Rajshahi is the capital of Rajshahi District and Division in northwestern Bangladesh. The Rajshahi municipality was established in 1876, one of the first in Bangladesh. There is a total population of 700,000 people. One of the major rivers of the Indian subcontinent, the Padma, runs along the southern end of the city.
The city is home to many educational institutions, leading to a large student population and the nickname of "education city". The city is in proximity to many ancient capitals of Bengal, notably 'Lakhnoiti' or 'Lokhnaboti' and 'Pundra'. Rajshahi is famous for trade in many exotic items, including pure silk, mangoes and lychees. Attractive silk products are cheaper in Rajshahi than anywhere else in the country, with the city often referred to as the 'silk city'. There are also a number ancient mosques, shrines and temples in and around Rajshahi. The city of Rajshahi was declared as the happiest city in the world by the World Happiness Survey in 2006.
- 1 Shah Makhdum Airport (RJH IATA). is the primary airport of the city. United Airlines has flights to Dhaka on Thursdays and Sundays, and flights to Saidpur. But the schedule changes frequently, and sometimes the airport has no services at all.
It takes approximately 5 hours by road to reach Rajshahi from the capital, Dhaka. A number of bus services are available from Dhaka via Natore, some with air-conditioning. Bus services to other major districts are also available from the bus terminal.
Some bus services for Dhaka to Rajshahi are:
- Greenline Volvo - Tk 550
- Hanif Enterprise - Tk 650
- NP Elegance
- Modern Enterprise
- National Travels - Tk 380
- Shamoli Paribahan
There are a number of luxurious intercity services between Dhaka and Rajshahi each day. The main ones are the Padma Express, the Silk City Express and the Dhumketue Express.
- Silk City Express - Dhaka to Rajshahi at 2:40PM and from Rajshahi to Dhaka at 7:35AM.
- Padma Express - Dhaka to Rajshahi at 10:45PM and from Rajshahi to Dhaka at 4PM.
- Dhumketue Express - departs Dhaka at 6AM, reaching Rajshahi at noon, and departs Rajshahi at 11:20PM, reaching Dhaka at 4:50AM
The Silk City Express does not operate Sundays, the Padma Express has no service on Tuesdays, and the Dhumketue Express does not run Mondays.
The major station for long-distance trains is 2 Rajshahi Railway Station, located north of the city centre.
The journey from Dhaka is 261 km, taking approximately 5 hours, depending on traffic. You must cross the famous Jamuna Bridge to reach the city.
The usual forms of Bangladeshi transport are available in the city; taxis, rickshaws and auto-rickshaw CNGs. Negotiated and metered fares will usually be cheaper than in Dhaka. Like anywhere in the country, there are a lot of people and vehicles on the road, but the traffic is significantly quieter than in the capital.
- Banks of the Padma. A lovely sight of one of the largest rivers in South Asia. During the Monsoon season, the water level rises, along with its beauty.
- 1 Varendra Research Museum. Established in 1910, the museum is dedicated to ancient history and culture. It is recognised as the oldest museum in the country. It has a rich collection of artefacts, relating to Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim heritage. Some of these date back to the 16th century. It is maintained by the University, located in the heart of town. Free.
- Shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum(Rh.). A Majar (shrine) was established to mark the resting place of Hazrat Shah Makhdum in 1635 AD. He was the first preacher of Islam in the region. Legend has it that he arrived by riding down the Padma on 2 crocodiles. To preserve this myth, some crocodiles are kept in the pond next to the shrine.
- 2 Central Park and Zoo. The park is a wide area with lush green trees and grass. The zoo houses a variety of different animal species. It is located by the bank of river Padma.
- Shahid Zia Park. An amusement park for pleasure. It has mono rail, bumping cars and many other exciting things for amusement. It is under the Rajshahi City Corporation.
- 3 Boro Kuthi (next to Padma Botanic Garden). Historic preserved Dutch building on Padma River waterfront
- 4 Rajshahi University (University of Rajshahi). You must see this well-planned beautiful green campus before leaving Rajshahi. It is within a few kilometers from the city centre and easily accessible.
- Ghoramara. The oldest part of Rajshahi City, consisting most of oldest (70-100 year old) buildings.
- Kashia-Danga (west side of Rajshahi). From this area massive mango tree garden area of Rajshahi starts. Anyone can have a glimpse of famous mango tree of Rajshahi from this area. The area is at the west part of the city, near to Rajshahi court railway station.
- Santal Para. In the Mahish-Bathan Area. Some santal tribes people lives here. Anyone can have a look to their tribal life.
For more detail, see Rajshahi District article.
- Bagha Mosque. A historical mosque situated in Bagha of Rajshahi. There is a picture of this mosque in one side of Tk 50 note.
- Puthia Palace. Situated a little far away from the city. Its an ancient palace which attracts all to visit.
Look for both traditional and western style clothes at Rajshahi stores.
- 1 Shaheb Bazaar. a raucous street scene of commerce.
- 2 RDA Market. on the south side of Shaheb Bazaar, this is the largest market in Rajshahi, full of vendors selling clothes, food, cosmetics, etc.
- 3 New Market. a bit more shopping mall-like, but another large market with both hawkers and higher-end vendors.
Some nice restaurants and fast food places are available in the city.
- Nanking Chinese Restaurant, Monibazar.
- Party Point, Shalbagan, ☏ .
- Warisan Chinese Restaurant and Catering, Shaheb Bazar.
- Chili's Chinese Restaurant, Shaheb Bazar.
Hotels rates are cheap in the city ($13.50 per night). Most accommodations are available in these hotels.
- Chez Razzak Suites, Road#02, Padma Housing Estate, ☏ , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Two-star business class Guest House Suites structured & the newly opening soon in beautiful residential area at Rajshahi hub.
- Rajshahi Parjatan Motel, Abdul Majid Road, Rajpara, Rajshahi, ☏ , , , email@example.com. Check-in: Noon, check-out: Noon. Facilities include a complementary breakfast, Wifi zone, restaurant, laundry service, room service, ISD/NWD telephone, hot and cold water supply, all rooms with color TV with satellite/telephone private balcony, outside catering service, free car parking, first aid, and safe deposit box in reception.
- Hotel Nice International, Shaheb Bazar.
- 1 Hotel Mukta International, Batar Mor, ☏ . Tk 1200.
- 2 Hotel Century, Luxmipur, ☏ . This is one of the nice hotels in Rajshahi. Price is cheap here with air-conditioned rooms and parking.
- Natore District - Borders the district in the east, just beside Rajshahi City.
- Chapai Nawabganj District - Borders the district to the North-west.
- India: You can move towards Chapai Nawabganj and then towards India. Permission must be obtained for legal Border crossing.