=> 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] => Niyogi House
[post_id] => 16728
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/niyogi-house/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/niyogee-house-8-300x200.jpg
The Niyogi House (নিয়গি বাড়ি) is located at Pukur Para (পুকুর পাড়া) of Singair Upazila. It is a old house built by Ganesh Chandra Niyogi more than 100 years ago. The household comprises of three structures, the principal and largest one is in severe ruins. Not only has the entire roof fallen down, anything that once formed this roof has now disappeared. The large arched doors and windows including their frames too are not to be found anywhere. It had a spacious corridor running the length of the building inside.
Another large building, though too in a dilapidated state is currently being used as the hostel of the local college. The smallest structure that once served as the kitchen has been renovated and is currently being used as accommodation by the Head of the Department of Economics of the same institution. He was there to proudly show us around the premises.
Within the inner compound of the buildings, there is an old well, which shows more waste than water some fifteen feet below. Date inscribed there 1334 Falgun (ফালগুণ) on the wall of this well, declaring this to be at least 87 years old.
 => Array
[name] => Nawabganj Ansar Camp (Painna Bari & Teli Bari)
[post_id] => 10248
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/nawabganj-ansar-camp-painna-bari-teli-bari/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/1-300x169.jpg
Nawabganj is one of the prominent regions in Dhaka containing a large number of old buildings and Zamindar Bari, Amongst the archaeologically or historically famous buildings the most well-known ones are Hasnabad Church, Braja Niketon,the Baghmara Moth, the Bakshanagar Church and the residence of Khelaram.
But there are also several lesser known old buildings, mostly set up by merchants lived that region previous years, who were traders of various kinds of produces, including salt.
Over time, many of these buildings have fallen prey to locally influential land grabbers. Most of these buildings are in a state of ruins, desperately requiring due attention. Some buildings have been acquired by the Ansar & Village Defense Party (VDP), a paramilitary force of the government, and the authorities have renovated some of these structures and maintain them fairly well.
It includes the House of Harihar Ghosh, the Ansar Commandant’s current office which is now known as Nawabganj Ansar Camp (Painna Bari & Teli Bari), Loknath Saha’s House and a few more houses.
 => 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
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.