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Friday, January 21, 2011

Ahsan Manjil representing the era of Nawabs

It is situated at Kumartoli in old Dhaka on the bank of the river Buriganga. It was the residential palace and the kachari of the nawabs of Dhaka. It has recently been turned into a museum. The construction of the palace was begun in 1859 and completed in 1872. Nawab Abdul Ghani named it Ahsan Manzil after his son Khwaja Ahsanullah. Ahsan Manzil is one of the significant architectural monuments of the country. Established on a raised platform of 1 meter, the two-storied palace measures 125.4m by 28.75m. The height of the ground floor is 5 meters and that of the first floor 5.8 meters. There are porticos of the height of the ground floor, both on the northern and southern sides of the palace. A spacious open stairway has come down from the southern portico, extending up to the bank of the river through the front garden.
Internally, the palace is divided into two symmetrical halves on either side of the dome. There is a large drawing room in the east wing of the first floor. On its northern side there is a library and a card room, and in the eastern corner there are four square rooms. On the western wing of the first floor there is a spacious jalsaghar with a Hindustani room on the northern side and four square rooms in the western corner. The floors of these two rooms are made of wooden planks. On the ground floor there is a big dining hall and six square rooms in the eastern part. There are attractive wooden stairs in the room that is attached to the north of the domed room. The bauisters were ornamented with vine leaves made of iron along the railing of the stairs. The wooden ceiling of the room, decorated with geometric designs, is very elegant.

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