=> Array
[name] => Nagar Kasba
[post_id] => 8573
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/nagar-kasba/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Nogor-Kosba-2-300x169.jpg
[post_content] => Kasba (কসবা) is an administrative unit of the Sultani rulers (1342-1576). The administrative units, such as Iqta(ইকতা), Erta (ইরতা), Iqlim (ইখলিম), and Kasba (কসবা) have been mentioned in the contemporary texts.
So far 37 Kasbas could be traced in the region of Bangladesh, most of which had been within or near about the present district towns. The distance between one Kasba from another varied. It is noticed that official titles were associated with some of the kasbas. We can exemplify Kazir Kasba (কাজীর কসবা), Kotowaler Kasba(কোতওয়ালির কসবা), Nagar Kasba(নগর কসবা) etc. Considering the location, distance of one from another, communication system with the central or Provincial Capital, attachment of official titles etc it is assumed that Kasba were administrative units and were equivalent to districts. An administrative officer, a Quazi (কাজী) and a Kotwal(কোতওয়াল) were in charge of a Kasba.
In this complex of many buildings we can detect several names of businessman who built those in different period of time in 19th Century.
While most of the Kasbas lost their former importance during the Mughal period, Munshiganj, or Bikrampur, as it was known earlier, flourished as an important district through a rich combination of education, economy, literary & cultural pursuits. Therefore, the Nagar Kasba of Munshiganj stood with its importance through the course of time. It is believed that during the British rule, especially during the later part of the 19th century, Nagar Kasba was rebuilt as a residential area of wealthy predominantly Hindu business people, who mostly traded through the river port of Mirkadim.
After the Partition of India (1947), it is believed that most of the Hindu wealthy families migrated to Kolkata. Those who decided to stay back, to tend to their established businesses soon began to find it difficult. As sporadic communal riots continued, the exodus continued till the late 1950s. Families often left silently at night, leaving behind all their belongings. Those who still chose to stay, almost completely left for India during our Liberation War in 1971.
During these dire times, most of these full-furnished wealthy houses fell vacant and remained untended for a long time. Gradually, over time, these empty houses began to be taken over by influential locals. The descendents of these grabbers now own these properties, and live in the dilapidated buildings. It therefore is not surprising that a house that looks like it was purposely built for Hindu owners now adorns the names of Muslim people.
Even in its latest hay days in the later part of the 19th century, Nagar Kasba was a row of magnificent houses, mostly of two floors, though not too large, but built in British colonial styles. The intricate designs and motifs that remain on the walls and pillars are testament to the wealth and taste of the owners. Unfortunately, almost all are now in ruins, where some have even been demolished by present day owners.
 => 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
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] => Panga Zamindar Bari
[post_id] => 6442
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/panga-zamindar-bari/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Court-house-of-Panga-Zamindar-Bari-300x2001-300x200.jpg
Ruins of Panga Zamindar Bari located at Chinai Union of Rajarhata sub-district about 5 km far away from Kurigram district. After the death of Landlord Rani Lokhipriea her adopted son Debendra Narayana conduct estate during British period. "Konara" or "kongor" was his Designation. From his time Retrogression in the position of his estate, time to time it has been lost. Now you found some broken bricks here and there and a decorated pond. Also there has a court house without any damage.
 => Array
[name] => Deo Bari
[post_id] => 8713
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/dao-bari/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Dao-Bari-11-300x200.jpg
There is a significant number of old houses found in Munshiganj district. Which has enriched the historical & Cultural importance of this district among the others in Bangladesh. It’s assumed that in earlier phase it was a prominent center for trading all over the country as it is standing beside the mighty river Meghna. So, historically still this place contains the plenty of evidences of growing business trend at that time.
One of the most old houses built by the Merchant is Deo Bari ( দেউ বাড়ি) at Abdullahpur, Tongibari, Munshiganj. It’s about 120 Years Old Historical House (Adjacent to Pulghata Bridge). Shokti de (শাক্তি দে) and Vokto de (ভক্ত দে) built this 3 storied building. Still 45 rooms found in this derelict building.
The most fascinating part of this house is its brick-work with some fabulous design & decoration. which has become exposed now that the plasters have fallen off at many places.
This building is now on the way of decaying. Many parts of its has already broken because of lack in proper care and conservation. Immediate steps should be taken to preserve it from further destruction.