Varendra Research Museum is the first museum in Bangladesh, which was established in 1913 on a private initiative in Hatem Khan Mahalla, the heart of Rajshahi city. There is a huge collection of traditional history, religious customs, culture, etc. of the Rajshahi region. It is one of the archeological collections in South Asia.
The Barind Research Museum is a major achievement of the Barind Research Society. Saratkumar Roy and his associates Akshay Kumar Maitreya, Ramaprasad Chand, and others spent their time and labor to build these two institutions. Their whole life’s endeavor was to expose the invaluable artifacts of that time (Bengal, especially Barind). At present Rajshahi University manages it.
The United States provided a large grant in late 2010 for the overall development of the Barind Museum under Rajshahi University. The amount is 94 thousand 933 dollars. With that money, the modernization work of the museum was started in July 2011.
In this sense, the roofs of some of the museum’s buildings were rebuilt, and a modern stage was erected for the statue. Electric lights and electricity are added to each gallery. The floor of the building is made of concrete. Grills were also installed on several doors of the building. The research museum has got a touch of modernity.
In Gallery 1 to 7 of the Barind Museum, glass frames have been made in several of them and various pottery, dolls, and small statues have been neatly arranged. Even a year ago, there was no written identification of this pottery and idols, but now they have been added. The frames have electric lights attached to the ceiling. All the idols in the museum are washed and cleaned all the time. Now a collection of the best attractions for visitors.
Importance of Varendra Research Museum
The collection of Barind Research Museum is more than 10 thousand. There are traces of Indus civilization thousands of years ago. The museum’s invaluable collection includes archeological artifacts from the Mohenjo-Daro civilization, stone statues, Buddha statues built in the 11th century AD, the head of Bhairab, and a number of statues, including the Ganges.
The silver coins of the Mughal period, the round gold coins of the Gupta emperor Chandragupta, the round silver coins of Emperor Shahjahan are particularly noteworthy. There are about 5,000 manuscripts, of which 3,848 are in Sanskrit and the rest in Bengali. Paintings on the perimeter from the Pala period to the Muslim period, painted by Imad-ud-Daulah, Nurjahan’s father.
The museum is divided into 7 exhibits. The first exhibition hall contains 256 historical materials recovered from Paharpur in Naogaon. The second exhibition hall has various wooden and stone sculptures made by Hindus and Buddhists. The third and fourth exhibits contain idols of various gods and goddesses.
There are Buddha statues in the fifth exhibition hall. In the sixth exhibition, there are stone inscriptions written in different languages, and in the seventh gallery, there are specimens of different indigenous peoples. The Barind Museum also has a library with 14,000 books.
Although the library is only used for researchers because there are many valuable books. All these books and periodicals are necessary for research and higher education in the ancient and medieval history of Bengal and in art and archeology.
A Rare Collection of Barind Museum
- Artifacts of Indus Civilization (2500 BC) are arranged in Barind Museum, artifacts excavated in Paharpur of Bangladesh (8th-12th century), Persian Farman and Bangla documents, Sanskrit inscriptions, Handwritten Quran Sharif, Bengali and Sanskrit manuscripts, Mughal paintings, various sculptures made of stone and bronze, ancient relics found at Nalanda in Bihar and other places in India.
- Gallery 2 of the Barind Museum has stone statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities and modern wooden sculptures.
- Gallery No. 3 displays Hindu sculptures: several sun idols, Shiva idols, Ganesha idols, and Vishnu idols.
- Gallery No. 4 has Durga-Gauri-Uma-Parvati, Matrika, and Chamunda idols.
- Gallery 5 displays statues of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Tara, Jain Tirthankara, and minor deities of Hinduism.
- Arranged in Gallery 6 are Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, and ancient Bengali stone inscriptions, carved stones of the Muslim era, mihrabs, ornate squares and lintels, and two cannons made during the reign of Sher Shah. In the upper row of the verandah are terracotta plaques from Paharpur. At the bottom, the row is Hindu-Buddhist sculptures. The premises are decorated with Hindu and Muslim architectural carved stones, stone pillars, Shivlings, etc.
- The 7th Gallery preserves specimens of various indigenous peoples.
The Varendra Museum’s schedule
- Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
- Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
- Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
- Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
- Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Varendra Museum is closed on Thursdays and Fridays of the week. It is also closed on public holidays and holidays declared by Rajshahi University.
How To Go To The Varendra Museum
The museum is located in the heart of Rajshahi city. From Dhaka, you can go to Rajshahi by bus, train, and plane. Upon arrival in Rajshahi, the museum will be located near Zero Point, the main center of the city. It is located next to Rajshahi College. To the east is the Sadar Hospital, to the south is the Parramatta Padma River and to the north is the Hetem Kha Bara Mosque. You can easily go to the Varendra Museum by autorickshaw or rickshaw from anywhere in the city.
Admission to Varendra Research Museum:
Admission/ticket to visit Barind Museum has been fixed at Tk 20 / -.
Where To Eat Rajshahi
The Barind Museum is located in the heart of the city, so there are good quality hotels and restaurants next to it.
Hotels in Rajshahi
There are different quality hotels in Rajshahi city. Next to Rajshahi Zoo is the motel of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation (0721-775237). Booking of this hotel can also be done from the head office of Dhaka Tourism Corporation (02-8833229, 8834600). THE single AC room of Bangladesh Tourism Corporation’s motel is Tk 1,900, AC double room is Tk 2,600, the suite is Tk 4,600.
Notable among other hotels in Rajshahi city are:
- Hotel Nice International (0721-776188) in Ganakpara,
- Hotel Hawks Inn in Shiroil (0721-810420),
- Hotel Mukta International in Saheb Bazar (0721-771100)
- Hotel Dallas International (0721-811470) at Bindur Junction,
- Hotel Shukran in Malopara (0721-771817) etc.
These hotels have rooms at Tk 500 to Tk 3,500.
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