Once an exuberant place, the Puthia Royal Palace was a thing of pride for the locals as well as its inhabitants. The presence of numerous lakes and antique buildings in this territory still gives off hints about its past magnanimity.
A five-minute van ride from the main road, the palace now holds schools, temples, government offices as well as regular housing complexes, all of which were royal buildings.
If you are an admirer of ancient architectures, a walk on the lanes of Puthia upazila will be a delight for you.
Standing on the balcony of the Puthia Royal palace, you can close your eyes and indulge into some imaginations of your own such as the one below.
One fine evening, Queen Hemanta Kumari comes out on the balcony, wrapped up in a fine Kashmiri shawl the colour of the winter fog building up in the front garden. Her red bindi is a perfect circle on her forehead, her gold bangles make a slight tinkle as she adjusts them on her wrist.
While her maids prepare the hukkah, she sits on her teak wood chair and relaxes her hands on the handles and looks at the people gathered downstairs to conduct the evening prayers.
May be this was her favourite spot to supervise her reign from a distance because you can see three temples and all the other buildings from the balcony.
In reality, the palace belonged to the first landlords of Puthia named Laskar khan Nilambar. Hemanta Kumari, who was from Natore, renovated the earth quack-devastated palace for her mother-in-law in 1895.
So perhaps your imagination was not entirely wrong, perhaps the royals did enjoy evenings in the balcony almost one hundred year ago.
There are more than 10 temples in the area. Although built in different stretches, they are standing together now, narrating the evolution of time.
The Govinda temple
The Govinda temple is part of the royal palace built in 1800 by Prem Narayan Rai. There is saying that the royals celebrated their festivals in this temple.
Terracotta or pottery on temple walls is not very common in this area and this is what makes the temples special. Undoubtedly, one of the most attractive parts of the temple is the encryption of mythological stories on its wall.
The Shiva temple
The Shiva temple is allegedly one of the biggest in the Indian subcontinent and is one of the finest places to visit in Puthia.
The charm of the two storied 105 feet tall temple surrounded by a lake lies in its corridor made in the Jaipur architectural style. The wide open corridors always welcome the visitors with a gentle wind. This temple was built by Rani Bhubanmaye Devi in 1823. The Shiva linga was partly destroyed during the Liberation War in 1971.
These days the door remains closed for safety purpose but ff you are a tourist, the caretaker will open the door for you.
The Roth Temple
The Roth temple is built in an Indo-Islamic style and it stands in contrast with the Shiva temple which is built in North-Indian pancha ratna style, thus complementing each other. Now it is used only during roth yatra.
The Dol temple
The Dol temple is one of the oldest among all of the temples and Zamindar Bhupendra Narayan built it in 1778.
The hawakhana was constructed in 1800 and it is a 20 minute van ride from the Puthia palace. There is a saying that the rulers used to come here on horse driven chariots to enjoy leisure time.
The two-storied hawakhana stands in the middle of a lake and there is a roadway that leads to its veranda. All the gates are locked.