DINAJPUR

By

Mahjabeen Ferdous Prova

Photo: Shahnoor Habib Munmun, Kazi Rashed Abdallah

Nasir Khan Saikat

 

In This edition we are going to explore the city of juicy fruits like Mango and Lychee, the city of mind-blowing greenery and the city of heritage & Archaeological structures-Dinajpur. The people of Dinajpur are so warm and friendly. The hospitality that you receive from them is very rare and rich.

Dinajpur district is located in the northern part of Bangladesh in the Rangpur Division. The largest district among all sixteen northern districts of Bangladesh. The area of Dinajpur district is 3437.98 sq km bounded by thakurgaon and panchagarh districts on the north, gaibandha and joypurhat districts on the south, nilphamari and rangpur districts on the east and west bengal state of India on the west. 

It consists of 13 upazilas. Atrai, Kakra, Karatoa, Ichamati, Kharkharia, Chirnai, Choto Jamuna, Tangan, Dippa, Nalishisha, Punarbhaba and Jamuneshwari rivers are peacefully flowing through the district.

The region was once a part of the ancient state of Pundrabardhan. The previous name of the region was “Gandowana Land”. It is one of the ancient districts during the beginning of British ruled. After the eight years of the battle of Palashi, the British East India Company established administrative control of the region in 1765. By ending the Nababi ruled of Ghoraghat, Dinajpur town formed day by day. Formerly Dinajpur- Rangpur was together. Due to administrative advantage, a new district Dinajpur was formed in 1786 and district headquarter was established in 1793. Various parts of the districts were included in Purnia, Rangpur and Rajshahi districts at different times (1833 – 1870).At the time of Partition of Bengal in 1947, part of greater Dinajpur district was included in West Bengal and it was named West Dinajpur. Thakurgaon and Panchagarh Sub-divisions of this district were turned into independent districts in 1984. People of the district took part in the Tebhaga Movement and also had significant contribution in the War of Liberation.

Dinajpur experiences a hot, wet and humid tropical climate. Although Dinajpur is known for severe winter, the intensity of heat in the summer is very high. So before planning to travel there take a review of current weather first.

Dinajpur mainly land of agriculture. Dinajpur is famous for 'Katharivog' rice in Bangladesh. Dinajpur is also rich with wheat production. The Lychee(fruit) of Dinajpur is the best of Bangladesh. Dinajpur is also famous for its Mangoes. 'Kosba' is called the matrix of mango. Also it grows a plenty of vegetables and seasonal fruits. A huge percentage of people from Dinajpur depends upon agri based products. The main industry also includes rice processing mills. However, Dinajpur is highly rich with natural resources like coal. Of the five coal field discovered so far in Bangladesh, three are in Dinajpur.

Kantajiu temple: 

This ancient temple is situated 20km north of Dinajpur town and 7km south-east of Kahorol upazila on the west side of the Dinajpur-Tentulia highway, on the bank of the Dhappa river. This Temple is a beautiful religious establishment built in the 18th century. The temple is known as Kant or Krishna Temple of Hindu religion, which is popular in Bangla as Radha-Krishna's religious tradition. It is believed that Maharaja Sumit Dhar Shant was born here. 

The terracotta plaques across the outer wall of the temple are written in Ramayana, Mahabharata and various myths. There are about 15,000 terracotta tiles in the entire temple. Inside the temple all the arches around the temple are seen. Although the temple premises rectangular, the 50 feet high temple is standing on a square shaped stone foundation. All entrances to the lower ground have many grooved arches. The bridges are separated with two brick pillars, the pillars are very beautiful and rich ornamented. First floor of the temple has 21 and the second floor has 27 doors and arches, but on the third floor there are only 3 doors and arches.

From the inscriptions on the north of the temple, it is known from the time that Maharana Zamindar Prannath Roy of Dinajpur started the construction of the temple at the last age of him. After his death in 1722, his adopted son Maharaja Ramnath Roy completed the construction of the temple in 1752 AD. The height of the temple at the beginning was 70 ft. When the temple collapsed in 1897, its pebbles were broken. The Maharaja Girijanath temple was renovated, but the shrines of the temple were not reformed. It is also known as the Nabaratna Temple, because there were nine peaks or gems of this temple.

How to reach Dinajpur:

You can reach Dinajpur town by Bus or Train. If you are using train, that case you can take "Drutojan" or "Ekota Express". Ekota is the best among two. If you are thinking about bus, then "Shaymoli" is the best for this route. The ticket counter is "Asad gate bus stand" & "Kalyanpur Bus Stand". Ticket fare is around 500+ taka. The bus service is excellent, and it runs really fast. Within 7-8 hours it will cross more than 400 miles. All types of regular commuters like Bus, Motorbike and Rickshaw are also available in the Town.

Where to stay in Dinajpur:

There are two types of accommodations are: government rest houses situated at different locations across the town, while privately held are enough and affordable for you. Circuit House located west of Bara Maidan is handled by the District Authority, while Parajatan Motel located at New town housing, is a bit expensive for ordinary travelers, however the facilities are much better than others. Ram Sagar Rest house located 6km south of the town at Ram Sagar tank will be an awesome place for nature lovers, but no food is available there. You will have to arrange by yourself. Many non-government hotels & resorts are available also.

Nayabad Mosque: 

Nayabad Mosque is located in Nayabad village of Ramchandrapur Union under Kahorol upazila of Dinajpur district. Its location on the west bank of the river Dhapa, 20 km northwest of the district from Dinajpur sadar.

From the plate placed on the main entrance is known that the mosque is built in 1793, during the reign of Shah Alam II. At that time, King Vaidyanath was the zamindar, the last descendant of Dinajpur Royal family. From the residents of the area it is known that in the middle of the 18th century, Muslim architects and workers who came to work in Kantanagar temple built this mosque. They came from any western country and started living in Nayabad and they built this mosque for their own use.

Dinajpur Rajbari: 

Dinajpur Rajbari is located on the northeast of Dinajpur sadar near Rajarampur village. This place is known as "Raj Batika". King Dinaj established Dinajpur Rajbari. But many opinions were found in the first half of the fifteenth century under the rule of Ilyas Shahi, "Raja Ganesha" was the architect of this house. In fact, most of the Dinajpur Rajbari has now been destroyed. Only a few installations are now available. There is a huge sculpture of a monument in the west side of the Rajbari entrance. There is a brightly colored Krishna temple on the left side of the entrance. Within the Rajbari boundary, there is another entrance through which the main square of Rajbari is entered. There is another flat roofed temple east of the main part of the Rajbari. Many idols of Hindu deity can be seen there. Rajbari consists mainly of three Mahalas or blocks, respectively: Mirror Mahal, Queen Mahal and Thakurabaati Mahal.

Other popular tourist spots of Dinajpur are Dinajpur Museum, Ramsagar, Ananda Sagar, Ghughu-danga Zamindar Bari, Shita Coat Bihar – The oldest Buddhist Bihar in the world., Habra Zamindar Bari, Gour Gabindha, Baraduari, Shingha Darwaza Palace, Aowkar Mosque, Shopnopuri artificial amusement park so on.