Previously, the actual color of Khelaram Datar Kotha (খেলারাম দাতার কোঠা) was reddish (first three photographs added). But after a renovation done by the Department of archaeology, it is colored white now.
Possibly the most intriguing, interesting and uniquely confusing archeological structures of Nawabganj is the Khelaram Daata’r Kotha, which has recently been renovated. Yet they have not put up a sign board describing the building.
It is confusing, who was Khelaram? What was he known for? What is this building all about? What is the story behind it? When was it built? One could come up with several such questions, but apparently there isn’t much available documentation. It’s hardly possibly to rely on local folklore, as that is far more fiction than facts. To start with some confusion, some say the name of the founder of this structure was Khelaram Dutta, Banglapedia mentions him as Khelaram Dada, while the locals say he was known as Khelaram Daata.
According to Banglapedia he was a Zamindar, but the locals claim he was a dacoit. Since Banglapedia mentions nothing about him apart from naming him as Zamindar Khelaram Dada. So, there isn’t any other way except relating oral history along with the information of Banglapedia.
Some 200 years ago, there lived a ferocious dacoit named Khelaram, who was dreaded by the rich, but loved by the poor, because similar to Robin Hood, he generously donated much of his spoils from each mission amongst the poor people. Hence he was known as “Daata” the beneficent. But he still retained quite a bit and needed to store the loot. So he built this structure consisting of many rooms just overnight (within a short time). The building had five floors (it now has only two) and the roof had a large tank. There still is a large pond nearby. Poor people had to come to this pond to bathe, and anything they asked for was granted.
Oral History Or Myth :
Khelaram was extremely obedient to his mother. She once wanted to drink some milk and eat some ripened bananas, so Khelaram arranged the rooftop tank to be filled to the brim with ripened bananas and pure milk, so she could swim there and eat and drink to her heart’s content. But one day something Khelaram did severely angered his mother. She sternly rebuked and cursed him and then left for a bath in the pond. But as soon as she left the building, three floors of the building simply sank into the ground, leaving only the top two floors to be seen over the surface. Khelaram was not seen any more from then. Some believe he got trapped in one of the lower floors. Some believe he drowned in the pond, trying to save his mother. Within a short time, all his belongings got stolen, leaving behind just an empty house.