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.
Hazrat Sharfuddin Abu Tawama’s Tomb and Mazar is situated just eastward to the Mosque in mazar Complex, connected to the Mazar of Hazrat Ibrahim Danish Mand. Without any inscriptional evidences, local people believe that this Grave is belong to the Hazrat Sharfuddin Abu Tawama. There are six graves in a row and second one from the east is belong to Hazrat Sharfuddin. This Mazar is surrounded by a fence wall. In that brick wall there is a stone inscription had been found. On the inscription a short description is written about the time period of a Mosque situated just west to the Mazar area.
Hazrat Sheik Sharfuddin Abu Tawama hails from Bhukhara. During the year 1274-1277, he came to then Sonargaon along with his family via Delhi and Manere of Bhiar. From Maner, a 17 years old pious boy Sheik Sharf-Uddin Yahia Manery took bayet in his hand and accompanied him to Sonargaon. Hazrat Sharf-Uddin Abu Tawama got the blessing of Hazrat Ibrahim Daneshmand (RA) who induldged him in establishing a Khankha to preach Islam in the area. He established Khanka to make the same one of the high standard educational institution with the help of his diciple Hazrat Sheik Sharf-Uddin Yahia Manery, who became the celebrated mentor and teacher of the Khanka.
Hazrat Sheik Sharfuddin Abu Tawama died in the year 1300 AD and buried within the premises of Darga Bari which is at the eastern side of Mograpara.
Unfotunitly the grave of Hazrat Sheik Sharfuddin Abu Tawama (RA) does not have any shed nor the place could be said very well maintained area.)  => Array ( [name] => Sonakanda Fort [post_id] => 10801 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/sonakanda-fort/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/17662494639_eac4172f39_b1-300x200.jpg [post_content] =>
Sonakanda Fort (সোনাকান্দা দুর্গ) a Mughal river-fort located on the eastern bank of the Shitalakshya (শীতলক্ষ্যা) at port area. A group of river forts, constructed by the Mughals, guarded the water routes to Dhaka and other places of strategic importance and the Sonakanda Fort is one of them. The fort, under the protection of the Department of Archaeology and Museums, has been restored and repaired several times. The defensive walls and the massive artillery platform are still in existence. It is quadrangular in plan,measuring 86.56 m × 57.0 m and surrounded by a 1.06 m thick brick-wall, 3.05 meter in height, with inner and intermediate bastions.
The wall is built solid at the bottom. There is a circular artillery platform with a staircase on the west side, which leads up to the raised artillery platform to be entered by a five-foil arched gateway. The artillery platform, meant for a big calibre cannon aiming at the attackers coming up the river, is a new feature of the Mughal river forts in Bengal.
The platform has two circles of which the inner is 15.70m and the outer is 19.35m in diameter respectively. It is 6.09m in height and surrounded by walls. The corner bastions on both sides of the western wing are wider than those of the eastern wing, which are 4.26m, while the two on the western wing are 6.85m in diameter. The fort has two main parts; one is a fortified rampart wall of enormous dimension, which has numerous wide and narrow loopholes. And the other part, the most important one, is a raised outwork on the western face. Excepting the artillery platform, there is no trace of any permanent structure within the fortification walls. All round, the walls are crowned by machicolated merlons, which are on average one metre high.
The fort is provided with a single entrance gate on the north. The arched gateway is placed within a rectangular frame and both the sides are decorated with several plastered panels. The lofty arch of the entrance gateway is of the four-centred variety. There are four corner bastions. Unlike the bastions of the forts at Hajiganj and Idrakpur the bastions of this fort are octagonal in plan.
The fort is not dated by any inscription. Though the construction of this fort is attributed to Mir Jumla, there is no evidence for this. On stylistic similarities with other Mughal river-forts in and around Dhaka it is datable to the mid-17th century.) )
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