=> Array
[name] => Nahabatkhana
[post_id] => 11529
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/nahabatkhana/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/IMG_34281-225x300.jpg
Nahabatkhana (নহবতখানা) or Probeshdar (প্রবেশদ্বার) is one of the well known features in Mograpara, Sonargaon Upazila in Narayanganj. This gateway or entrance was built in at the end of 17th century. According to the description of 'Zames Wise' (civil surgeon of Dhaka in 1860s), it is located at South Ward from the Hazrat Abu Tawama Mazar and Ibrahim Mosque. There are two doors being traced on north & south side of this feature.
A story has been circulated among the local people that there was a musical Instrument around this feature which was being used for different purposes. Mainly, this instrument being used to awake people to take Seheri (সেহরি) and Iftar (ইফতার) at the month of Ramadan. Another notion is said that, it was being used to notify poor people and Musafir for Kangalivoj (কাঙ্গালিভোজ). This instrument was used for inviting people too. Now, one of the doorways of Nahabatkhana is used by public, and another one is preserved with less care.
 => Array
[name] => Goaldi Mosque
[post_id] => 10965
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/goaldi-mosque/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC068591-300x225.jpg
Sonargaon contains quite a number of Archaeological evidences, helping the scholars to reconstruct the Medieval History of Sonargaon area of Bangladesh. Goaldi Mosque, one of the very few surviving medieval monuments in the city of Sonargaon. About 6 km north-west of the little township of Panam, near Sonargaon in Narayanganj district, there are two such precariously surviving old single-domed mosques in the sequestered hamlet of Goaldi, virtually hidden behind thick bamboo brakes and clusters of mango and jackfruit tree groves.
Built in 1519, the graceful, single-domed Goaldi Mosque is the most impressive of the few extant monuments of the old capital city, and a good example of pre-Mughal architecture. This mosque is one of the few remnants from the Sultanate period in Sonargaon, during the reign of Sultan Hussain Shah in 925 Hijri (1519 AD). It was built by Mulla Hizabar Akbar Khan in the early 16th century, during the reign of Alauddin Husain Shah at a place called Goaldi - half a mile northeast of Panam village in Sonargaon. Sonargaon was the administrative center of medieval Muslim rulers of East Bengal. It became as the capital of Bengal during Isa Khan's ruling. The area falls under present-day Narayanganj District, Bangladesh. This mosque is more elegant and ornate in comparison to the earlier Sultanate mosques at Bagerhat.
There are some ornamental black stone pillars inside the prayer hall for the support of the roof. Corresponding to the three arched doorways on the east there are three richly decorated mihrabs on the west wall, of which the central one is bigger and beautifully embellished with curved floral and arabesque relief on dark black stone, but the flanking side mihrabs are ornamented with delicate terracotta floral and geometric patterns. The central stone mihrab is framed within an arched panel with an expanded sunflower motif in the centre. Below that the spandrels of the multi-cusped arch of the mihrab are decorated within a rectangular frame. The engrailed arched recess is carried on stunted octagonal pillars faceted at stages. Four round-banded turrets at the outer corners rise up to the curvilinear cornice.
 => 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] => Sonarong Jora Moth
[post_id] => 8450
[post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/sonarong-jora-moth/
[thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/SJM-1-300x240.jpg
Sonarong (means golden color) is a lovely village at Tongibari Upazila of Munshiganj district. This village belong a beautiful "Moth(মঠ)"(a place for praying by Hindu religious people) which is known as "Sonarong Jora Moth" (সোনারং জোড়া মঠ) ("twin moth"). It is used to call twin moth/temple, because it has two towers side by side. It may be around 150 feet high from the ground. There is a large pond just in front of the Moth. This moth is not functioning now a days. Interviewing local people we came to know that, there are no praying activities take place in this moth. Every side of the moth is covered with trees and that gave a lovely golden and green color's illusional view of the moth.
The larger moth was made for "Shiva"(Hindu God), and made during 1843, and the smaller one for "Kali"(Hindu Goddess), and made during 1886. It was built by a Hindu merchant named "Rupchand" (রূপচাঁদ) From stone inscriptions fixed over the temple’s entrance.
The two towers of the moth are not equal sized. One is much larger than another one. The larger tower has hundreds of holes at the top of it, and each hole is occupied by parrots. Visitors may observe hundreds of parrots from the place, and they are making sweet sound together all the day long. During the breeding season, the top of the moth become green for the numerous numbers of parrots. Both the towers of the moth are ornamented nicely with different types of leafs motif and blind alcoves.
Two temples stand side by side on a single masonry platform surrounded by a moat on three sides and an access path on the eastern side.The western temple, loftier than the eastern one, is about 15m high over the square sanctum, and measures 5.35m x 5.35m and has a 1.90m wide veranda. A low hemispherical dome covers the square sanctuary, over which rises an octagonal sikhara(শিখর) crowned by the usual pinnacle with kalasa (কলস) finials. This terminates in a trident fixed with an iron rod. The outer surface of the sikhara is decorated with a semi-circular arched pattern in plaster, which is repeated on all sides. The entire sikhara is dotted with three pigeonholes under each arch pattern. The main sanctuary has two archways, one each on the south and west sides, flanked by arched panels on both sides,and a pattern of three arches on the other two sides. The western entrance consists of a two-centered arch. The top of the archway is decorated with a frieze of blind merlons. In front of the sanctum, the veranda is covered with a flat roof supported on columns, It has three arched openings on the south, one each on its east and west side.
It is one of the important historical & archaeological places in Munshiganj District. Very recently,renovation work is on go,undoubtedly a good initiative to protect this site from further destruction.