Situated on the banks for the Burigangs River, Ahsan Manzil was the palace of the Nawabs of Dhaka. A factory of the French East India Company existed on the site in 1838 when the land was purchased by Khwaja Alimullah in 1838. The factory buildings were converted into lodging. Construction of the striking palace that exists on the site now was carried out by Nawab Sir Abdul Ghani, who named the new palace after his son Nawab Sir Ahsanullah Bahadur. The existing housing was connected to the new palace by a covered wooden bridge.
The grand palace of the Ahsan Manzil combined European and Mughal styles of architecture, and dominated the skyline along the river front promenade. A central ares has an octagonal dome that had to be rebuilt after a tornado in 1888. Two wings extending from each side along the river. The east wing contained a drawing room, library, and guest rooms. The east wing had a ball room and additional bedrooms.
Ahsan Manzil was eventually abandoned by its wealthy inhabitants. The main palace was occupied by less wealthy members of the family, and divided into smaller apartments that made it structurally unsound. Other buildings and the grounds were occupied by slum dwellers. These residents were evicted in 1985, and the property was restored.
Dani, Ahmad Hasan. "Ahsan Manzil." In Dhaka: A Record of Its Changing Fortunes, edited by Ābadula Mamina. Caudhurī and Ahmad Hasan. Dani, 203-04. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, 2009.
Zahiruddin, Shah Alam. "Bangladesh's Experience in Architectural Conservation: Five Projects." In Architectural & Urban Conservation in the Islamic World, edited by Abu H. Imamuddin and Karen R. Longeteig, 97-109. Grand-Saconnex Geneva: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 1990. PDF at http://archnet.org/publications/2798.