RAJSHAHI, Mar 28: Aiming at bolstering the tourism industry, the Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) has taken up steps to repair and renovate several ancient Buddhist monasteries in Rajshahi. Those monasteries remained in a dilapidated state for centuries. Already some of those monasteries have been renovated which got a renewed facelift. All those monasteries are being renovated by following the main design.
The RCC was renovating the monasteries under the financial assistance of Indian government. Already renovation of two monasteries has been finished. People of Rajshahi have been demanding to renovate those monasteries for a long time.
Ashraful Haque, chief engineer of RCC, said a total of Tk 212.2 million has been allocated for the reconstruction and renovation of Rajshahi Sadharan Granthagar and five monasteries of Rajshahi. Out the allocated amount, Tk 1.3 million will be spent for renovation of five monasteries. One contractor working with the project informed, two monasteries have been renovated and rest five will also be renovated within next one month.
RCC sources further mentioned, there are 8-10 monasteries inside Rajshahi city corporation area out of which five are being renovated, Rest of the monasteries will also be renovated within a short time by using own fund of RCC. Tourism industries in Rajshahi will get momentum following those monasteries, informed officials of RCC.
After visiting a monastery at Sopura area, it was renovated by following the old design. Also the inside and outside walls have been decorated exquisitely. The brass made minarets of the monastery have also been repaired and renovated.
Locals of Sopura informed, the monasteries remained in a dilapidated state for a long time. The walls of those monasteries became fragile and damp, a large number of trees including banyan trees and shrubs had grown on the walls and floor of the monetary. People living beside the monasteries were always in panic thinking that might be fallen on their houses at any moment.
Bablu, a resident of Seroil Mathpukur area of the city informed, the large Seroil moth or monastery is also need renovation and the land beside the monstery has also been encroached by illegal occupiers. He demanded to free the land of the monastery from the grip of encroachers.
Mahbub Siddiquy, Founder of Heritage, Rajshahi, said all monasteries of Rajshahi city should be repaired and renovated. By renovating those, the beauty of the city will be enhanced and the monasteries will also be saved from ruination. He further said, many houses and slums have been build at the land beside the monasteries which belonged to the properties of those monasteries. Those houses should also be demolished and the land should be freed. There renovated monasteries of the city will also become a great tourist attraction, he added.
Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul, mayor of RCC, said there are eight small and two large monasteries under the city corporation area. For hundreds of years, people have been offering prayer in those monasteries. Some of the monasteries have been repaired and renovated and rests will also be repaired and renovated in phases, he added.