Rayer Bazaar is a well-known thoroughfare in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. It is generally regarded as one of the historical areas of the city. Rayer Bazaar was founded during the colonial period most probably in the 19th century. It was the potters who first started to live here beside the Turag River. This Place was most probably named after someone titled Ray. It was easy to find the clay used to make pots in this area and spread it around by boats as it was situated near the river.
During the Mughal period, this place was famous for pottery and most of the potters of this region used to live in Rayer Bazar, because the famous “lal mati” was available in this place. During the Mughal and British Colonial period, the red clay was not available in the neighborhoods. As a result, the Potters of Rayer Bazar have a long tradition of working with this red clay. According to Dr. Wise, this place was known as “Kumartoli” during the Mughal period.
Rayer Bazar will remain in our memories, in our history for another reason. In the night of 14 December 1971, many of Bangladesh’s intellectuals including professors, journalists, doctors, artists, engineers, and writers were rounded up in Dhaka. They were taken blindfolded to torture cells in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Nakhalpara, Rajarbagh and other locations in different sections of the city. Later on, they were executed and thrown out in the swamps, at Rayerbazar.
In memory of the martyred intellectuals of 1971, a Memorial is created in there. The ‘Al-Badr’ and ‘Al-Shams’ Group helped the West Pakistan Army to locate the intellectuals and slaughtered them and many other innocent peoples at night. After the massacre they brought the corpses and left them into the swamps of Rayer Bazaar. After the Liberation War, the people of Dhaka found out that all the dead bodies of many great intellectuals and innocent people are piled up in here.” Martyred Intellectuals Memorial is the memorial built for the memory of the martyred intellectuals of 1971. The memorial is built in the Boddhobhumi at Rayer Bazaar