padma. There are other parks in the city such as Bhubon Mohon park,Captain Monsur Ali park etc.There is a park specially designed for the children's amusement called 'Shahid Zia children's park'.Bank of the Padma river along the city is also very popular destination for recreation too.The bank is planned zone in many parts of the city to accommodate city dwellers for recreation purposes. As example Munsguard park near magnificent old Dutch borokuthi building and Lalonshah park near shahmukhdum eidgah are recently build to give city people a nice place to enjoy the magnificent views of padma river.
Accommodation and food
There are many budget hotels within the city.Bangladesh tourism corporation operate a Parjatan Motel.Hotel Nice International,Haqs Inn,Hotel Gulshan,Sukorna International,Hotel Midway International,Hotel Dallas,Galaxy International are few of the private run hotels within the city. There are plenty of Bengali restaurants in almost every important roads within the city named Bidut hotel,Jonaki hotel. Chinese restaurants,fast food centre & coffee shops are also available.
Rajshahi is famous for its silk fabrics. There are many markets and shopping centers within the city. Some of them are Index Plaza,Nanking shopping mall, Jamal Super Market, Dr Ghaffar Plaza, Shal bagan Bazar, Rani Bazar,Saheb Bazar, New Market, R.D.A Market, Laxmipur Bazar, Horogram Bazar, Railway Shopping Plaza.
Rajshahi University is another breathtaking institution of Bangladesh.It has a huge area.It is like a park of natural beauty. Rajshahi is also an important educational center & termed as 'Education city' of Bangladesh. Major educational institutes include:
- Rajshahi University
- Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology
- Rajshahi College
- Rajshahi Medical College
- New Government Degree College, Rajshahi
- Rajshahi Government City College
- Rajshahi Government Women's College
- Teacher's Training College
- Higher Secondary Teacher's Training Institute
- Silk Research and Training Institute
- Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute
- Udayan Dental College, Rajshahi
- Varendra University
- A.H.M Quamruzzaman, Politician, National Leader and former Home Minister of Bangladesh
- Andrew Kishore, Singer
- Hasan Azizul Huq, Linguist, Author, Story-writer.
- Ila Mitra
- Khaled Masud Pilot, Former Captain of Bangladesh Cricket Team
- Mohammad Shamsuzzoha, Educator, Professor of Rajshahi University, Active participant of Bengali Language Movement.
- Ritwik Ghatak
- Sir Jadunath Sarkar
- Novelist Selina Hossain, Present Director of Bangla Academy
- Mrinal Haque, Sculptor
- Sharmili Ahmed, Famous TV Actress
- Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra, famous Sarod player
- A.H.M. Khayruzzaman Liton , Politician, The most successful Mayor in the history of Rajshahi as well as the founder of beautifully organized Rajshahi
- Government of Bangladesh refers to administrative seat of its divisions and districts as headquarters and not as capital
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- FinancialExpress-bd.com, News about LSE survey
- Betar.org.be, Radio Bangladesh Website for Information on Bangladesh Betar
- World-Airport-Codes.com, Information on Shah Mokhdum Airport
- "Area, Population and Literacy Rate by Paurashava –2001". Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
- "Statistical Pocket book 2008, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics"
- Saifuddin Chowdhury (January 20, 2012). "800 years of Rajshahi city" (Print). The Independent (Dhaka, Bangladesh). Retrieved July 8, 2011.
However, some scholars assume that Rajshahi is named so because of its Hindu kings and zamindars (Raj) and Muslim rulers (Shahi). Blockman, the British historian, thinks that during the Muslim rulers of Goura in the 15th century, the zamindar following the tradition of naming places according to their name or dynasty, for example, Mahmudshahi and Barbakshahi were named after Sultan Mahmudshah and Barbakshah respectively, Ganesh, Hindu king of Bhaturia (Raj) and his son Jalal Uddin who was converted into Muslim and took the title ‘Shah’ led to the fact of naming the region as Rajshahi. It means the word ‘Raj’ from ‘Raja’ (king) and its Persian synonym ‘Shahi’ connote the name ‘Rajshahi’. But Henry Beverage discarded the anticipation of Blockman saying that the geographical distance between Rajshahi and the parganah of Bhaturia (the district of Dinajpur at present) is too much. Secondly, only one of the nineteen sarkers and six hundred forty-two parganahs in the revenue collection list of Raja Todarmal was familiar as Rajshahi. There is no mention of Rajshahi in the description of Ain-e-Akbari written by Abul Fazal, the most reliable reference book during the rule of Emperor Akbar. Even a parganah, let alone a sarker or mahal was named as Rajshahi. William Hunter thinks that the zamindary area of Ramjiban, king of Natore was known as Rajshahi and that name was adopted to name the district during the British rule. None of the explanations from the historic point of view can be accepted as authentic elements.
- Encyclopedia of Bangladesh pp 6
- World Visit
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- AmaderRajshahi.com, All about Rajshahi. ~ AmaderRajshahi.com
- RajshahiBazaar.com, Rajshahi Online Shop. Ecommerce at Rajshahi, Bangladesh ~ RajshahiBazaar.com
- Map of Rajshahi District
- Bangladesh-Christian.com, Page of Diocese of Rajshahi from Bangladesh Christian online
- E-Rajshahi (in English), An online portal for information and government services managed by Rajshahi City Corporation
- Zeropoint Computing, A Website Design and Software Development Company in Rajshahi, Bangladesh
- Digitech valley , Web Design and Development Company In Rajshahi
- Rajshahi IT Center, Web Design And Development Training Center In Rajshahi