Rose Garden Palace
The Rose Garden Palace is a prominent mansion and garden in Old Dhaka. Built in the late 19th century, it became birthplace of the Awami League in 1949, when Bengali liberal and social democrats converged in Dhaka to form an alternative political force against the Muslim League in Pakistan.
The property is situated on K.M. Das Lane in the Titakully area of Old Dhaka, near the modern business district of Motijheel.
The Rose Garden Palace was created by a Hindu zamindar Hrikesh Das in the late 19th century. Around that time jalsas (parties) held at Baldha Garden were an important part of the social life of the city's wealthier Hindu residents. The story goes that Hrishikesh Das, a zamindar of lower caste background, being insulted on this account by someone at one of the jalsas at Baldha Garden, decided to create his own garden to outshine that of Baldha. Here he staged jalsas of his own. The centerpiece of the garden is an elegant pavilion. However, this was not created as a residence, but rather a setting for entertainment such as musical performances (although subsequent owners did use it as a house). This extravagant lifestyle caused Mr. Das to go bankrupt and he was forced to sell the property.
The Palace was bought by Khan Bahadur Kazi Abdur Rashid,from Hrikesh Das in 1936 and renamed the building Rashid Manzil. His eldest son Kazi Mohammed Bashir (Humayun Shaheb)who carried his name and fame until this generation. People continued to refer to it as Humayun Shaheber Bari till todate.
The building, which remains a private property to date, has been renovated by its owners keeping the original character fully maintained. At Present it is owned by QaziAbdurRaqib (Barrister) who has leased it out to the Bengal Motion Picture Studios Limited.
The Rose Garden Palace is situated at Tikatuli near the Baldha Garden which is at Shamibag area. The exact location is at the K.M Das Lane of Tikatuli. It will take rickshaw fare of Tk 15 only from Motijheel area.
The building has Corinthian columns and has eight apartments including a central hall on its ground floor. The upper floor has a further five apartments including a large dance hall in the middle. In the front yard, there was a fountain originally, the structure of which still remains. There are several classical marble statues in the garden, although the rose garden that gave the mansion its name does not exist anymore.
The lodge contains on the ground floor eight apartments including a 30’-0” + 15’-0” central hall whilst the upper floor has a further five apartments including a large dance hall measuring 45’-0” + 15’-0” in the middle.At the back of the building to the east there is a verandahanda triple-arched entrance porch which leads to a staircase for the upper storey. Originally there was an ornamental fountain in the garden and a number of classical marble statue.
Visitors are allowed to visit the place as an afternoon refreshment spot. The owners mentioned that they wish to maintain the building and they have no plans to use them as their residential quarters nor to make this a profit-based tourist spot.
Stories of the place
There was lot of story about this property or place. The huge story has discussed n the second para of this book. But there was a little story about Hrikesh Jaminder, who was from low caste. For this, he was insulted by the jaminder of The Baldha Garden named Baldan jaminder. Baldanjaminder insulted him for his low caste because Baldan jaminder was from a very high class. Baldan jaminder was from the Brahmins, it is the highest class of Hindu community. There was a rule in Hindu community. The rule says that the higher class people cannot walk together with the lower caste people. If the people of higher class walk or meet to the people of lower class people than a very bad thing will happened to the higher caste people. For this rule, the people of higher class do not meet the people of lower caste. But now-a-days, Hindu people do not follow the rule. They believe that every men are equal. Hrikesh Jaminder was from the lowest caste of Hindu community. But he was a great businessman in that time. Being of a good and industrious businessman he was lower from everywhere for his low caste. But he was very entertainment loving person. So when he got time he went many places for entertain. He went many places and properties. But he did not insult from any of their properties. One day Hrikesh Das went to the Baldha Garden for a jaalsha party. He went there and saw the beauties of the Balda Garden. The beauty charmed him very much. He spended many time there to see the beauty of nature and Palace. But suddenly Baldan Jaminder came to him and just insulted him in a very bad way in the party behind everybody. This insulted attacked his mind very badly.He set his mind that he wanted a revenge from Baldan Jaminder by making a huge property bigger then The Baldha Garden beside the Baldha Garden. He just set this mind to do that. He earned more money and money and started work with the best worker. He bought a huge place near the Baldha Garden. Then he started work with the best worker. He invested a lot of money to build the property. In the property, there were some mountain here and there, also had a huge and nice pond and also some nymphs statues.
He waste a lot of money for looking the place greater than The Baldha Garden. It took six years to complete the whole work. He was so busy in his dream work that he could not see his business properly. So his business was lost past reputation. For this, he just lost all of his money in doing the property. After complete the work, he had not enough money to run his business. So he sold to the Khan Bahadur Abdur Rashid whose son Qazi Humayun Rashid succeeded to the property. At Present it is owned by Qazi Abdur Raqib (Barrister) who has leased it out to the Bengal Motion Picture Studios Limited.
This palace is also known as Humayun Shaheber Bari (Mr Humayun's House) locally. The building was subsequently owned by Rashid, who renamed the building Rashid Manzil, although people continued to refer to it as Humayun Shaheber Bari. The building, which remains a private property to date, has been renovated by its owners keeping the original character fully maintained. In 1949, Bengali nationalists met at Rose Garden and established the Awami League. It is also an Historical place too. Now shooting of many cinema has shoot in that place.
Book on Rose Garden Palace
Hamiduzzaman Khan, a sculptor and painter, has illustrated a book called Rose Garden. The book contains sketches in pen-and-ink, crayon and watercolour of this landmark property. The text has been written in English by Kazi Ahmed Sajed.