Rajshahi district was a part of Pundru region of ancient Bengal. The capital of Vijay Sen, the king who led military operations in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia was located 9 miles (14 km) to the west of Rajshahi town. In medieval ages, the region came to be known as "Rampur Boalia". The administrative district was established in 1772 and the municipal corporation in 1876. It was made a city corporation in 1991. During the British Raj, it was also known as "Beuleah" and was the administrative headquarters of Rajshahi district in Eastern Bengal and Assam. It was originally chosen as a commercial factory for the silk trade, which was being officially encouraged by the agricultural department of that time. The town contained a government college, and an industrial school for sericulture. Most of the public buildings were severely damaged by the earthquake of the 12th of June 1897. There was a daily steamer service on the Ganges. Along with all of Bangladesh, Rajshahi witnessed both great atrocities by the Pakistan army and heroic struggles by the freedom fighters during the liberation war in 1971. The largest mass grave in Bangladesh is located in Rajshahi University, which was used as an army camp during the war. On the other hand, one of the great battles of the war took place near Rajshahi. Captain Mohiuddin Jahangir, who died in battle, was awarded the highest honor (Bir Shrestho) by the Bangladesh government after the war.
Rajshahi itself is an important tourist destination with the beautiful river beaches of Padma and its vast mango orchards.
Other attractions in and near Rajshahi include:
Varendra Research Museum Shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum Ruposh . It is located besides the river Padma, in the Dargah Para of the city. The name Dargah Para is derived from the word Dargah which means shrine and refers to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Makhdum Ruposh . Bara Kuthi (16th century Dutch establishment) Temple of King Kangsa Narayan Shona Dighi (Golden Pond).