Rani Bhabani (Bengali: রাণী ভবাণী) (1716–1795) was a Hindu zamindar, also known as the ‘Queen of Natore‘ during the British colonial era in what is now of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. She was married to Maharaja Ramkanta Moitra (Ray), ‘Zamindar’ of Natore estate. Rajshahi Raj or Natore estate was a large zamindari which occupied a vast position of Bengal. The Natore estate had an area of nearly 34,000 square kilometres (13,000 sq mi) and included not only much of North Bengal but also large parts of the areas later comprising the administrative districts of Murshidabad, Nadia, Jessore, Birbhum and Burdwan. After the death of her husband, Rani Bhabani of Natore Rajbari, expanded both the estate and the palace.
Born in Chhatimgram village, Bogra District, Her father’s name was Atmaram Choudhury. Bhabani was married off to Raja Ramkanta Moitra (Ray), the then zamindar of Rajshahi. After his death, Bhabani became the de jure zamindar, and started being referred to as Rani, or queen. She was known as Ardhabangeshwari(অর্ধবঙ্গেশ্বরী).A woman as a zamindar was extremely rare in those days, but Rani Bhabani managed the vast Rajshahi zamindari most efficiently and effectively for over four decades. John Holwell, an English writer, speculated that the stipulated annual rent of the estate to the crown was 7 million rupees, the real revenues being about 15 million.
However, what made Rani Bhabani a household name among the common people was her philanthropy and general generosity, combined with an austere personal life. The number of temples, guesthouses and roads she constructed across Bengal is believed to be in the hundreds. She also built numerous water tanks, alleviating the acute water problem of her subjects. She was also interested in the spread of education and donated generously to many educational institutes.
During the era of Rani Bhabani, she made some great contributions for the development and renovation of Bhabanipur temple. Bhabanipur is a shakti-peeth which is located at Sherpur Upazila of Bogra District.
Rani Bhabani’s house in Natore remains a main tourist attraction in Bangladesh to date.
Rani Bhabani is also famous as ‘Natorer Rani’ or the Queen of Natore. She also made great contributions in Tarapith & Benaras. Tarapith, a Hindu Temple town situated in the Indian province of West Bengal is famous for (goddess Tara) & Hindu saint Bamakhepa. In Varanasi, Durga Kund Mandir was constructed in 18th century by Rani Bhabani.