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Life at Rajshahi


Rajshahi (Bengali: রাজশাহী) is a city in western Bangladesh, and 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. Silk of Rajshahi was of great quality once upon a time, so this city is 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 km2 (37.33 sq mi)[3] 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 city consists of 4 Thanas, 35 Wards and 175 Mahallahs.

Rajshahi was formerly known as Rampur Boalia.[5] 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 Kolkata 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 Purashabha, and finally, Rajshahi Purshava was declared Rajshahi City Corporation in 1991.[8] Besides the City Corporation, a governing body named Rajshahi Unnayan Kartripaksha (Rajshahi Development Authority-RDA) is there to plan the development of the city and to coordinate all the development related work.


Rajshahi district was a part of the Pundra region of ancient Bengal. The capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia was located 9 miles (14 km) to the west of Rajshahi town. In medieval times, the region came to be known as “Rampur Boalia”. The origin of the present name of “Rajshahi” is debated among scholars. Most say that it takes its name from Hindu Kings and zamindars (or “Rajas”) as Raj and the persianized Shahi; both of which means Royal or Kingdom.[10] The administrative district was established in 1772 and the municipal corporation in 1876. Rajshahi was dominated by various Maharajas, Rajas and Zamindars.[11]It was made a city corporation in 1991. During the British Raj, it was also known as “Beuleah” and was the administrative headquarters of Rajshahi district in Eastern Bengal and Assam. It was originally chosen as a commercial factory for the silk trade, which was being officially encouraged by the agricultural department of that time. The town contained a government college, and an industrial school for sericulture. Most of the public buildings were severely damaged by the earthquake of 12 June 1897. Throughout much of the early part of the twentieth century there was a daily steamer service on the Ganges which connected it to railheads that led to the then provincial capital of kolkata as well as other cities in the province of Bengal. Along with all of Bangladesh, Rajshahi witnessed both great atrocities by the Pakistan army and heroic struggles by the freedom fighters during the liberation war in 1971. The largest mass grave in Bangladesh is located in Rajshahi University, which was used as an army camp during the war. On the other hand, one of the great battles of the war took place near Rajshahi. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir, who died in battle, was awarded the highest honor (Bir Shrestho) by the Bangladesh government after the war.


Under Köppen climate classification, Rajshahi has a tropical wet and dry climate. The climate of Rajshahi is generally marked with monsoons, high temperature, considerable humidity and moderate rainfall. The hot season commences early in March and continues till the middle of July. The maximum mean temperature observed is about 32 to 36 °C (90 to 97 °F) during the months of April, May, June and July and the minimum temperature recorded in January is about 7 to 16 °C (45 to 61 °F). The highest rainfall is observed during the months of monsoon. The annual rainfall in the district is about 1,448 millimetres (57.0 in).

Civil administration

Rajshahi is one of seven metropolitan cities in Bangladesh. A mayor and 30 ward commissioners are elected for a five-year period by direct votes. Mr. Md. Mizanur Rahman Minu, was the first elected mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation. The present mayor (2013) is Mr Md.Mosaddek Hosain bulbul.Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) is responsible for all the administrative work related city governance under its jurisdiction. Rajshahi Metropolitan Police,headed by its commissioner has its head office in the city. Deputy Commissioner (DC,) who is the administrative chief of Rajshahi District & other district level civil servants have their offices. There is offices for District judges as well as Metropolitan courts. Divisional Commissioner, who is the administrative chief of Rajshahi Division,DIG for Rajshahi division & other divisional civil servants have their own offices in the city, which functions as part of the government administrative set up. In addition, a governing body called Rajshahi Unnayan Kartripakhksha Rajshahi Development Authority[1] (RDA) plans the development of the city and coordinates the development related works. RDA owns one of the major markets of Rajshahi, which is known as RDA market. Rajshahi WASA is responsible for water supply and drainage system within city area. It started functioning very recently in 2010. Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (RMP) headed by a Commissioner,controls law & order as well as traffic movements within the city.


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. 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 because gas has been supplied through pipeline. It fulfills the dream of the people of Rajshahi for a long days. The government has taken steps to supply gas to Rajshahi and the project is done now. Two 50KV power stations already built at Katakhali to meet the growing electricity demand of the city. Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank [2], a nationalized bank with its head office at Rajshahi is working in a mission to help the agriculture sector of Rajshahi & Rangpur division.


Transportation in Rajshahi is very good. There is bus service, taxi cabs, three-wheeler auto rickshaw and 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.


It takes about 5 to 6 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.


Bangladesh Railway’s western zone head office is located in this city. 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 other inter-city, mail & local trains operated from here to connect Khulna city & other part of the country.


Shah Makhdum Airport is the primary airport serving the city. It is named after the Islamic preacher Hazrat Shah Makhdum (Rh.) is situated a short distance away from Rajshahi city. Domestic flights from Dhaka and Saidpur are available.


