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8 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Saturia Zamindar Bari

M Mahmud Ali
Saturia Zamindar Bari

There are a number of heritage sites in Jhalakathi that attract visitors time and again. During my visit to the district, the outstanding architectural brilliance of a few zamindar houses and surrounding natural beauty of those places delighted me. If someone is interested to visit Kirtipasha, Sidhdhokathi and Saha Bari zamindar houses, then it would be better to take a look at Saturia Zamindar House, also known as Mia Bari, first.

Mia Bari is located at Saturia village under Rajapur upazila of Jhalakathi (formerly Bakerganj) district, behind Bekutia ferry terminal. Built nearly 300 years ago, it is one of the oldest zamindar (landlord) houses of the district.

The house is the birthplace of the great Bengali statesman and lawyer, Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq. He was born at Mia Bari, his maternal uncle’s house, on October 26, 1873. His father’s house was at Chakhar village in Banaripara of Barisal district. His father, also a lawyer, passed away when he was a little boy and he completed his primary education from a moktab (religious school) at Saturia village.

At present, the zamindar house exists on 30 acres of land, though a vast area has been occupied by land-grabbers. But there still stands, with architectural elegance, several small and large well-decorated buildings, some huge water reservoirs with ghats and flower gardens. Fazlul Huq used to swim in one of the reservoirs, the boundary of which was made of stone. Besides his childhood, he passed a lot of his professional life in the house.

The Department of Archaeology (DOA) listed the zamindar bari as a protected site for preservation several years ago. But, DOA has not done any restoration work there. The department just put up a notice board saying it is a protected site. At present, the ceilings are crumbling in most of the buildings, the floors are damaged and there are cracks in the walls. If the house is not preserved immediately, it will be in ruins soon.

It is another little visited heritage site in Bangladesh that travellers hardly explore. I always prefer to go to less visited sites, so that more people will become interested to visit the historical places and create public awareness.

Reference:  Brihattar Barishaler Oitihashik Nidarshan by Saiful Ahsan Bulbul (2012), and District of Bakerganj _ Its History and Statistics (1876).

Photos: Writer.

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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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