Rajshahi

The city of Rajshahi is the divisional headquarters of Rajshahi division as well as the administrative district that bears its name and is one of the seven metropolitan cities of Bangladesh. Often referred to as Silk City and Education City, Rajshahi is located in the north-west of the country and has an estimated population of 853,000 people. Its total area is 96.69 sq. km. (37.33 sq. mile) and is situated on the northern banks of the river Padma (or Ganges which is one of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent). Rajshahi consists of 4 Thanas, 35 Wards and 175 Mahallahs.

Rajshahi was formerly known as Rampur Boalia. An epigraphic record engraved on the Dargah (mausoleum) of the famous saint Hazrat Shah Makdhum (Rh.) indicates that the antiquity of Rajshahi goes back to at least 1634 A.D. The town was given importance in 1825, when the East India Company shifted the administrative headquarters of the district of Rajshahi from Natore to then Rampur Boalia, mainly for the ease of communication from Calcutta through the Hooghly river, Bhairab River and Padma river. Rajshahi Municipality, which was one of the first municipalities in Bangladesh, was established in 1876. Rajshahi Municipality was renamed as Rajshahi Pourashabha, and finally, Rajshahi Pourshava was declared Rajshahi City Corporation in 1991. Besides the City Corporation, a governing body named Rajshahi Unnayan Kortripokhkho (Rajshahi Development Authority-RDA) is there to plan the development of the city and to coordinate all the development related work.

Economy
Rajshahi itself is an important tourist destination with the beautiful river beaches of Padma and its vast mango orchards. Other attractions in and near Rajshahi include:
•    Varendra Research Museum
•    Shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum Ruposh (R). It is located besides the river Padma, in the Dargah Para of the city. The name Dargah Para is derived from the word Dargah which means shrine and refers to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum Ruposh (R).
•    Bara Kuthi (16th century Dutch establishment)
•    Temple of King Kangsa Narayan
•    Shona Dighi (Golden Pond)

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.

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.

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, a sugar mill and mango based industries. No doubt there will be rapid industrial development in Rajshahi if gas is supplied through pipeline which the people of Rajshahi have been demanding for a long time. The government has taken steps to supply gas to Rajshahi quickly and a project towards this end has already begun. Two 50KV power stations already built at Katakhali to meet the growing electricity demand of the city.

Transport
Transportation in Rajshahi is very good. There is bus service, taxi cabs, three wheeler auto rickshaws & horse driven tomtom are available to move within the city. Rajshahi is well connected to the rest of country through roads, air, rail and water.

Road
It takes about 4 to 5 hours by road to reach the capital, Dhaka from Rajshahi. A number of bus services including air-conditioned and non-air conditioned buses are available from and to Dhaka. Bus services to other major districts are also available from Rajshahi.

Railway
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 also a number of intercity express trains which runs between Rajshahi and other major cities of Bangladesh.

Air
Shah Makhdum Airport is the primary airport serving the city. It is named after the famous Islamic preacher Hazrat Shah Makhdum (Rh.) is situated a short distance away from Rajshahi city. Domestic flights from Dhaka & Saidpur are available.
Some important information on Shah Makhdum Airport, Rajshahi:
•    Airport Code  : VGRJ IATA: RJH
•    Runway Length  : 6000/100 ft.
•    Runway Elevation: 55 ft (17 m).
•    Longitude  : 88° 36' 59E
•    Latitude  : 24° 26' 14N
•    World Area Code  : 703

Major places
A Majar or Dorga (Shrine) is established around the grave of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) at Dargahpara in Rajshahi city. It is said that Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) was the first Islam preacher in the Rajshahi region. It is also said that he came to Rajshahi through the river Padma riding on a crocodile. Even now, some crocodiles are reserved in the Dighi (Large Pond) next to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum (Rh.).

Dargahpara is famous for the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.) and for the large bank of river Padma.Two famous educational institute,Rajshahi College and Rajshahi Collegiate School, are also situated in this area.There is also another shrine of Shah Turkan (Rh.) which is older than the shrine of Hazrat Shah Mokhdum Ruposh (Rh.).

The Varendra Research Museum, one of the oldest museums in this subcontinent, is situated in the heart of Rajshahi city. Its library contains 22,000 printed books and journals and 6000 manuscripts in Bengali, Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian languages. The library has been moved from the Museum building to a new, modern structure. It was one of the first non government initiatives for building a museum by some enlightened people with Kumar Sarat Kumar Roy during the British era. This museum has a large collection of statues of Lord Surya and some unique masterpieces illustrating the history of the locality and its civilization.

The headquarter of Bangladesh Railway (Western Zone) is in Rajshahi. Rajshahi Railway Station is being modified and developed to house more passengers and to offer more services to the city

A 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.

Baliapukur, it’s situated between the Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET) and old bus Terminal. A residential area, Padma Housing State has also been established beside this area. It is one of the largest but less well planned residential areas in Rajshahi.

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 natureral calimetari which make people enjoy for time being.

Bulonpur, the district and divisional offices, the civil and criminal courts are situated in this particular area.

Chottobongram is the largest area in Rajshahi. There are two Children parks, Bonghobondhu College, Highway Road & 7 great masjids etc. It boasts of having a large mango and lychee garden. It has become a nice professional residential area with a unique communal and academic atmosphere that makes it one of the most desirable residential locations in the city.

Boro Bongram, it's a new area, emerging alongside Airport roard & the city also growing towards Noahata airport area.The mango crossing with RAKUB, RDA head office, new bus terminal with a commercial zone are situated here.

