Dighapatia Raj (sometimes called Dighapatia Raj Paribar literally Dighapatia Royal Family) was a zamindari in present-day Rajshahi, which was ruled by this dynasty of 7 generations of Rajas from early 18th century till the mid-20th century; when the democratic government took power after the end of the British Monarchy’s rule in India, in 1950, the East Pakistan government abolished aristocracies and the zamindari system in present-day Bangladesh. The family was seated at the Dighapatia Palace.
The family contributed largely to the development in education, infrastructure and culture of Rajshahi and North Bengal. They were especially famous for their generosity and public spirit. The Rajas built the Varendra Research Museum among other institutions of culture and education. The Rajas of Dighapatia were seated at the Dighapatia Palace. They received Maharaja title and Rai titles of honor from the Mughal Empire such as Raja, Maharaja and Raja Bahadur and other titles from the British Crown, such as the Indian Orders of Knighthood
The first Raja was Dayaram Roy who, at a very young age, received the Dighapatiya Rajbari 3help from Raja Ramjivan Roy, the first Raja of the Natore Raj family, and eventually became his dewan. Raja Dayaram led the army of Raja Ramjivan in aid of the Nawab of Bengal in 1716 and overthrew the rebellious Raja Sitaram Ray, who was a zamindar (and later king, or Raja) of neighboring Bhusna state. The sack of Muhammadpur, Raja Sitaram’s capital, later enabled him to ultimately lay the foundation of the Dighapatia dynasty. For his loyalty, he received large tracts of land in Rajshahi and Jessore as grants and later acquired zamindari in Bogra and Mymensingh.
Nawab Murshid Quli Khan, who was the nawab of Bengal under Emperor Aurangzeb conferred on him the title of ‘Rai-Raiyan’ in recognition of his services. When the Earl Cornwallis of East India company who were given the right to collect revenue on behalf of the Mughal emperor introduced the Permanent Settlement Act as a means to increase revenue collection, a large number of the old feudal lords and zamindars created during the time of the Nawab Murshid Quli Khan could not meet land revenue standards and thus became defaulters. Their estates were sold up to a new class of wealthy lords.
The Dighapatia Raj was one of the few remnants of the old decaying ‘jagirdars’. They were avidly following European dress, wine, horse race and various such other external glamour of life. The princely western influence is reflected not only in their palace architecture but also in their furniture and other interior decorations. However, during certain ceremonial occasions they donned extravagant robes, jeweled turbans and carried priceless inlaid swords in dainty scabbard tucked at theirs waists, following the bygone fashions of the Mughal nobility even when the Mughal dynasty and their imperial rule had faded. Pran Nath Roy and Pramada Nath Roy were some of the important zamindars of Dighapatia