Rose Garden Palace – The Birth Place of Bangladesh Awami League

The Rose Garden Palace is a luxurious mansion with garden of roses occupies the grandeur of being one of the most beautiful villas of the early 19th century in Dhaka. The edifice is known as Humayun Shaheber Bari (Mr. Humayun’s House) to the local residents. It is spotted at K.M. Das Lane in Tikatuli area near the Baldha garden of Old Dhaka and is very close to the commercial zone Motijheel.

The Rose Garden Palace was established on a 7 acres of land in early 1930’s by a hindu zamindar (Landlord) named Hrishikesh Das. The story of establishing the royal palace was very interesting. It is heard that Hrishikesh Das was from lower cast and the landlord of Baldha Garden named Baldhan zamindar was from higher cast.Though being from the lower cast Hrishikesh Das was a very entertainment loving person and due to his such interest one day he went to the Baldha Garden for a Jalsha party. He was charmed by the beauty of nature and palace but suddenly Baldhan zamindar came to him and insulted very badly before everybody in the party. The reason for insulting was Hrishikesh’s lower class. According to old hindu belief, The people of higher class and the people of lower class can’t stay together, if such happens then bad things would happen to the higher class people. Being insulted in a worse manner before the crowd Hrishikesh Das set his mind to take revenge from the Baldhan zamindar by making a huge property larger than the Baldha Garden and near the Baldha Garden. Beside of being a landlord Hrishikesh Das was a generous businessman too. He started earning more money and bought a huge palace. He worked with the best workers of that time and invested lots of money to build the property. However due to undisciplined lifestyle Hrishikesh Das become bankrupted and forced to sell the property. In 1936 the palace was bought by Khan Bahadur Kazi Abdur Rashid and later on his eldest son Kazi Mohammed Rashid (known as Humayun Shaheb) carried out his name and fame. Thus the royal palace is known as Humayun Shaheber Bari till up to date.

The white majesty has big dome, large Corinthian greek style columns, fountains, ponds and spacious garden with diversified statues and various species of roses. At the ground floor there are eight apartments with a large central hall. The upper floor contains five more apartments including a dance hall in the middle. In the middle of the front yard there is a structure of a fountain. Different classical marble statues are scattered throughout the garden. However, the rose garden with various species of roses which actually gave the mansion its name doesn’t exist anymore.

The luxurious Rose Garden Palace is also important for being the testimony of many historical incidents. In 1949 Bangladesh Awami League was formed in this palace. However the Department of Archaeology included the significant Rose Garden Palace to their list of places to be protected and since then it was declared as a protected site.