Balia Zamindar House or Palace is once known as a symbol of dignity in this region. Still some of the ancestors of this zamindari estate living in Kolkata. Interviewing local folks ORB team came to about its identity and partial history, which could be possibly will help to rebuild its actual history in near future.
So far we came to know from different sources that, this zamindari was founded by man named Zamindar Malik Muhammad Box (জমিদার মালিক মুহাম্মদ বক্স) who came to this region from Multan. His son Hazi Malik Karim Box (হাজি মালিক করিম বক্স) was chronologically the second successful famous zamindar of this estate who donated a big amount of money from ‘Kashmir & Kyed-E-Azam relief fund’.
According to the old people of Balia this building is more than 400 Years old. There is a little difference between this Zamindar house with others. It’s one of the few Zamindari estate in Bangladesh which was being founded by Muslim zamindars where as rest of others being established by Hindu zamindars.
This old house is on the way to ruin, most of its building material is being removed. Except its tall dome and a triangular pediment rest others element is lost in course of time.There is a three domed Mosque in front this old House which could be possibly built in some later time.
There are a couple of way to move there at the old palatial house from Dhaka. But, the easiest way for a traveler is to take a bus from Gabtoli Bus stop to Saturia Bus stop via Dhaka-Aricha highway. From Saturia Bus stop you may ride on a shared mini bus or CNG auto rickshaw to reach there at Kalighat Bazar via Saturia-Daragram bazar. From there Balia zamindar house is just steps way.
There are so many vehicles approaching to Dhamrai from Dhaka. Among those Public transport, Buses are always available running from Gulistan to Dhamrai. But, whenever you are approaching to Dhamrai, You will have to be careful while riding on a Bus. Because, there are two different ways to go there. You will have to catch one moving toward Islampur or Dolivita Bus stop.
There are a couple of Bus Services moving toward Dhamrai from Gulistan. Among those-
1. D-link (Gulistan to Dhamrai) &
2. Grameen Sheba
1. Dhamrai Dak-Banglo:
Manager: Upazila Executive Officer, Dhamrai
Address: Upazila Parishad Chattar, Dhamrai, Dhaka
There is a cluster of Zamindar houses is just few kilometers away from balia, which is known as Baliati Zamindar Palace. You would rather build an itinerary what could possibly help you to cover all the Heritage sites near Dhamrai and Manikganj area.
There are a number of Hotels & Restaurants available in Balia Bazar. Basically, you will find the local cuisine there at the Bazar. Local sweets & Yogurt will make you feel to be back there once again.
Mausoleum of Giyas Uddin Azam Shah is one of the renowned archaeological features, situated at Mograpara, Sonargaon. Giyas uddin Azam Shah (1390-1411 AD) the third sultan of the Iliyas Shahi dynasty of Bengal earned great name for his ideal character, patronage of learning and for good administration. The events of his life are so variegated that he may be compared to a prince in a fairy tale. Himself a scholar and poet, Sultan Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah held literary men in great esteem. He corresponded with the famous Iranian poet Hafiz and inviting him to visit Bengal. Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah contributed a good deal to the development of Bengali literature. He was known for his friendly relations with foreign countries, sent envoys to Makkah, Madina and China. This great sultan died in 814 AH/1410 AD and buried in Mograpara.)  => Array ( [name] => Autshahi Mughal Mosque [post_id] => 9330 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/autshahi-mughal-mosque/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/IMG_20150527_1214038541-300x169.jpg [post_content] =>
Autshahi Mughal Mosque,is a ruin of Mughal period Mosque, just located beside the Autshahi (আউটশাহী) Graveyard. It’s silently containing the evidences of ancient time. People are avoiding to visit that site frequently as it is inside the boundary of graveyard.
It has two entrances and one bulbous shaped dome on the top. Basically, from the structural remains it would be very difficult to prove how it was being used or how it became so.)  => Array ( [name] => Handial Jagannath Temple [post_id] => 9243 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/handial-jogonnath-temple/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/handial-jogonnath-mondir-21-300x225.jpg [post_content] =>
Handial Jagannath Temple (হান্ডিয়াল জগন্নাথ মন্দির) is an old temple located at Handial (হান্ডিয়াল) village of Chatmohor Upazila of Pabna district. As it is located at the Handial village, it is known as Handial Mandir too.
It is a single door small sized temple which was built using bricks. This temple gets narrower as it is progressing upwards. Only the front wall of the temple has some terracotta. The temple is placed over a high plinth.
From the inscription, it is found that the temple was reconstructed by someone named Bhobani Proshad during 1590. But scholars are assuming that the temple was built even another 100 years before from that time.
The whole temple premise is under a boundary. Another two newly temples are being constructed at the both side of the old temple. There is a small chariot (রথ) available inside the premise. Also, a Mondop (মন্ডপ) is available for the upcoming Hindu festival Durga Puja (দূর্গা পূজা).)  => Array ( [name] => Betila House: The Forgotten Palace of Manikganj [post_id] => 17193 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/betila-house/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Betila-House-2-300x163.jpg [post_content] =>
The Betila (বেতিলা) House in Manikganj was built about a century ago by Jyoti Babu (জ্যোতি বাবু) and Satya Babu (সত্য বাবু), a couple of affluent merchants involved in the trade of Jute, the golden fibre of Bangladesh. This palatial house is located in a remote area named Betila which is within the parameters of the modern day Manikganj proper. Explorers/travelers searching for heritage sites in Manikganj over the internet may come across several links of the famous Baliati Zamindar’s Palace but never find any links on Betila. This is primarily because the Betila House was not a Zamindar’s (Land Owner) palace, and secondly since it is located in such a remote area, people hardly know about it. Rich people of those era are known to build such palatial houses in remote areas and live lavish lives, even though they were not 'Zamindars' or royalty.
For someone looking for heritage sites, the Betila Mitra Union of Manikganj would be a fabulous one to come across. It’s situated in semi rural setting (being not too distant from urban areas) and doesn't seem particularly unique on first impression but once you begin to explore it's culture and heritage, beautiful places like the Betila House amongst several others begin to surface. The seemingly tame Betila Canal runs across the area, connecting two major rivers Kaliganga (কালিগঙ্গা) and Dhaleshwari (ধলেশ্বরী) but like most waterways of Bangladesh, one can anticipate its ferocity in full monsoon season when rising water levels which is also evident in the way it has eroded both its banks, specially at the lone bridge that was constructed some time back.
On both the banks one will come across a series of heritage buildings, the pinnacle being on the eastern bank, the Betila Palatial house surrounded by rich foliage. It’s a combined structure of two separate buildings both of which are two-storied, standing almost intact, side by side and with an expansive open field before them.) )
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