There are three 15000+ capacity stadium in the city. There is also an international standard Tennis complex and few sports training academy in the city.


There is regular football/soccer league. City is the home of several national level club team like Digonto proshari.


Rajshahi is one of the important place of cricket in Bangladesh. As regular supplier of cricketer in the national team, it is also the home of Bangladesh Premier League team Duronto Rajshahi [3]. The city has two cricket academies Banglatrack & Clemon, to grow and train upcoming cricketers.


Rajshahi is famous for its characteristic sweetmeats, not to be found anywhere else in the country. These special preparations include Rasakadam, Khaja, Raghobshahi and Kachagolla (Natore is specially famous for this particular sweetmeat). Along with neighboring Chapai Nababganj, Rajshahi is the home of the regions best mangoes and lichis. Rajshahi is also the home of Barendra Museum which is famous for its collection of local sculpture and other artifacts dating from medieval times, and of Rajshahi silk, the finest silk produced in Bangladesh.



Bangladesh Betar (Radio Bangladesh) has a regional station in Rajshahi which transmits various programme of mass interest. Rajshahi station has a broadcasting house and transmitters in different locations. Two transmitters of 100 kW and 10 kW transmitting capacity transmit the programme developed at the broadcasting house. The Rajshahi station transmits its programs in Medium Wavelength. The popularity of the radio is low in Rajshahi like other places of Bangladesh because of the low quality programme of Bangladesh Betar.Radio Foorti has started its regional FM station in Rajshahi from 2010. The station transmits its Broadcasting on 88.00 MHz from the Rajshahi studio. The station airs 24 hour everyday. The station is getting increasingly popular to the young generation in very short period of time. The station broadcasts very high quality programs and music round the clock.Radio Padma 99.2 FM, a community radio station operated by the Centre for Communication and Development (CCD).


Bangladesh Television commonly known as BTV, is the national television channel of Bangladesh, has a relay center in Rajshahi city.


There are large number of daily, weekly and monthly publications both in English and Bengali. The important dailies are Sonardesh[4], Sonalisongbad[5], Sunshine[6], Natunprovat[7], Barta, lalgolap[8] etc.

Places of interest


The city has many private and government hospitals. Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) is a tertiary level public hospital with teaching facility in graduate and postgraduate medical education. Other than RMCH,there are children hospital, chest hospital, Sadar hospital run by government. There is a Christian missionary hospital in the city area. There is one private medical college and another two are under construction in the city.

Parks and zoo

A central park ‘Shahid Qumruzzaman 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. There are other parks in the city such as Bhubon Mohon park,Captain Monsur Ali park etc.There is a park specially designed for the children’s amusement called ‘Shahid Zia children’s park’.Bank of the Padma river along the city is also very popular destination for recreation too.The bank is planned zone in many parts of the city to accommodate city dwellers for recreation purposes.

Accommodation and food

There are many budget hotels within the city.Bangladesh tourism corporation operate a Parjatan Motel.Hotel Nice International,Haqs Inn,Hotel Gulshan,Sukorna International,Hotel Midway International,Hotel Dallas,Galaxy International are few of the private run hotels within the city. There are plenty of Bengali restaurants in almost every important roads within the city.Chinese restaurants,fast food centre & coffee shops are also available. Rice is allows take.


Rajshahi is famous for its silk fabrics. There are many markets and shopping centers within the city. Some of them are Index Plaza,Nanking shopping mall, Jamal Super Market, Dr Ghaffar Plaza, Shal bagan Bazar, Saheb Bazar, New Market, R.D.A Market, Laxmipur Bazar, Horogram Bazar, Railway Shopping Plaza.

Educational institutions

Rajshahi University is another breathtaking institution of Bangladesh.It has a huge area.It is like a park of natural beauty. Rajshahi is also an important educational center & termed as ‘Education city’ of Bangladesh. Major educational institutes include:
  1. Rajshahi University
  2. Rajshahi University of Engineering & Technology
  3. Rajshahi College
  4. Rajshahi Medical College
  5. New Government Degree College, Rajshahi
  6. Rajshahi Government City College
  7. Rajshahi Government Women’s College
  8. Teacher’s Training College
  9. Higher Secondary Teacher’s Training Institute
  10. Silk Research and Training Institute
  11. Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute
  12. Varendra University
  13. North Bengal International University

Notable people

  1. Hasan Azizul Huq, Linguist, Author, Story-writer.
  2. Sir Jadunath Sarkar
  3. Ila Mitra
  4. Ritwik Ghatak
  5. Mohammad Shamsuzzoha, Educator, Professor of Rajshahi University, Active participant of Bengali Language Movement.
  6. Andrew Kishore, Singer