Rose Garden Palace

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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.

History[edit]

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.

Architecture[edit]

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.

Present condition[edit]

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.

Book on Rose Garden Palace[edit]

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.

See also[edit]