=> Array
[name] => Ruplal House: The Magnificent Past of Farashganj
[post_id] => 7443
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/ruplal-house-farashganj/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Ruplal-house-Farashganj1-300x240.jpg
The year was 1888. Viceroy Lord Dufferin of India was scheduled to visit these parts on an official tour during the then British Raj. A grand Ballroom Dancing program was organized by the English in honor of the Viceroy. And thus began a search for a suitable venue which was not only beautiful enough to be fitting of such an occasion but was also equipped with all appropriate amenities and facilities. In line with this requirement, three houses were short listed: Ahsan Manzil, the current Banga Bhaban (President’s Residence) & the Ruplal House. Finally, due to modernity of all the facilities available, its incomparable beauty and it’s grand architectural style the Ruplal House was chosen as the site for this grand program.
Ruplal House (Rooplal House) is located at Farashganj, just beside the bank of the Buriganga River. It was built by two prominent merchant brothers from Dhaka, Ruplal and Raghunath Das. It cannot exactly be determined how old the building actually is, but according to the locals there it may be around 150-200 years old.
Apart from Ruplal House, there is another adjoining buildings both of which have almost similar architectural styles, but the Ruplal House is the most beautiful one among the others. Nowadays Ruplal House is known as Zakir House, and the other one is known as Noorjahan House. However, nowadays inside both the buildings you'll find a vibrant spice and vegetable market.
The house has more than 50 rooms including a Hall Room, all of which are large and spacious consistent with the architecture of those time. The building has large cylindrical columns in line with the architectural styles of Ancient Greek buildings. Also top of the building, especially the ledges are also decorated with intricate designs reminiscent of Greek Architure as well as the Victorian Castles of England. But now a days, mostly due to the lack of maintenance, trees and unbridled weeds have grown up the wall of the building.
No one is available there to clean the premises &/or maintain it and also inside the building you'll find unauthorized people living. Recently Bangladesh government has announced this as archaeological property, but as of yet no action taken to preserve it.
 => Array
[name] => Mahasthangarh
[post_id] => 1387
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/mahasthangarh/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mahasthangarh1-1024x768-300x225.jpg
[post_content] => Mahasthangarh (Bengali: মহাস্থানগড় Môhasthangôṛ
) is one of the earliest urban archaeological sites so far discovered in Bangladesh. The village Mahasthan in Shibganj thana of Bogra District contains the remains of an ancient city which was called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura in the territory of Pundravardhana. A limestone slab bearing six lines inPrakrit in Brahmi script, discovered in 1931, dates Mahasthangarh to at least the 3rd century BC. The fortified area was in use till the 18th century AD.
Together with the ancient and medieval ruins, the mazhar (holy tomb) of Shah Sultan Balkhi Mahisawar built at the site of a Hindu temple is located at Mahasthangarh. He was a dervish (holy person devoted to Islam) of royal lineage who came to the Mahasthangarh area, with the objective of spreading Islam among non-Muslims. He converted the people of the area to Islam and settled there.
means a place that has excellent sanctity and garh
means fort. Mahasthan was first mentioned in a Sanskrit text of the 13th century entitled Vallalcharita
. It is also mentioned in an anonymous text Karatoya mahatmya,
circumstantially placed in 12th–13th century. The same text also mentions two more names to mean the same place – Pundrakshetra, land of the Pundras, and Pundranagara, city of the Pundras. In 1685, an administrative decree mentioned the place as Mastangarh, a mixture of Sanskrit and Persian meaning fortified place of an auspicious personage. Subsequent discoveries have confirmed that the earlier name was Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura, and that the present name of Mahasthangarh is of later origin.
Mahasthangarh, the ancient capital of Pundravardhana is located 11 km (6.8 mi) north of Bogra on the Bogra-Rangpur highway, with a feeder road (running along the eastern side of the ramparts of the citadel for 1.5 km) leading to Jahajghata and site museum. Buses are available for Bogra from Dhaka and take 4½ hours for the journey via Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge across the Jamuna River. Buses are available from Bogra to Mahasthangarh. Rickshaws are available for local movement. Hired transport is available at Dhaka/ Bogra. Accommodation is available at Bogra. When travelling in a hired car, one can return to Dhaka the same day, unless somebody has a plan to visit Somapura Mahavihara at Paharpur in the district of Naogaon and other places, or engage in a detailed study.
It is believed that the location for the city in the area was decided upon because it is one of the highest areas in Bangladesh. The land in the region is almost 36 metres (118 ft) above sea level, whereas Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is around 6 metres (20 ft) above sea level. Another reason for choosing this place was the position and size of the Karatoya, which as recently as in the 13th century was three times wider than Ganges.
Mahasthangarh stands on the red soil of the Barind Tract which is slightly elevated within the largely alluvium area. The elevation of 15 to 25 metres above the surrounding areas makes it a relatively flood free physiographic unit.
