Ramna Park


The history of Ramna starts about 1610 AD during Mughal rule, when the city of Dhaka was founded by Subehdar Islam Khan under Emperor Jahangir. At that time two beautiful residential areas were developed in the northern suburb of Dhaka city. New residential houses, gardens, mosques, tombs and temples were built in this area during that period. After the fall of the Mughal rule, Ramna gradually lost much of its glory. Ramna was then a barren area with bushes, abandoned or dilapidated buildings, tombs and old temples.

Ramna area began to regain its glory since 1825, when Mr. Dowes, a British collector of Dhaka initiated a series of steps for development of the city. Engaging convicts, he cleared up the bushes and demolished most tombs and monuments except the Ramna Kali Mandir. The old mosque and tomb that now stand by the western side of old High Court building were spared. The renovated area was given the name of Ramna Green and was fenced by a boundary for using it as a race course. In 1908 he began the work of a garden that took 20 years to take a shape.

The Nawabs of Dhaka developed the racecourse area as a beautiful garden and named a part of it as Shahbagh, the royal garden. The Nawabs also set up a zoo at Ramna. In 1851, the European civil servants established the Dhaka Club on the northern corner of the racecourse and after the Partition a good number of beautiful residential houses were built at Minto road area for the High Court judges and top bureaucrats.

After creation of Pakistan in 1947, Ramna area continued to occupy an important place in the history of Dhaka city. A new road from Shahbagh to the Eden Building was constructed and the eastern side of the road was developed as the Ramna Park. The miniature zoo with a few animals and different kinds of birds were still there at the northeastern side of the present Supreme Court building. The zoo was later shifted to its present location at Mirpur.

Ramna Park was officially inaugurated in 1949 with an area of 88.50 acres (358,100 m2) of land with 71 species of plants. The large open spaces on the southwest facing the lake were used for holding National Fairs and Exhibitions. In 1960, Queen Elizabeth II was accorded a rousing civic reception at the Ramna park with display of local fireworks. A raised concrete platform was built for the Queen, the remnants of which can still be seen in the park close to the lake.