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.
There are couple of ways to move toward Tokani Pal house from Muktarpur Bridge. One is via Mawa-Munshiganj highway which is about 3km south-west from the bridge and another one is via Feringi Bazar road which is also nearly same distance away from bridge.
There are several transport is available from Dhaka to Munshiganj. The bus services are “Nayan Paribahan”, “Dighir par Paribahan” and “Dhaka Transport”, all of the buses used to start from “Gulistan” of Dhaka. It will cost you 60-80 taka, and will require 1 hrs to 2 hrs bus journey depending upon the road traffic.
Also you can hire CNG auto rickshaw from the “Postogola”, and it will take you 250-350 to take you at Muktarpur bridge. Remember, if you are hiring CNG, make sure who will provide the toll of the bridge. For you information, the toll fee is 20 taka. So negotiate with the driver of CNG about who will provide the toll.
Though the district is just beside the Dhaka, still its hard to find a suitable hotel from the district. The main reason, may be people from dhaka used to come this place for a single day trip. But anyway, if you need to stay at Munshiganj town, that case I’ll suggest you to stay at “Hotel Comfort” this one is the best from the town. Also you there is another one which is “Hotel three star international”. But the quality of the rooms of this hotel is not that much good. For both cases, it will take 100-700 taka per night depending upon the room.
1. Mawa Resort
Contact: Md. Ali
2. Padma Resort
Contact: Mohammad Ali
3. Padma Rest House
Bridge Division, Ministry of Roads and Communications
Referred things to do at Pal house. Click here
Referred where to eat in Munshiganj. Click here
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] => Mahajampur Ahamad Shah Mosque [post_id] => 11558 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/mahajampur-ahamad-shah-mosque/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/DSC067441-300x169.jpg [post_content] =>
Mahajampur was an ancient Muslim ruled region. This region is situated few miles north to Sonargaon town area. There is a Mosque found here, named Mahajampur Ahamad Shah Mosque, which was built around in 16th C.E. The style of bricks engraving and placement of dome charms the visitors. There are so many Scholars who had described the location and beauty of this mosque at different time in various writing. Among them, ‘Parvin Hasan & A.K.M. Zakaria’ described its beauty in their writing.
Many ancient evidences of human settlement has been found along with this Mosque & Mazar structure. Archaeologist found a big quantity of ancient bricks wherever they conducted excavation in that region. Two inscriptions being discovered from this Mosque. From one of those inscriptions we came to know about Sultan Shams Uddin Ahmad Shah (1432-1436 AD), which make it named after by his name. But, it has been said that someone named Firoz khan built that Mosque.
This is a six domed Mosque, which is built following the stylistic beauty of Baba Adam Shahid Mosque. Domes over the roof are bearing the evidences of Sultani Architecture of Bengal. It contains various design and decorations which is certainly something needs to be observed meticulously.)  => Array ( [name] => Pakutia Zamindar Bari [post_id] => 8891 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/pakutia-zamindar-bari/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pakutia-Jomidar-Bari-011-300x225.jpg [post_content] =>
Pakutia Zamindar Bari resides under the administration of Nagarpur of Tangail district. This Zamindar Bari complex comprises of three main buildings. Out of these three, one is much larger compared to other two’s. The larger one is using as a Degree college these days and also the college authority holds the ownership of other two edifices as well. But they have rented Pakutia Zamindar Bari to other organization.
Initially the Zamindari was established by the hand of Ramkrishna Shaha Mondol at the early of 19th century. He has two sons named Radha Gobinda and Brindaban Chandra. Radha Gobinda didn't have any children but Brindaban Chandra had three. They are Brojendro Mohon, Upendra Mohon and Jogendra Mohon. Childless Radha Gobinda adopted the second son of his brother and later gave his whole property to him.
These three brothers later built three separate buildings for them in 1915 (almost 100 years from now). Each of the buildings are having extreme artwork & design, stylish columns, and small statues. Each inches of the building is having a delicate design that impresses everyone even these days. Top of the building is having a lovely sculpture type architecture that is rich in design, concept, and artwork (more if I consider the building period) in this modern days. Apart from these, there are several large ponds located at the backyard of the building.
This Zamindar family was friendly towards the villagers. They have established a school during 1916 named as Brindaban Chandra Radha Gobinda School (in short B.C.R.G. School) for their father and uncle. They have left this country during the 1947 separation. Later in 1967, the government established B.C.R.G Degree College on these buildings to commemorate the friendly Zamindar family. Apart from the Zamindar Bari, the premise now has a temple which probably used by the families who lived here. Also there is an open theater available that was used to arrange the local play or drama known as Jatra/Pala (যাত্রা/পালা).)  => 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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