Friday, April 27, 2007

Ahsan Manzil & Gol Talab (oval tank)

Ahsan Manzil, the Pink Palace built by Matin & Co. without dome in 1880's

Damage suffered by severe tornado in 1887-88 (photo credit: ahsanmanzil/

Reconstructed Ahsan Manzil with dome

Ahsan Manzil river front - Guards awaiting arrival of Lord Curzon (photo: Fritz Kapp in 1905)

Lord Curzon stayed in the room above
during his visit

Dilapidated structure of Palace and squatters shelter in 70's and '80's

Reconstruction of Palace by PWD in late '80s for Museum

Visitors to the Palace and Museum - March 2007

View of the oval pond (Gol Talab) of Nawab Bari, west of Palace

Present view - river front, Palace dome at top

Buriganga river further down

Century-old Ahsan Manzil, the majestic building once known as the Pink Palace is undergoing renovation after 13 years of its opening in 1992, at a cost of Tk. 130 million. During this renovation programme, some unfinished work, which could not be done in 1992, will be completed. After the renovation, visitors will be able to see the building at night as floodlights will be installed around the renovation project.

The palace, originally belonging to the Nawab family of Dhaka, was abandoned for near about 100 years before the government decided to turn it into a museum in 1985, keeping its original texture. The PWD (Public Works Department) is in charge of the renovation.

According to Bangladesh National Museum source, Ahsan Manzil was built in mid 18th century by Zamindar Sheikh Enayetullah as a palace for recreation. Later his son sold the building to French businessmen who made it their business centre. In 1835, Khwaza Alimullah, father of Nawab Abdul Ghani bought the building and began to live there after some renovation, which affected the original structure of the building.

Later in 1872 Nawab Abdul Ghani again renovated the palace and named the palace "Ahsan Manzil" after the name of his son. The cyclone on April 7, 1887, damaged the palace severely. Then it was renovated again and a dome was built atop the palace.

In 1985, the government took initiative to turn the palace into a museum. After another round of renovation in 1992, it was brought under the control of Bangladesh National Museum which set up a branch of the museum inside the palace. Since 1992, the Ahsan Manzil, situated on the bank of the river Buriganga, has attracted thousands of local and foreign tourists.
Also see, Ahsan Manzil, a palace of past glory and memories


Shireen said...

Heartening to see the Govt renovating "Ahsan Manzil', as all historical bldgs deserve to be preserved.



Animesh Chandra Bain said...

hello, I am a fan of your pictures. But long time I did not see any post of you.
please response me.