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12 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM

Tranquility at Mahera Zamindar Bari

Tranquility at Mahera Zamindar Bari

Moyuraxmi Sanyal

We all need a break from our daily life. Thus, my family took the initiative to have one. In spite of my lethargic character, I agreed to go on the family trip. Why? Because my mother would destroy me if I did not! Little did I know how this trip would turn out to be a blissful one.
The day had arrived and I started it typically with the usual groaning and refusal to leave the bed. However, I lost this time and had to finally get up.
It was a cold December morning. We started roughly at 8:30am. I was determined to sleep in the car, because I did not want to deal with any migraine situation. Soon, our car had reached the place.
I looked around and was dubious of how my day would turn out to be. I was literally appalled to see a group of police trainees walking past me. I couldn’t really think of anything, so I decided to follow my mom’s lead.
The place was near Tangail. I don’t know how far it is from Dhaka, but it took roughly two hours to get there. After going through various signs, I figured the place was basically an archeological site that featured the residence of zamindars from the 19th Century. It was now renovated and used as a training centre for the police.
The surroundings were beautiful, I must say. So, I decided to look around on my own. However, some areas were restricted.
The place is known as Mahera Zamindar Bari, built in 1890. The decades-old archeological site consists of several lodges built by four zamindar brothers, named Kalicharan Saha, Buddhu Saha, Harendra Saha and Budai Saha. The four brothers are believed to have started zamindari rule in the area. In later days, their sons adopted the title ‘Roy Chowdhury’, in place of ‘Saha’.
The zamindar palace is divided into four residential buildings, called ‘lodges’ _ Maharaj Lodge, Kalicharan Lodge, Chowdhury Lodge and Ananda lodge. The whole estate takes up an area of approximately 8 acres.
The first billboard indicated that the first lodge was Singhadar and Kalicharan Lodge, built in 1890 by Kalicharan Saha. The building is famous for its architectural beauty and intricate designs. It is also mentioned that the lodge had temples in front, where Kalicharan’s wife used to perform religious rituals.
We took scores of photos, with my mother and I awkwardly posing under the harsh sunlight.
The next lodge was called ‘Chowdhury Lodge’, also built in 1890, located to the east of all the other lodges. The building is associated with Sudhindro Kumar Roy Chowdhury. The lodge is two-storied and it is currently being used as a regional corporate office. It has six workrooms. Chowdhury Lodge is also famous for its unique architectural designs.
Once again, many photos were taken. However, to my delight, I was the one who photographed my parents this time as they posed awkwardly!
To our surprise, there was a mini zoo there as well where poor animals were caged for the amusement of us humans. My mother found the turkeys very fascinating and thus, took the brave decision of approaching them. However, the turkeys refused her love and started screaming at her! Aghast, my mother left the place almost running.
After all the zoo melodrama and myriads of photographs of the animals, we came across a pond, which is known as ‘Pashra Pukur’, also dug in 1890.
The pond has its history as it used to be shared equally between Maharaj Lodge and Ananda Lodge. The pond isn’t very wide, but very deep. It is said that the wives and daughters of the Maharaja and Ananda Lodge’s zamindars bathed in the pond.
The pond had a very nice tree-house like sitting arrangement in the middle, connected by a bridge. A perfect place to take photos, I must say! My mother and I decided to go there and rest for a bit, while my dad chatted with the caretakers. We stayed there for an hour and took photographs, with my mother posing for the camera.
Then, we went to see the Maharaj Lodge. It is huge and the details are so impeccable that it looks surreal. This is the largest lodge in the whole Zamindar Bari. The lodge has 10 large rooms and the unique fusion of western and eastern architectural features makes it even special. The most famous inhabitant of the Maharaj Lodge was Gajendra Kuman Roy Chowdhury, an honorary magistrate during British colonial rule in undivided Bengal.
By the time we were done visiting the whole place, it was 2pm. We took off and went to Tangail city to visit the house of my father’s friend. They cordially greeted us and oh, how nice it was to see the two old university friends reuniting after 26 years! We all chatted and had lunch. After that, family photographs were taken.
We finally started back for Dhaka at 6pm. I was too tired to stay awake during the return journey and fell asleep.
We reached home by 9pm and we were all exhausted by then. However, our minds were rejuvenated like never before!

Photos: Harun ar Rashid

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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