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.
Teota Zamindar Palace (তেওতা জমিদার বাড়ী) is located at the Shibalaya (শিবালায়া) Upazila of Manikganj District. This palace is locally known as Teota Rajbari (তেওতা রাজবাড়ি) and Teota Zamindar Bari (তেওতা জমিদার বাড়ী). This palace is possibly over 300 years old. This old dilapidated palace was the home of two brothers named Babu Hemsankar Ray ( বাবু হেমসংকর রায়) and Babu Joy Sankar Ray (বাবু জয় সংকর রায়) who were the ruler of Teota. The whole premise has over 50 rooms. Currently those are occupied by the homeless people.
At the Western side of the building, there is a large pond and beside the pond a temple is located named as Noborotno Temple (নবরত্ন মন্দির). The temple is a four storied building having a glorious example of classical architecture.
The whole palace is situated just beside the bank of mighty river Jamuna. After a few miles from the palace premise, the river merged with another big river, Padma. The palace is a two storied building and from the roof you can easily see the Jamuna river.
This palace is the birth place of Promila Debi (প্রমীলা দেবী), the wife of our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (নজরুল ইসলাম). Poet first saw her in this palace when he came here to visit Promila's cousin-Dhiren Sen (ধীরেন সেন).)  => Array ( [name] => Tokani Pal House [post_id] => 8643 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/tokani-pal-house/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/TPP-12-300x200.jpg [post_content] =>
Munshiganj, or Bikrampur as it was formerly known as home to a number of rich landlords and merchants, who lived in palatial houses, built on large estates. Most of these perished in course of time as the mighty Padma River devoured most of Bikrampur. Of all that remain in today’s Munshiganj, the largest is the house at Abdullahpur, known as Tokani Pal House (টোকানী পাল বাড়ি). There isn’t enough source to know about who built this house, but Tokani Pal, an elderly merchant from Barisal, bought this 7 acre estate and moved in here sometime in the early 1890s. His second wife Nabanga Sundary and all six sons from his two marriages accompanied him.
The estate now consists of 11 buildings and six ponds. The sprawling gardens have hundreds of trees – fruit bearing, medicinal, or for wood itself. And there were once several hundreds of flowering plants. But when Tokani arrived, the estate was in a mess. Kamini Pal, the eldest son of Tokani,took charge of cleaning up the estate. He chose a place to set up a temple, dedicated to Radha-Shyam, of whom they had been followers for generations. By this time, the masons of Abdullahpur had made a name in craftsmanship and expertise, and Arfan Ostagar was the most revered of all. He was hired, for a daily fee of five quarters and a pack of tobacco. His designer had to be paid an additional three quarters. A 15X6 feet room was planned to build, with a wide sprawling varanda, where followers could sing devotional songs every evening. The room would have a large platform, on which would rest a large metal statue of Radha-Shyam. The exterior wall would be decorated with fine ceramic designs. Once completed, the temple became a marvel, people from far and wide came over to see.
The Pal’s principal business was surrounded around the Kamala river port of Bikrampur, which was known as the Second Kolkata. Betelnuts, mustard, lentils etc would arrive from Barisal or Chandpur, and would be traded with Kolkata. Almost 20,000 laborers worked daily at this port, where the second largest wholesalers were the Pals. They set up warehouses at places as far as Barisal, Jhalokathhi or Shwarupkathhi, or Chandpur. Kamini Pal also became the most prominent money-lender. Dwarkanath became a prominent dealer in Kerosene oil. Other brothers also chipped in here and there. Business for the Pals was running well.
After the Partition of India, a large section of the family moved to Kolkata. Those who remained to protect the family businesses, soon found it difficult, as business with Kolkata became complicated. They had to explore new business avenues, but that wasn’t too easy.
In 1971, Hindus were being tortured or killed, their businesses were being shut down, their houses were being torched. The Pal estate being protected with a strong high boundary wall became a safe refuge, not only for members of this family, but for members of extended families, and also for friends and their families. About 500 people had found safe shelter here, until one dark night, when the Pakistani Army entered the compounds, killed several family members, and set the main houses of fire. The entire clan moved to India through Agartala.
Almost two years later, Shashadhar Pal, the second son of Dwarkanath Pal, who by then was head of the clan, returned with his family. But by this time major parts of the estate had been grabbed and taken over by others. He tried to revive some of the businesses, but did not quite succeed. His family members went back to Kolkata, but he decided to stay back, reminiscing his childhood memories, and gradually selling off part of their properties. He lived either in one of the houses within this estate, or in the other Pal House, which also was built by his uncle Kamini Pal several decades ago. He passed away in the late 1990s.)  => Array ( [name] => Jowari Bishi Bari [post_id] => 17211 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/jowari-bishi-bari-2/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Jowari-Bishi-Bari3-300x225.jpg [post_content] =>
Jowari Bishi Bari (জোয়ারী বিশি বাড়ি) is located in Jowari Village. Promothonath Bishi, The prominent literary of the then Indian Sub-continent, was born in this village. His house was popularly named after him, as his blessed memory is still visible. This house is considered to be the oldest house in that area, built around 150 years ago as the local said.
Now a days, this house becomes a total ruin. Trees and bushes are everywhere surrounding the house. There were used to be a main gate called “Elephant Gate” which had been destroyed by the local people. Already half of the house totally became a mess; people are staying on the other half. Only that used portion remains intact. Locals say, this place needs to be taken care of for spreading the fame work of Promothonath Bishi.)  => 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).) )
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