 => Array
[name] => Armenian Church
[post_id] => 1413
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/armenian-church/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/14688097-300x225.jpg
The evidence says about Armenian community in the region during 17th to 18th century and their existence. Armenian Church was build in 1781 on Armenian Street in Armanitola. The site was an American graveyard before before the church built. Agaminus Catachik, an Armenian, gave away the land to build the church. Michel Cerkess, Okotavata Setoor Sevorg, Aga Amnius, and Merkers Poges helped build the church.
Mother Teresa stayed in this church during a visit to Dhaka.
In the old graveyard, among the 350 people buried there, a statue stands at the grave of Catachik Avatik Thomas, portraying his wife. The statue was bought from Kolkata and the grave is inscribed with the words "Best of Husband." Following the domination of their homeland by Persian powers of the time, Armenians were sent by their new rulers to the Bengal region for both political and economic reasons. Although the Armenian presence in South Asia is now insignificant, their presence in Dhaka dates back to the 17th century. Armenians came to Dhaka for business, and have been acknowledged for displaying a passion for trade comparable to that of the Bengalis of the time. In Dhaka, Armenian merchants traded in jute and leather, and profitability in these businesses convinced some to move permanently to Bangladesh. The area where they lived became known as Armanitola.
In 1781 the now famous Armenian Church was built on Armenian Street in Armanitola, then a thriving business district. The site was an Armenian graveyard before the church was built, and the tombstones that have survived serve as a chronicle of Armenian life in the area. Agaminus Catachik, an Armenian, gave away the land to build the church. Michel Cerkess, Okotavata Setoor Sevorg, Aga Amnius, and Merkers Poges helped build the church.
In the fifty years following the church's construction, a clock tower was erected on its western side. Allegedly, the clock could be heard four miles away, and people synchronized their watches with the sound of the tower's bell. The clock stopped in 1880, and an earthquake destroyed the tower in 1897. The Armenian played a prominent part in the jute trade in Dhaka and are reputed to be the pioneers of that trade in the second half of the 19th century. Today, the last Armenian that takes cares of the church is Mikhail Hopcef Martirossian (Micheal Joseph Martin). He was also one of the Armenian who was in the jute trade.
 => Array
[name] => Panam Nagar
[post_id] => 11238
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/panam-nagar/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/229750_223480837697299_316414_n1-225x300.jpg
Panam Nagar (পানাম নগর), ancient Painam, a locality now in Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj district. It is about 2.5 kilometre to the north of Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Mograpara point. It is said to have been the site of Hindu capital city of Sonargaon emerging in the seventh decade of the thirteenth century. The Panam area formed part of the Muslim metropolis developed on the south of the old city, and perhaps constituted the place of residence of the early Muslim governors'. After the Mughal conquest of Sonargaon (1611) the Panam area was connected with the ruling metropolis by construction of highways and bridges. Panam still possesses three brick bridges belonging to the Mughal period: Panam Bridge, Dalalpur Bridge and Panamnagar Bridge.
The existence of these bridges, and the canals enclosing the site on three sides is indicative of its being a suburban area of the medieval city. The pucca road which leads from the Mograpara crossing on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in the direction of Panam extending up to the Neel-Kuthi looks like a dividing line between medieval Sonargaon and the present Panamnagar, the only surviving relics of the Panam area. The Panam township stands on the east of this road opposite Aminpur, and a one-arched humped bridge leads from the same road over a narrow canal to the main street of Panamnagar.
In all probability the present Panamnagar grew as a by-product of the commercial activities of the english east india company and of the Permanent Settlement. The East India Company established their factory in Panam for the purchase of muslin and other cotton fabrics. The Company, for the purchase of muslin, used to distribute annually to the weavers from their factory in Panam as much as a lakh of rupees as dadni (dadni system advance), and it is estimated that there were then 1400 families of Hindu and Muslim weavers in and around Panam.
Sonargaon developed into a center of trade in cotton fabrics, chiefly English piece goods, during the colonial period, and thereby grew the new township of Panamnagar. A group of Hindu talukdars, who came into being from among the traders in the nineteenth century, chose this site for their residence. The existing brick buildings of Panamnagar, obviously the residence of the Hindu merchant-talukdars, can be dated back to early nineteenth, and the later ones to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Panamnagar which developed in the nineteenth century, continued to flourish till the end of the Second World War.
Panamnagar, a unique township, stretched in a single street 5 meter wide on the average and 600 meter in length. All the buildings have the character of urban street front houses and are lined up on either side of this street which ends up at the Panam bazar. Fifty-two houses exist in dilapidated and disused condition having 31 in the north side of the street and 21 on the south. Panamnagar appears to be well protected by artificial canals all around. Two fairly wide canals run parallel to the street on its either side and joined by a narrow canal on the western side over which is the entrance bridge (Panamnagar Bridge). On the eastern side, the canal on the south swerves rightward and goes eastward crossing the north-south road that passes through the Panam bazar. The northern canal, the Pankhiraj Khal, runs eastward to meet the Meghna-Menikhali stream.