07.04.2014 - 09.04.2014
As we had altered our plans in Bangladesh we had a few days spare and the Rajshahi district in Northwest Bangladesh popped onto the radar. A couple we had met in Srimangol had said how beautiful it was so we thought we'd take a look. Rajshahi itself is a university town on the banks of the Padma/Ganges river and we spent the first day wandering past the very British looking university buildings (they were built during the British Raj period) whilst watching the students playing cricket on the playing fields. We attempted to locate the Baro Kuthi building to find out more about the indigo trade and the atrocities committed by the British relating to this trade. I'm not sure if it was the massive thunderstorm that suddenly appeared or the delicious fuchkas we ate on the banks of the river that distracted us but we never found the Baro Kuthi!
The following day saw us set off early for Puthia, keen to try to avoid the heat and humidity of the midday sun again. The bus dropped us on the outskirts of the village and the locals quickly pointed us in the right direction. At the entrance to the village is the impressive Shiva temple, overlooking a pond. After a few photos we took a closer look and chatted to some local kids. They gave us some history of the temples in puthia after telling us the caretaker/guide Mr. Bishwana was ill and wouldn't be able to show us around. Thanking them we set off in the direction of another temple we could just see the top of. Although the pyramid shaped temple (Dol Mondir) looked impressive from the outside the kids had said we should climb to the top to get the best views. Unfortunately it was all locked up so we pondered what to do for a bit. We soon spotted a rather elderly man racing towards us. He introduced himself as Mr. Bishwana, produced a set of keys and opened the temple for us to climb. The views were spectacular and we were both taken aback by the marvel of both the Puthia Palace and Govinda Temple. The Puthia Palace, built in 1875 looks like an imposing stately mansion (albeit in a state of disrepair). What most impressed me however was the Govinda Temple. We have seen a fair few temples on this trip but this was hands down the best (so far). Built in the mid 19th century this striking temple is clad in the most intricate and exquisite terra cotta tiles. I could have happily spent a few days simply gazing at this place! Mr. Bishwana had other plans however and quickly hurried us through the village to see several other temples of almost equal beauty whist fending off the occasional unofficial guide' that was also trying to help us. It was a fantastic day and a memorable way to end our stay in Bangladesh.