Dinajpur, one of the oldest towns in north Bengal, is 413 km north-west of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The famous tourist destination of Bangladesh the much photographed Kantaji Temple is located 13 miles east of the town near dashmile more under Kaharole police station. Dinajpur District has some spectacular sites for worth watching, one is Shapnapuri Theme Park along with Sitakot Bihara in Nababganj, Barapukuria coal mine in Parbatipur, Ramsagar Lake, Ruined palace of Dinajpur Raj, Dinajpur Municipality house in the center, and Dinajpur Zilla School to its opposite, where you can find a well preserved South Asia Relief Map constructed by cements and small hard rock obove the surface just behind the Science Building. The town consists of several picturesque mahallas namely Balubari, Paharpur, Lalbagh, Gurgola, etc. with good back roads for touring on Rickshaw or bicycle. The area is a bit cooler in winter than other parts of the country.
Dinajpur town, is situated in 25o37′ N. latitude and 88o39′ E longitude on the eastern bank of the river Punarvhaba. It is bounded on the north by Suihari, Katapara, Bangi Bechapara, Pulhat, Koshba on the south, on the east of Sheikhupura and by the river Punarbhava on the west. Dinajpur municipality established in 1869, has an area of 24.20 sq. km and is divided into 12 wards and 80 mahallas. It has a population of 157343, according to the 2001 Census. The headquarters of Kotwali thana was created by Notification No. 11099-P., dated the 20th September 1915.the thana (Sadar Upazilla, as synonymous) covers an area of 354.34 sq. km and has jurisdiction over 208 villages of 14 unions including 5 Union Committees of Dinajpur Municipality.
Generally speaking the climate of Dinajpur is extreme; the temperature rising up to 117o in summer and falling down to 48o in winter. A ghastly hot west wind blows over the town and surrounding areas during the months of April and May. This phenomenon has hardly any parallel in any other town of Bangladesh. A chilly wind also blows from the north during the winter season on account of it’s proximity to the Himalayas. The cold weather may be said to set in from November and continue till March. Rainfall is abundant during the months of June, July, August and September. The average rainfall is 56”, although drought is not an uncommon calamity.
The percentage of literacy in the town is 56.5% which is quite high compared with that of other towns in the northern part of Bangladesh. The progress of education has been marked by gradual and steady increase in the proportion of literates.
Dinajpur Educational Institutions
Over the last 25 years, Dinajpur has got some prominent educational institutions.which are all Government Financed.They are as follows:
Hajee Mohammad Danesh University of Science and Technology is located 13 km north of Dinajpur town, is one of the prominent institution in North Bengal of Bangladesh.it offers various undergraduate programs like Computer Science,BBA, Agriculture,Fisheries,Veterinary and Postgraduate programs like Agronomy,Horticulture,Soil science etc.
Established in 1992,Dinajpur Medical College & Hospital is one of the fifteen Government financed medical institution located at historical Ananda sagar area in Dinajpur Town.Currently it offers 5 year MBBS Program along with 1 year compulsory after Graduation Internship Program.
Dinajpur Govt College which was previously known as Surendranath College estd. in 1942) and Dinajpur Women’s College are two intermediate colleges in town, both have now Honours’ and Master degrees available at various fields of study.There is a prominent Sanskritic college namely “Dinajpur Sanskrit Mahabiddhalaya” established in 1867, situated at Neemtala, the only College available in Bangladesh based on Sanskrit Language(the language of the Vedas and of Hinduism).
There are some notable High Schools namely Dinajpur Zilla School(estd. in 1854),Maharaja Girijanath Roy High School(estd.in 1913),Dinajpur Govt. Girl’s High School(estd. in 1928 and Saint Philip’s High School(estd. in 1951) etc. are catering quality Bangladeshi educations to the local students.There is a new Cant.Public School & College has launched in 1994 at Bir Uttam Shahid Mahbub Senanibus in Kholahati, Parbatipur.It is expected that,this educational institute would be one of the best around the region in the near future. You will also find out some privately-owned English Medium Schools namely Tulip International School at R.K Mission Road, and Bethel Intl. School at Balubari, which have O-Level and A-Level courses under British Council of Bangladesh.
