Balihar Rajbari, Naogaon

Learn About Ruins of Balihar Rajbari in Naogaon Sadar

History and Location

The Balihar Rajbari (Bengali: বলিহার রাজবাড়ি), also known as Bolihar Royal Palace is one of the oldest palace in the Sadar upazila of Naogaon district. This historic tourist spot is located in Kurmoil Mouza, just to the west side of the Naogaon-Rajshahi highway, a 18 km distance from the center of Naogaon district town. This historic palace is a protected monument that falls under present day’s local government body, the Balihar Union Parishad. The Union is a part of Naogaon’s sadar upazila administration. Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb issued an order to establish the Balihar Zamindari (Bengali: জমিদারি). There were 330 ponds and dighis in Balihar estate area. Up till now, many dighis and ponds are present. Their euphonious names were such as Malahar (মালাহার), Sitahar (সীতাহার), Balihar (বলিহার), Antahar (আন্তাহার) and many more. These names reflect the rich cultural taste of the Balihar royals.

Grand entrance of Balihar Rajbari
The grand entrance to Balihar Rajbari, showcasing its architectural elegance of that time.

Temples

The Balihar kings were known for constructing several temples, such as the Nat Mandir (নাট মন্দির), Rajrajeshwari Mandir (রাজরাজেশ্বরী), and Jora Shiva Mandir (জোড়া শিব মন্দির). Among these, the Rajrajeshwari Mandir is still a beautiful structure inside the Rajbari complex. Today, the local Hindu community primarily uses a newly built temple for their pujas (worship and rituals). Apart from this temple, the rest of the Rajbari complex remains largely unused.

Educated and Tasteful Kings

In the Naogaon region, The kings of Balihar were well-known for their high educational background and sophisticated taste. Another notable figure was King Krisnendranath Roy Bahadur, who, apart from his royal duties, was a writer. During his rule, the King aslo establishing a small zoo. This wasn’t any ordinary; it was a various collection of animals, including tigers, bears, monkeys, and deer.

1971: Loss of Balihar Rajbari

During the partition period, authorities abolished the Zamindari system. Like other kings, Bimalendu Roy, the last king of Balihar, went to India. As the royal family left the royal palace, the palace wasn’t well-maintained or secure. During the independence war of Bangladesh in 1971, opportunistic people looted various valuable monuments, furniture, windows and doors of the palace.

Present Day Balihar Rajbari

At present it is a semi-ruined cluster of buildings. Once, one section of the palace once served as a classroom for a local school. However, the government later constructed a new building for the school, aiming for its relocation. Once the school shifted to its new premises, the palace was left deserted for many years. After a long period, members of the local Hindu community took the initiative to clear the jungle around the palace and created a temple, resuming their religious ceremonies and pujas. Later in 2029 AD, they established the Sri Sri Radha Govinda Temple.

After the abolition of the Zamindari system, when many kings and their families abandoned their palaces, most of these grand structures in Bangladesh fell into neglect. However, tourists will find Balihar palace in a relatively better condition, especially when compared to the nearby Dubalhati Rajbari located within Naogaon Sadar Upazila.

Photo Gallery

How to Go

To reach Balihar Rajbari, first, head to Naogaon district town from any part of the country. If you’re starting from Dhaka, numerous buses are available on the Dhaka-Naogaon route, departing hourly. Both AC and non-AC buses are available, with fares ranging from Tk 700 to Tk 2000 as of 2024. Major bus companies like S.R. Travels, Shyamoli Paribahan, Hanif Enterprises, and Shah-Fateh Ali operate on this route. From Naogaon town, you can reach Balihar Rajbari by either auto-rickshaw or a bus that is bound for Rajshahi. The distance from Naogaon town to Balihar Rajbari is 18 km. via R545 and Rajshahi – Naogaon Hwy/R685.

Where to Stay

While there’s no accommodation available near Balihar Rajbari, Naogaon town has several options for all types of tourist. Notable hotels are Mallika Inn, Hotel Raj, Hotel Jamuna, Hotel Abakash, Hotel Plabon, and Motel Chisti.

Photos taken in 2014 AD by Rumon Anam

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5 Comments

  1. এগুলি আমাদের ঐতিহ্যের সম্পদ, এগুলি রক্ষা করার দায়িত্ব আপনার আমার সকলের। ভাল লাগে এটা ভাবি যখন আমার আশেপাশে এত সুন্দর ঐতিহ্যের স্মারক রয়েছে কিন্তু খারাপ লাগে দুবলহাটি রাজবাড়ির মত কোন অবস্থা যখন দেখি তখন। এভাবে যাতে ঐতিহ্যগুলো নষ্ট না হয় আমাদের সেদিকে খেয়াল রাখতে হবে।

  2. I am one of the family member of this rajbari.My ancestors build this palace raja narsingh chakravarti approx 300 years back.

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