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20 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Nakipur Zamindar House

M Mahmud Ali
Nakipur Zamindar House

Once, Jashahor (present Satkhira and Jessore districts) was a princely state of south Bengal. Maharaja Pratapaditya was its king and his capital was located at present-day Dhumghat village in Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira. After the fall of Pratapaditya, Haricharan Roy Chowdhury became the most influential and wealthy zamindar (landlord) of southern Bengal from 1885 to 1915.

The zamindar built a palatial house in 1888 at Nakipur village in Shyamnagar upazila. Locally known as ‘Nakipur Zamindar Bari’, it is about 62km northeast of Satkhira city. According to historical records, the entire Nakipur estate comprised 200,000 lakh acres of land that spread from Hingalganj in West Bengal, India to Shyamnagar in Satkhira.  

Haricharan Roy didn’t spend his life enjoying wealth and luxury. He carried out a number of activities, including excavating water reservoirs, building roads and planting trees, for people’s welfare. He was a strong promoter of education and several educational institutions were established with his financial support. Among these, Nakipur HC (Haricharan Chowdhury) Minor School is notable. Established in 1899, it is now known as Nakipur Pilot High School.

When the zamindar died in 1915, Nakipur estate was run by his two sons, who too died in 1937 and 1949 respectively. The zamindari system was abolished in 1950, and Haricharan Roy’s descendants moved to West Bengal in 1954. Since then, the zamindar house lies abandoned.  

According to Charu Chandra Mondal, a retired headmaster and writer, the house was built on 12 bigha (about four acres) of land, and included a garden house. It was a massive L-shaped three-storied building, consisting of 85 rooms. There were 27 rooms on the ground floor and 58 rooms of various sizes on the top two floors. The roof was made of lime-girder. There were verandahs on all sides. There was a basement which was used for storage. There were staircases in the middle of the house and in front of the main entrance door. The ground floor was used for offices and there were sitting rooms on both sides of the stairs. There were four gates to enter the house, with a large lion gate in the front.

There was a large dighi (water reservoir) to the south of the house, but it no longer exists. On the left side of the dighi, there was a two-storied nahabatkhana (drum house), which is in ruins now. There was a small pond closer to the house for women. There are two Shiva temples on its dilapidated ghat (paved steps).

The estate now lies in ruins, with parts of its beautiful buildings still standing. One can easily visualise their past glory by observing the ruins. The spectacular L-shaped house does not exist as before, its southern part has already disappeared.

All movable property of the zamindar house has been taken away by local influential people. In the darkness of the night, bricks, precious stones, valuable iron beams and timber are stolen. In addition, women and children remove bricks during the day, but there is no one to stop them. Two local families were found living in the abandoned house during a recent visit.

The heritage house is now in a perilous condition. Initiatives are needed to preserve Nakipur Zamindar Bari now. 

References: Archaeological Survey Report of Greater Khulna District (In Bengali), DOA, 2004; Historical Monuments of Satkhira, Asiatic Society, 2008; History of Jessore and Khulna, Satish Chandra Mitra, 1329 BS; History of Nakipur Zamindarbari, Charu Chandra Mondal, Satkhira, 1988.

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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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