Dinajpur board has been formed in 2006 as “Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dinajpur” is controlling all the schools and colleges of greater Rangpur and Dinajpur district.
Among the public institutions of Dinajpur, Station Club located in Gora Shahid Bara Maidan, amidst picturesque scenery. Local historian ascertained it to be 200 years old. It has its membership drawn mainly from the Government offcials and other local Business elite of the town.It has a nice Tennis court is still running in a very good condition.
Another well known public institution isDinajpur institute, located at Ganeshtala area,established by late Maharaja Girijanath Roy more than 100 years ago.various social and cultural shows are taken place at its ground and there is also a strong committee of members from local elite running this institute.
Just beside Dinajpur Institute there is a big Hall, named Lok Bhaban(Town Hall) is actually a local Municipal Hall.when the Maharaja of Dinajpur Sir Girijanath Roy died, a memorial hall will have to be built naming after him had been decided by his local disciples and that is the location right now where the Lok Bhaban is resided was donated by Maharaja Jagadish Nath Roy from his Dinajpur estate.
One of the Oldest public library in town is Khawaja Nazimuddin Muslim Hall and Public Library. Established in 1932 at Munshipara point, has a very rich collection of books in English, Bengali, Urdu, Shanskrit ,old palm leaves and paper manuscripts; inscription on stones of historical importance and other archaeological relices have been preserved at ‘Dinajpur Museum’ an annexed building just adjacent with Munshipara Purana Jame Mosque which is under controlled by Library’s governing body.
The Arya Pustakagar located at Kalitala area is another library of importance, donated by Late Maharaja Girijanath Roy.Dinajpur Dramatic Club (estd. in 1911), Dinajpur Mahila Samity,Dinajpur Shishu Academy, Udichi Shilpa Ghusthy are other important cultural institutions of the town.
Since the British period Dinajpur town had some fabulous Cinema Halls namely Lilly Talkies, Bostan Cinema, Modern Cinema and Chowrangi cinema Hall but now only Modern and Chowrangi are remained, Lilly and Bostan have been demolished recently due to severe financial losses, instead some shopping markets are placed there now.
Dinajpur town has some notable Healthcare Institutions, they are : Dinajpur Sadar Hospital at Munshipara, Dinajpur Medical college and Hospital, Zia Heart Foundation, Diabetic Hospital and Kidney Foundation, Islami Bank Hospital at Upashahar, Ram Krishna Mission Hospital, Saint Vincent’s Hospital at Mission Road, Aurobindo Shishu Hospital at Ghashipara etc. are serving local poor people with dedicated hands.
The important commercial and shopping centers of the town are Pulhat, Maldapatty, Chawkbazar, Barabandar and Bahadur Bazar.There are some shopping malls are scattered in around the town. among them, Gulshan Market at Ganeshtala and Lutfunnesa Commercial Complex at Munshipara near Lilly more are catering with Ready made Garments, Electronics home appliances and Cosmetics to local customers around. Some reputed Commercial Banks having branches in Dinajpur namely DutchBangla Bank Ltd, Prime Bank Ltd, Mercantile Bank Ltd, and Jamuna Bank Ltd, etc. with their outstanding online banking facilities like ATM Services are helping tourists and local customers to draw money instantly.
Maldapatty, one of the busy commercial site is quite famous for its clothing business(Bastralayas) and Brahamian sweets.There are several bastralayas having good reputation supplying quality Indian and Bangladeshi cloths at their retail shops. Hiralal Sattya Narayan Sarda is a worthy name in town whereas Ramesh, Santosh, Al-Amin and Mohammadi are also a quite few name to be mentioned. Jalojog is one of the reputed Brahamian sweet outlet in Bangladesh. But Shananda which is just beside jalajog along with Pabna Sweets at Bahadur Bazar and Dilshad Vandar at Hospital More and MA Mistanno Vandar located at Kalitala just opposite the Kotowali Thana Office are also quite famous.