Laxmipur, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, the Laboratory High School, the New Government Degree College, Teachers' Training College, Rajshahi Government Medical College and Hospita are located in this area. Another institute called Institute of Health Technology (IHT) situated here.The renowned DIVISIONAL PUBLIC LIBRARY situated here surrounding the great Laboratory High School, Rajshahi Medical College, Teachers Training College and the famous New Govt Degree College as well. The center point Laxmipur also oriented as the commercial area as well as the treatment center covering the total North-Bangle and some South as well.

Kazihata is a small part of the town but quite known for the presence of quite a lot of government & private institutions like Bangladesh Bank, Radio Bangladesh, TV studio (non functional), Christian mission hospital, House building finance corporation, Soil Research Institute and others. The famous government laboratory high school, Model school and college are also part of Kazihata.It is a commercial area of Rajshahi.

Shaheb Bazar is also known as the zero point of the city, as it is the centre of Rajshahi city. Many shopping malls, markets, banks, insurance offices, hotels are situated within this area. Besides the old municipal office, Rajshahi Collegiate School, Rajshahi College, Masjid Mission Academy, Loknath school, Deaf and Mental schools are located here. The Shaheb Bazar mosque is situated just on the junction of the Natore road with Shaheb Bazar Road. There is an ancient establishment called Amir Ali Avenue within this area.The old municipality building is situated by the side of an old pond Named Sona Dighi (gold pond).

Ranibazar, Situated alongside shahebbazar, its a busy shopping area with a crossing.

Alupotti crossing is on the Natore road entrance of the city beside shahebbazar area, a commercially important area with cineplex & shopping malls.

Kadirgonj is one of the oldest places in Rajshahi. It situated besides Shaheb Bazar. Rajshahi City Corporation is situated in that place.Shahid Kamrujjaman lived here. Many people come here to see their respect on him. Gov women collage & some Gov. and Private school are situate here.

Hetamkhan is a huge residential area with a graveyard & a central mosque. The Varendra Research Museum and Sadar Hospital are situated in this area.

Uposhahar is a model township, first built for the Bihari refugee. The divisional headquarters of some notable company including Grameenphone, Robi axiata, Citycell, Social Marketing Company (SMC) and Indian assistant high commission offices are located here.

Rajshahi Cantonment is located beside this area. There are Govt. primary school (Upashahor Govt. Model Primary School) & a High school (Govt. Satellite High School) in this area. There is a graveyard and 3 mosques. The main one is named Upashohor Koroitola Boro Moszid(mosque). 6 playgrounds and an Eidgah are situated there.
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.

Kazla/Talaimari, two prestigious and renowned public universities, the University of Rajshahi (established in 1953) and the Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET - established in 1964 as BIT, Bangladesh Institute of Technology and in 2002 it became the University) are located in Kazla-Talaimari area. Rajshahi is called the Educational Capital of Bangladesh and these two are the major educational institutions here in Rajshahi. Keeping pace with, peripheral campuses of several private universities have also been established in this area of Rajshahi.

Sopura is an industrial zone and a new township has grown up here on the northern side of the railway station. Here lie the district stadium and the Polytechnic institute. Now it is also a popular living area for the city dwellers.

Shiroil is the famous place in Rajshahi for the Railway Station and the old Bus Terminal. "Shiroil Govt. High School, Rajshahi" is located here.

Bhadra, Padma Residential Area and few more created by RDA are located here. Elites of the city live in this area. The Home Economics College is situated here. The only Liberation War Monument in Rajshahi is situated in Bhadra Roundabout.

Katakhali, though it is a separate municipal area, it is almost within the city beside Kazla area. Huge number of students of different educational institutions of Rajshahi city resides in this area. There is a power station and another one is under construction to meet the electricity demand of Rajshahi city. Under state owned Bangladesh jute mill corporation,there is a jute mill in this area.

Horagram, this area known as court area, is famous for mango archerd (Roy para). A railway station is also here.RCC established a two stored shopping mall named 'Horogram New Market'. Horogram bazar famous for green vegetable marketing. The oldest sporting club "Digonto posary" is here.

Nowhata, Shah Makhdum Airport is situated here. It is a separate municipal area with some industrial units & market place. In future this area will come under city jurisdiction along with Katakhali municipal area.

Harian, a place few Kilometers away from the city, is famous for a sugar mill which was established by B.I.D.C. There is also a rail station, some high schools and primary schools are here

Rajshahi is also an important educational center in Bangladesh. Major educational institutes include:

•    Rajshahi University (RU)
•    Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology (RUET)
•    Rajshahi Medical College (RMC)
•    Rajshahi College
•    New Government Degree College
•    Rajshahi Government City College
•    Rajshahi Government Women's College
•    Teacher's Training College
•    Rajshahi Collegiate School and College (The oldest of the reign)
•    Silk Research and Training Institute
•    Rajshahi Polytechnique Institute
•    Rajshahi Mohila Polytechnique Institute
•    Asian University of Bangladesh, Rajshahi Campus
•    Islami Bank Medical College
•    Project Headway English training institute Uposhahar
•    University of Information Technology and Sciences, Rajshahi Campus
•    Barendra College
•    Shah Mokhdum College
•    Institute of Forest
•    Birkutsha Abinash School and College,Bagmara,Rajshahi
•    Northern University Bangladesh,Rajshahi Campus
•    Adarsha college, katakhali.
•    Shardah Government Pilot High School.
•    Shaleha Shah Mohammad high School

Notable people having ancestry from Rajshahi:

•    Hazrat Sha Makhdum Ra.
•    Mian Quasemee Ra.
•    Andrew Kishore
•    Hasan Azizul Huq
•    Ila Mitra
•    Ritwik Ghatak
•    Sir Jadunath Sarkar
•    Mohammad Shamsuzzoha
•    AKM Rezaul haq Khan

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