Visit this stunning pink architectural treasure dating from the 19th century and be transported to the days of wealthy landowners and the splendor they lived in. Built in 1872, the must-see Pink Palace, Ahsan Manzil, was built on the site of an old French factory by Nawab Abdul Ghani. Throughout the years, it's been witness to historical events and even a devastating tornado and has since been restored to become grander than ever before. Today the palace is a magnificent structure with a museum for visitors to enjoy and admire.
A fascinating history
The site of the Ahsan Manzil has existed since the Mughal era, when there was a garden house of Sheikh Enayet Ullah in this place. Here, he kept beautiful girls he collected from the country and abroad. The property was then acquired by French traders and transferred ownership several times between various Frenchmen. Due to the increasing presence of the British, the French were forced to leave, and in 1830, the trading house on the site was purchased by the established landlord of Dhaka, Khwaja Alimullah, and was renovated to become his residence. After his death, his son Khwaja Abdul Gani made great improvements to the property, and named it "Ahsan Manzil" after his son, Ahsan Ullah. In the evening of 7 April 1888, a devastating tornado hit Dhaka city causing great damage. Ahsan Manzil was severely damaged and would have to be reconstructed with a new design, including a spectacular new dome. After the death of Khwaja Ahsanullah in 1901, the beauty of Ahsan Manjil began to decline. Different parts of the palace were rented out to tenants who turned it into a slum. The property was later acquired by the government and then the Dhaka National Museum. The museum restored the building to its former glory, using old photographs.
Visiting the Ahsan Manzil
Be awe-inspired by one of the most significant architectural monuments of Bangladesh. The two-storied palace in vivid pink measures more than 3,500 square meters and faces the Buriganga River with its broad front. All along the north and the south side of the building run spacious verandas with an open terrace projected in the middle. The palace is divided into two parts: the eastern side and the western side. The eastern building with the dome is called the Rangmahal and the western side with the living rooms is called Andarmahal. Contained within the east side is a large drawing room (with a beautiful vaulted ceiling made of wood), card room, library, and state room. The ballroom, the Hindustani room, and a few residential rooms are situated on the western side. You could spend hours touring this incredible feat of construction, while enjoying the photos of the palace in its pomp that are on display throughout the building. Make sure also to see the various family portraits as well as the skull of Nawab Abdul Ghani's favourite elephant, Feroz Jung.