Sunday, November 25, 2012

Putia rajbari, Rajshahi

Staying on the main road from Dhaka to Rajshahi, Puthia stands regarding 40 km short of the last Divisional centre.
Access by a side road off the major street lies the Puthia ‘Complex’, with its splendid late 19th Century Palace, and some of the finest Hindu temples within the country.

The first structure to catch the eye as you draw near is the white plastered Shiva Temple, which, with a small pavilion beside it stand reflected in a lake. Somewhat defaced, it is said, by marauding Pakistani troops during the Liberation War of 1971, the essentials, nevertheless remain intact.

Moving on, across yet another pond, surrounded by a greensward, when not occupied by fairs or exhibitions, stands the magnificent 13 pillar facade of the palace. 

Built in 1895, two years before in Great India trembling that shattered so many earlier buildings in Bangladesh, and led to a positive passion of building for stand-in, it has survived to crumble gradually, occupied, now, as a teacher training college. A little over 100 years, and it certainly won’t last another century. Hemanta Kumari Devi, who ordered its construction would probably be glad of its present use, but saddened by its state.

To one side, and a little behind, stands the nearly two hundred year old Govinda Temple. In manifestation and structure, not unlike the more famous Kanthiji Temple near Dinajpur. But whilst Kanthiji, perhaps, may boast even finer earth friezes, Govinda Temple has reserved the spires that the trembling brought down at Kanthiji.

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