Ruins of Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon

Learn About Almost Destroyed Ruins of Dubolhati Rajbari

History

Dubolhati Rajbari (Bangla: দুবলহাটি রাজবাড়ি) also known as Dubalhati Royal Palace is a 200-year-old palace complex and a Protected Monument site, located in the Naogaon district of Bangladesh’s Rajshahi division. Its geographical coordinates are 24° 47′ 12.2″ North latitude and 88° 52′ 59.2″ East longitude. The main palace complex is located on the south side of Dubolhati Road, close to Dubolhati Bazaar.

The word ‘Rajbari’ (Bangla: রাজবাড়ি) is a Bengali word and its meaning is ‘The King’s House/Resident’. The palace complex has an area of 2.45 acres of land. Dubolhati estate was started by Raja Krishnanath Roy Chowdhury in 1793 AD near Naogaon. Krisnanath had no son, which is why, in 1853, he declared his daughter’s son Haranath Roy Chowdhury as a king. During his reign, Haranath expanded his estate and undertook numerous development projects. He expanded his estate to Rajshahi, Bogra, Dinajpur, Faridpur and Sylhet districts. Haranath Roy Chowdhury was the most popular king of the Dubolhati estate.

Palace's front view from the pond stairs
Palace’s front view from the pond stairs. Photo 2014.
The walls of the broken palace at Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon
The walls of the broken palace are still standing at Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon.

About King Haranath Roy Chowdhury

Among other kings, Haranath Roy Chowdhury gained popularity for his humanitarian works. He digs many ponds next to the royal palace to solve the fresh drinking water crisis for the people. He had no formal education although he was fond of education. During his rule, he spent a lot of money for the expansion and development of education. Furthermore, King Haranath Roy Chowdhury established a Lower Secondary English School at Dubolhati in 1864 AD adjacent to the royal palace. In this school, students were given free education. Presently, the school name is Dubalhati Raja Haranath High School. In 1873 AD, he donated a property with an annual income of 5 thousand taka to upgrade the then Rajshahi Zilla School to Rajshahi College. At that time, the market value of the donated property was around one lakh (100,000) taka.

During the 1874 AD famine, he delivered substantial humanitarian aid. In recognition of his humanitarian efforts, the British Government elevated Haranath Roy Chowdhury’s rank to the title of ‘Raja’ in 1875 AD and further to ‘Raja Bahadur’ in 1877 AD.

Dubolhati Rajbari looking like a jungle
Dubolhati Rajbari: Some parts of the Rajbari look like a jungle.

The Palace Today

The Dudolhati Rajbari is an abandoned place. But once, the palace boasted at least one hundred spacious bedrooms, artistic verandas, colorful glass decorations, and various sculptures throughout. These features were the main attractions of the palace. A few of these artistic elements still remain attached to the palace today.

Photographs of Dubolhati Rajbari

Ruins of Dubolhati Rajbari, Naogaon
Had the government and locals been more conscious, the Dubolhati Rajbari would not have fallen into disrepair. It could have been transformed into a tourist attraction.
Ruins of Dubolhati Rajabri walls without ceiling.
A part of the Dubolhati Rajbari ruins, showing corner walls without ceiling, 2023.
Two-storied semi-demolished palace building devoid of windows and doors.
A once-majestic two-storied palace building now stands semi-demolished, with all its windows and doors missing.
Interior view of Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon Upazila.
Interior view of historical Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon Upazila.
Almost destroyed Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon still indicates its lavish past
The surviving structures of the nearly destroyed Dubolhati Rajbari (দুবলহাটি রাজবাড়ি) in Naogaon, silently speaking of its glorious past. Photo: 2014 AD.
Ghostly remnants of Dubolhati Rajbari in Naogaon, hinting at its past royal prosperity.
The haunting remains of Dubolhati Rajbari (দুবলহাটি রাজবাড়ি) in Naogaon, where its past prosperity is now a fairytale to visitors. Photo: 2014 AD.
Ruins of a palace seen through loopholes framed by banana leaves, photo taken in 2023 AD.
The remnants of a Dubolhati Rajbari, now a horizontal ruin, seen through an organic window of banana leaves, captured in 2023 AD.

Management of The Palace

The palace and the surrounding property was officially declared a Protected Monument in the Bangladesh Gazette on April 2, 1987. The Archaeology Department of Bangladesh Government is in incharge. But not any viable steps are taken by the department yet. Dubolhati Rajbari has its great historical and architectural value. It was possible to develop it as a tourism opportunity through proper management. Which may have brightened the image of Naogaon district. But, the government did not take proper steps to save the palace complex. The bad guys have nearly destroyed the palace, stripping away most of its doors and windows. If this continues, in a few years, nothing may remain but history only.

Notice board by "Heritage Bangladesh" positioned in front of the palace, captured in 2022.
Heritage Bangladesh’ put up a notice board in front of the palace, highlighting the history of Dubolhati Zamindari (দুবলহাটি জমিদারি). Photo taken in 2022 AD.
Well inside the Dubolhati palace complex with concrete boundary, still in good shape, photo taken in 2023 AD.
An old well stands inside the Dubolhati Rajbari complex, its upper side topped with concrete that remains in good condition. (2023)

How to visit?

The Dubolhati Rajbari is accessible from two directions: one route is from Naogaon town, and the other is from Hapania Bazaar. The site is approximately 6 kilometers from Naogaon town and 8 kilometers from Hapania Bazaar. Local residents are well-acquainted with the palace’s location, and seeking their guidance will facilitate an easy discovery of the site. The palace is located near Dubolhati Bazaar, and furthermore, it falls under the administration of Dubolhati Union Parishad, adjacent to Dubolhati Road.

There is no entry fee for the site, as it is not yet managed by any authority. The best time to visit is during daylight hours or when sunlight is available.

Google Map of Dubolhati Rajbari

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