- 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 hosted a Dutch settlement in the 18th century. The Rajshahi municipality was constituted during the British Raj in 1876. It was a divisional capital of the Bengal Presidency.
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. There is an "Assistant High Commission of India" in this 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 Administration
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Sports
- 7 Heritage & Culture
- 8 Places of interest
- 9 Healthcare
- 10 Religion
- 11 Parks and zoo
- 12 Educational institutions
- 13 Notable people
- 14 Twin towns and sister cities
- 15 References
- 16 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 rail-heads 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
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||13
|Average relative 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. Md. Mizanur Rahman Minu, was the first elected mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation. The present mayor is Md. Mosaddek Hosain Bulbul. Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) is responsible for all the administrative work related city governance under its jurisdiction.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) headed by a Commissioner, controls law & order as well as traffic movements within 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.
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, sugar mill and mango based industries. 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.
Rajshahi is well connected to the rest of country through roads, air and rail. There are plenty of rikshaw & autorikshaw available to travel within the city & adjacent area.Public buses & taxi's also available,though not plenty.Horse driven cart was a popular mode of transportation in this city once upon a time & a heritage,which is very rare to see now a days.
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. Now US-Bangla Airlines flight is available Rajshai to Dhaka.
There are three 15000+ capacity stadium in the city. One at the center of the city which is normally called the Rajshahi District Stadium, another is inside the Rajshahi University & the last one basically used for cricket is located at Terokhadia called Quamruzzaman Stadium. There is also an international standard Tennis complex and few sports training academy in the city.
The last football league in Rajshahi took place in 2010-11. 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.
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.
Heritage & Culture
Rajshahi is known for its educational,literary & artistic heritage.It 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. Rajshahi Also has Rajshahi College which is 142 years old. It also has some important structures that has made by the British like The T Dam.
Places of interest
- Banks of the Padma River: A lovely sight of one of the largest rivers in South Asia. During the Monsoon season, the water level rises, along with its beauty.
- Varendra Research Museum: Established in 1910, the museum is dedicated to ancient history and culture. It is recognised as the oldest museum in the country. It has a rich collection of artefacts, relating to Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim heritage. Some of these date back to the 16th century. It is maintained by the University, located in the heart of town.
- Shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum(Rh.) :A Majar (shrine) was established to mark the resting place of Hazrat Shah Makhdum in 1635 AD. He was the first preacher of Islam in the region. Legend has it that he arrived by riding down the Padma on 2 crocodiles. To preserve this myth, some crocodiles are kept in the pond next to the shrine. edit
- Central Park and Zoo: The park is a wide area with lush green trees and grass. The zoo houses a variety of different animal species. It is located by the bank of river Padma.
- Shahid Zia Park :An amusement park for pleasure. It has mono rail, bumping cars and many other exciting things for amusement. It is under the Rajshahi City Corporation.
- University of Rajshahi : You must see this well-planned beautiful green campus before leaving Rajshahi. It is within a few kilometers from the city centre and easily accessible.
- Ghoramara : The oldest part of Rajshahi City, consisting most of oldest (70- to 100-year-old) buildings. edit
- 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.
- 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.
- Kashia-Danga :From this area massive mango tree garden area of Rajshahi starts. Anyone can have a glimpse of famous mangoe's tree of Rajshahi from this area. The area is at the west part of the city, near to Rajshahi court railway station.
- Santal Para :Located inside the Mahish-Bathan Area. Some santal tribes people lives here. Anyone can have a look to their tribal life.
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
Islam makes about 96% of total population and about 3% people follow Hinduism, 1% follow other religion like Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Christianity. There are 5000 mosque in that region.
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.
University of Rajshahi is another breathtaking institution of Bangladesh. It is the second oldest university of the country and was established in 1953. It has a huge campus of an area of 753 acres. It is like a park of natural beauty. Rajshahi College is another oldest educational institution of Bangladesh.It has some very old historical structure by the British. Rajshahi is also an important educational center & termed as 'Education city' of Bangladesh. Major educational institutes include:
- University of Rajshahi
- Rajshahi College
- Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology
- Rajshahi Medical College
- New Government Degree College, Rajshahi
- Rajshahi Government City College
- Rajshahi Government Women's College
- Teacher's Training College
- British Council Test Center Uposhahar
- Higher Secondary Teacher's Training Institute
- Silk Research and Training Institute
- Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute
- Udayan Dental College, Rajshahi
- CompTEC Computer Training Institute, Laxmipur, Rajshahi
- , Zeropoint Computing
- Varendra University
- Akshay Kumar Maitreya, noted Indian historian and social worker from Bengal.
- A.H.M Quamruzzaman, Politician, National Leader and former Home Minister of Bangladesh.
- Ila Mitra, the leader of peasants and indigenous Santhals.
- Andrew Kishore, Singer
- Hasan Azizul Huq, Linguist, Author, Story-writer.
- Khaled Masud Pilot, Former Captain of Bangladesh Cricket Team
- Mohammad Shamsuzzoha, academic, participant of Bengali Language Movement.
- Ritwik Ghatak
- Sir Jadunath Sarkar
- Sabbir Rahman, international cricketer
- Selina Hossain, Novelist , Present Director of Bangla Academy
- Mrinal Haque, Sculptor
Twin towns and sister cities
Rajshahi's twin town and sister city is:
- Kristiansand, Norway
- 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" (PDF). 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
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- Map of Rajshahi District
- E-Rajshahi (in English), An online portal for information and government services managed by Rajshahi City Corporation