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1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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600-year-old Khan Jahan Ali Road still draws attraction

BSS, Bagerhat
600-year-old Khan Jahan Ali Road still draws attraction

Any ancient road or building or archeological site has a mystical charm that reveals the true nature of the area concerned. As we live in modern times with beautiful roads, highways and buildings, the ancient Khan Jahan Ali Road, one of the remarkable road infrastructures in Bagerhat, is the primeval structure.

If the 600-year-old ancient road could speak, it would tell endless tales of people’s way of living, their livelihood, social fabric and economic scenario as well. Testament to a culture and tradition of the whole region, this 600-year-old road was set up in an area surrounded by dense mangrove forest-the Sundarbans- with maze of rivers and the Bay of Bengal.

The legendary Muslim preacher and warrior Khan Jahan Ali turned the old Khalifatabad into a livable region by constructing a number of mosques, roads, bridges and ponds.

Anyone who walks through the ancient road that was built over 600 years ago, he or she will be thrilled to ponder over that how many people had walked on the road in the past. And, now he or she is walking on the footprints of the people many of whom are no more.

It is the ancient road constructed by Muslim Sufi saint and the then local ruler in Bagerhat Khan Jahan Ali. For any lover of ancient structures or archeological sites it would be hard to fathom how most part of the historic road disappeared and only one kilometre of the road still remains as witness of time.

The ancient Khan Jahan Ali Road is one of the remarkable road infrastructures in Bagerhat. The Sufi saint and Muslim ruler made the old Khalifatabad a livable region.

Although the exact time of the road’s construction could not be known, it is thought that it would have been built at any time of the fifteenth century.  Many people think that the road might have been built as a road-cum-city protection embankment.

According to historians and archeologists, the length and wide of the road from Khan Jahan’s residence to Knathaltala are about one kilometre and 4.87 metres respectively. It is commonly known as ‘Kanjalir Road’ among locals.

The ‘Kanjalir Road’ was mentioned in Bengal District Gazetteer and books-Keshobpurer Bidyanandokathi in Joshore, Joshorer Barobazar and Khalifatabad Hote Chattogram Porjanto Khanjalir Road.

About the direction of the Khalifatabad Hote Chattogram Porjanto Khanjalir Road, historian Satish Chandra Mitra said the road entered Barishal district crossing Baleshbar starting from the eastern direction of the Shatgambuj and crossing Bagerhat town through Karapara-Basabati village-Bhairabkul-near Baleshbar-Boitpur-Kachuya-Chingrikhali village.

But the existence of the road from Barishal to Chandpur was not known after the 16th century. The road might have lost its existing in a severe earthquake like many localities through disappearing into the river changing direction of the Parmatma Kirtanacha Padma.

Ulugh Khan Jahan proved his skills, foresight and construction efficiency like architecture in constructing the road.

 The historians think that the road of the middle-age Khalifatabad city was constructed with bricks to increase beauty of the city and ensure civic amenities.

There is no information of existence of any road in the country which was built 600 years ago except the Khan Jahan Ali Road. The government declared the road as an archaeological site and an ancient road in 2011.

Bagerhat Museum Custodian Golam Ferdous said people know about the Grand Trunk Road built by Sher Shah in the 16th century but they do not know about the ancient road, which was built by Khan Jahan Ali about 100 years before the Grand Trunk Road was constructed.

About the history of the brick-made road, he said the ancient Khan Jahan Ali Road was ended reaching the Shrine of Bayazid Bostami in Chattogram via Bagerhat and Barishal.

Stressing the need for maintaining and preserving the historical road, the archeologist said, “We should make the Khan Jahan Ali Road branding to attract tourists since people still know a little about this archeological site”.

Afroza Khan Mita, the regional director of Archeological Department Khulna, said the department has already preserved one kilometre of the ancient road restricting vehicular movement, but its maintenance is a crying need.

 

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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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