Andharkota-The mysterious temple-Nawabganj
Andharkota or the palace or Temple of Khelaramdata. The location of this temple is in the Kolakopa Union of Nawabganj near Dhaka. Andharkota is the most mysterious archaeological site in Kolakopa. The founder of this temple was Khelaram. He was a leader of a robbery group. It is said that he built this temple by robbing gold coins and wealth. He built a tunnel from the banks of the Ichamati River to his house. All the looted wealth was brought home from the ships through this tunnel. Even though Khelaram was a robber, he was a philanthropist. He used to donate his looted gold and coins to the poor and needy. No one ever returned from him empty-handed for help. Later he was called Khelaramdata for his generosity and modesty. Khelaram and his mother lived in this house. He was very devoted to his mother. It is said that once his mother wanted to eat mango and milk, Khelaram made a huge tank and poured mango and milk into it. He brought his mother into the tank. His mother was swimming and ate the tank’s mango and milk.
There are many superstitions surrounding this house. Local people claim it is a haunted house. There are no people around the temple. Many tourists had come here and confessed to many terrible experiences. At present, a guard is appointed to look after it and keep the temple clean. It is also known that there are many controversies about the death of the owner of this house Khelaram. According to some, he went to bathe in the pond in front of the house and then never came back. Later, his body was rescued from the pond. Another local old man said. Khelaramdata did not die, he vanished and never came back home. Even today, no one knows what, why, or how he disappeared.
Structure of Andharkota-
No one could give a piece of exact information that when this house or temple of Khelaramdata was built. However, it is believed that this temple was built around the 19th or 20th century and the temple is about 500 years old. Although the temple was in red color, now some changes have been made by renovation. Instead of red color, the temple was painted white color. Small doors are cut in the whole house. The ground floor doors have been repaired and closed. The jungle inside the house has been cleared and the floor has been cemented. Each upstairs room has doors and stairs on both sides. There are numerous small houses inside it. The stairs of the house are very narrow. According to local people, it was a five-storied building. In one night its three floors went underground, and only two floors survived. You can walk down to the first floor by the stairs. The rest of the stairs go underground and are quite dark. Many people say that it is a hidden temple. When the whole building starts to emerge overnight, it goes underground again when someone sees it. It is named Andharkota by villagers because it looks dark from the outside.
There is a total of 9 rooms on the upper floor. Around 8 houses are similar. The middle house is monastery shaped. This is the most beautiful room in this temple. It is said that this room was used as a temple in this palace. I heard from many people that it was a ballroom or a dance room. This middle room is a little different from the rest. Since it is a monastery, the upper part is dome-shaped. This room is decorated with beautiful terracotta work all around and the top of the dome is also carved in red. This middle room is surrounded by 4 doors and stairs. There is the famous tank in a room where Khelaram’s mother swam and drank mango milk. The cube tank is very small and has a tube attached to it. There are small channels all around the second floor. Why this channel was created is unknown. The wall of the house
There is a huge lake in front of the palace. Khelaram died in this lake. Although there are many differences of opinion about it. There is a proverb about the Dighi that it was “Sonar Nao Pawaner Baitha”. Actually, villagers believe that this lake had supernatural power once upon a time. The mysterious lake fulfilled the demand of villagers. Gold coins, money used to come out from this lake. Gopinath Chandra, a local resident of Kolakopa told us- By standing on the bank of this lake, if anyone wanted something like money or any expensive things, it would come up automatically. However, the condition was that villagers cannot be used extra things from here. They must be brought back to the lake that stuffs when the work is done. But humans are so much greedy by born. someone disobeyed the conditions and didn’t return. After that nothing ever came out of the pond. He also said that once this lake was huge and boat race games were used to organize there.
How to go to Andharkota or Khelaramdata Palace-
Andharkota is located in Panalia Village in kolakopa Union of Nawabganj Police Station of Dhaka District.
If you go a little further along the road to Tatibazar in front of the Golapshah shrine in Gulistan, Dhaka, you will see the Jamuna, Nobokoli, etc. buses. The fare is 80 taka per person. You can come by bus and get off at Nawabganj Bazar and take an auto to Andharkota. The auto fare from Nobabganj Bajar is 20-30 Tk per person.
Where to stay in Nawabganj-
In Nawabganj tours, tourists generally do not stay overnight. However, if you want to stay at night, you have to come to Nawabganj Bazar. Nawabganj residential hotel is here. Besides, there is Zila Parishad Dak Bungalow on the opposite side of the City Bank. Shamim Guest House and Kolakopa Guest House are adjacent to Adnan Palace on the main road from Andharkota. You can spend the night in any hotel or guest house according to your choice.
Food Hotels in Nawabganj-
There are no food hotels around Andharkota. So come to the main road and take an auto or rickshaw to Nawabganj Bazar. There are many more food hotels including Bismillah Biryani House, Al-Madinah Hotel, etc.
Places to visit around Andharkota-
Andharkota is basically located inside Panalia village. On the way here you will see many old zamindar or old houses. There is also Adnan Palace, Ansar Camp, Judge Bari (now Jharna Garden), Ukilbari, Kokilpari Zamindar House, Brazen Saha Zamindar House, and many more old houses. If you have time, you can go to Mainot Ghat or Bahra Ghat in Doha.
Andharkota Travel Precautions and Tips-
1) The place is very quiet, so it is better not to go there alone.
2) Must leave this place before evening.
3) Dhaka buses are not available in Nawabganj after 8 pm. So try to back to Dhaka after the evening.
4) Night CNG from Nawabganj to Babubazar Bridge of Gulistan. But it is safe not to come to CNG at night if you are alone.
5) Currently authority doesn’t allow visitors inside Andharkota. So, you can’t go inside.
6) Do not write on the walls of the building and do not litter the surroundings.
7) After the Andharkota tour you can visit the zamindar or old houses around Panalia. Hope you like it.
8) Successors of landlords are currently living in the old houses of Panalia village. So don’t do anything that makes them angry.