Pulhat, is the largest Rice Granary in Bangladesh, located south of Dinajpur town, prior falling behind the Eidghah Residential Area and Ghagra canal bridge. Hundreds of Rice mills at various types will be both of your side, When you are traveling to Ram Sagar National Park, 5 miles south near India Border.
Three Kitchen Markets will be found inside Dinajpur town. BahadurBazar is the largest, at Munshipara on the Station Road,and Chakbazar(Gudribazar) at MaldaPatty are generally open for seven days, while RailBazar at BaraBandar a weekly Market, is usually open on Sunday.
Where to Go
Dinajpur has so many attractive places to go with your family. Communication to all are available through by road. Kantaji temple, Shapnapuri theme park, Shitakot bihara, Ramsagar Tank, are notable for a worthy visit.
Kantaji Temple would be the best and worthy visit to you while you are in and around Dinajpur. This late medieval Krishna Temple built by Maharaja Prannath of Dinajpur is located 13 miles north of Dinajpur town. Magnificently built Terracottas, To see traditional Hindu rituals presenting by the local Thakurs, Serene country atmosphere are your main theme of attraction. All types of regular commuters like Bus, Motor bike and Rickshaw Van can get you there within an hour from the Town. There are travelers, devotees like to walk towards the mandir, in that case you have to get off the bus at the Place called ‘Kantanagar’, and will have to cross the narrow Dhepa river first too; However the distance will be a bit more lengthy, if you are to get there via Auto/vehicle, in that case, you need to travel a bit more further to the south cross the Vhatgaon Bridge and need a U-turn at a place called Rampur.
Shapnapuri Theme Park
With hundreds of artificially decorated themes describe our culture, lifestyles, animals, etc will bring you an enormous amusement, fan and peace of mind while you walk across the lakes inside Shapnapuri Theme park, located at Aftabganj in Nababganj Police station under Dinajpur District.Since 1990s this is the most visited artificial tourist spot in north bengal, Bangladesh, shapnapuri is consisted of several parks inside its 925 acres of lands. There is a very good quality Cottage for staying with your family though you need an advance booking(Phone- 0531-63711, 01712134095).You can get there using Bus, Rail, etc, where you have to get off in Phulbari, which is also famous for Barapukuria Coal mine project, etc.
There are several large man-made tanks available in Dinajpur region. The largest one is Mahipal Dighi, which is at Khusumandi Police station under North Dinajpur district, India. Pransagar in Gangarampur is also very large, made by Maharaja Prannath of Dinajpur. Ramsagar tank is not far from Pransagar or Mahipal dighi, located 8 km south of Dinajpur town towards india border, which we also call ‘Ramsagar National Park’. This lake is very popular among picnickers, nature lovers among dinajpur people and outsiders/ travelers. This spot has a Rest house, having in a good condition for staying. The background of its excavation was to supply save drinking water to locals and was initiated by Maharaja Ramanath in and around 1750-1755s.
Where to stay
Dinajpur has some economy accommodation for your stay, just you need a booking before the start. There are two types of accommodations are: government rest houses situated at different locations across the town, while privately held are enough and affordable for you. Circuit House(teleph. 0531-63112), located west of Bara Maidan is handled by the District Authority, while Parajatan Motel(teleph. 0531-64710)located at New town Housing, is a bit expensive for ordinary travelers, however the facilities are much better than others. Ram Sagar Rest house (telph. 0531-65558) located 6km south of the town at Ram Sagar tank will be an awesome place for nature lovers, but no food is available there. You will have to arrange by yourself. Privately held Diamond Hotel(teleph.0531-64629) is renowned for its wide accommodation facilities. There are two hotels( Diamond 1, Diamond 2)under the same name, facing one another, located at Maldapatty in Dinajpur town. They have their own food facilities available near them at Bashuniapatty, 1 minute of walk away. Hotel Sonar Tari(teleph.+8801716018995) at Modern More, Ganeshtala, Hotel Unique (+8801736335264) at Nimatala, New Hotel (0531-64155) and Hotel Konica (+880181829572) at Station Road in Dinajpur are also some notable hotels for your stay