The Pink Palace by Kevin Clericion

February 10, 2010

Kevin Clerici a journalist from US who visited Bangladesh on The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange program and wrote the following blog on Ahsan Manzil at http://blogs.venturacountystar.com/bound_for_bangladesh/ .

“One of Dhaka’s most significant architectural buildings is the centuries-old Ahsan Manzil Palace, known locally as the Pink Palace. The two-story palace is located in the oldest part of the city, near the bank of the mighty Buriganga River.

The palace has a motley past. It originally was built as a vacation house by a wealthy Mughal family, and changed ownership several times. At one point, it was sold off to French merchants and then returned to a wealthy family who later fell into bankruptcy.

It sat abandoned for nearly 100 years before the government decided to turn it into a national museum in 1985 and invest in its restoration. Today, it annually attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists.

According to our friendly guide, the palace was built in mid-18th century. In 1872, it came under of the ownership of Nawab Abdul Gani, who renovated the palace and named it Ahsan Manzil after the name of his son.

Over the years, cyclones and tornados damaged the palace and it had to be rebuilt and, naturally, repainted.”

Kevin Clerici’s career as a journalist spans more than 10 years, including reporting jobs at the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz. and The Reporter in Solano County. He’s been a staff writer at the Ventura County Star since 2004 and among the first on staff to produce multimedia stories for the Web site.
In 2008, he was named a “Champion of Mental Health” by the Turning Point Foundation and received state and Congressional recognition for a series of articles putting a human face on Ventura’s homeless population, and creation of the city’s River Haven tent community. A native of Durango, Colo., he studied journalism at the University of Arizona where he was named a distinguished journalist. Email him at kevinclerici@yahoo.com.

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program provides monthlong travel grants for non-Rotarian, young professionals ages 25 to 40 to experience a foreign country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, and exchange ideas.

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