Best Places to Travel in Nawabganj, Dhaka
Once upon a time, the zamindars dominated large parts of Bengal. The purpose of their arrival in Bengal was to conduct business. A large part of Bengal’s products like handloom and muslin products, rice, pulse, oil, spices, and salt used to go abroad by ship from here. Their residences and business were built around the river-centered areas. The Zamindars built their houses with great care. The sign of these houses is scattered all over Bengal. During the 1971 war, the landlords of these houses fled away to India. Each brick of these well-crafted old houses remembers us the history. The old Zamindar houses of Nawabganj
stand as a witness to such a history. This Nawabganj easily came into light by the Nawabs/Zamindars as it was on the banks of the Ichamati River. Although these architectures are scattered all over Nawabganj, the most noticeable ones are in Kalakopa and Bandura areas.
Today, I will try to highlight those old historical zamindar houses of Nawabganj, which are located near Dhaka and are almost lost elegance in the evolution of time. And also share all of the beautiful places of Nawabganj.
How to go to Nawabganj –
The easiest way to go to Nawabganj is through Gulistan. In front of the Golapshah shrine (Tatibazar road) in Gulistan, you will see Jamuna, Nobokoli, etc. buses. The fare is 80 taka per person. You can come by bus and get down in front of Judge Bari or Ansar camp, Kolakopa.
CNG goes to Bagmara Bazar in Nawabganj from under the Babubazar overbridge. You can go with CNG if you want. The fare is 150 taka-200 taka per person. Then take an auto and go to Judge Bari or Ansar Camp. Auto fare 20-30 Tk.
Where to stay in Nawabganj-
In the Nawabganj tour generally, tourists do not stay overnight. However, if you want to stay at night, you must 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 Kalakopa Guest House are adjacent to Adnan Palace on the main road. You can spend the night in any hotel or guest house according to your choice.
Food Hotels in Nawabganj-
You will find many food hotels in Nawabganj Bazar or Bagmara Bazar. There are many more food hotels including Bismillah Biryani House, and Al-Madinah Hotel. Besides, if you want, you can eat at Sonabaju Beribadh’s floating restaurant. After the evening, must visit “Cha Bari Restaurant” and try their Unlimited Panipuri and Cha (tea). I really love those.
Best places of Nawabganj at a glance –
The earlier name of Judge Bari was Braj Niketon. It was named after Zamindar Brajen Saha. Judge’s house is one of the most beautiful zamindar houses in Nawabganj and I was impressed by it. It looks a lot like the Mahera Zamindar house of Tangail. Its beauty has increased more due to renovation. This huge house has a pond ghat, where fish are cultivated. There are also deer in a small zoo. You cannot enter inside the house so you have to enjoy its beauty from the outside.
Ukil Bari/Jharna Garden Cafe-
Ukil Bari has been renovated and its present name is Jharna Garden Cafe and Restaurant. The entrance door and the entire interior are decorated with lighting. There is a pond with ghat in front of the house. A restaurant has been established on the side of the house. Various types of food, snacks, and drinks are available here. The Ukil’s house is now crowded with visitors during the night rather than daytime.
Anand Villa is located opposite the lawyer’s house. It is also an old building. However, the house is currently occupied by the descendants of the owner.
Kokilpeari Zamindar House-
Next to the lawyer’s house, this zamindar house stands as another witness of history. This huge building can be seen from the road. There was no way not to be impressed by its construction and design. This house has not been renovated so it was a blessing for me to see the old architecture. Standing in front of this house, I felt very insignificant. Such a big house, with a perfect design, and huge pillars, and I was thinking about the intelligence and qualities of the workers of that era. At present, the teachers of Kokilpeari school have been living here.
Beheaded Idol /Buddhist Temple-
There are two Buddhist temples located in front of the Kokilpeary Zamindar house. Buddhist temple in front of a Hindu landlord’s house! The matter is mysterious. But this mystery could not be unveiled. During the war of 1971, Pakistanis broke the head of this idol, said local residents.
Kolakopa Ansar Camp-
Ansar camp is situated along the road next to the Kokilparry Zamindar house. This Ansar camp is spread over a large area and has many old Zamindar houses inside it. Currently, those houses are used as residences for government officials and Ansar members. I saw some more old abandoned houses from outside. No one can enter the Ansar camp without permission except the members of Ansar and the official residents.
Teli Bari/ Moth Bari-
The founder of Telibari was Zamindar Loknath Saha. The owner of the house Loknath Babu had an oil (Tel in Bengali) business that’s why people have known this house as Teli Bari. Currently, the house is under the Ansar camp, so entry is prohibited. But I saw its beauty from the outside. Ichamati River is next to it. For resting along the banks of the river, the benches have been placed in front of the house
Madhubabu’s Painna house, Poddar house, and Kali house-
After crossing the Ansar camp and walking along the road to the right (the Ichamati River on the left side), you will see another large aesthetic Painna Zamindar house. The landlord’s name was Madhubabu. Currently, his son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren have been living in this house through inheritance. However, due to poverty, almost all the portion of the house has been sold, said the son of the current owner of the house. It was very sad to see that the entire sold part was divided by a wall.
If you walk along the road from Painna house, you will find Poddar house, Kali House, and many more old buildings.
Andharkota or Khelaramdata Temple-
Andharkota is the most mysterious and thrilling place in Kalakopa of Nawabganj. The robbery leader Khelaram had built this temple or palace. There is a pond/Lake in front of the house. It is said that by standing in front of this Dighi/Pond, villagers could get whatever they wanted. Entry inside this two-storied building is currently prohibited. Andharkota details travel guideline
Adnan Palace Park-
Adnan Palace is a Zamindar house originally built during the British period. It has now been renovated and converted into a park. You have to buy a ticket to enter. The ticket price is Tk 50 (per person). Apart from the main landlord’s house, many rides have been arranged inside. You can visit Adnan Palace with families and children.
Sonabaju embankment is one of the most beautiful places in Nawabganj. Rows of trees and greenery all around will make you mesmerize instantly. There is a floating restaurant here. The beauty of this place doubles during monsoons.
Shahi vanga(Broken) Mosque –
Many people believe that this 400-year-old mosque was created in a supernatural way. It is located in Bandura, Nawabganj. It is said that this mosque started to rise one night, but when someone saw it, it remained incomplete. One side of the mosque is broken so it is named a broken mosque.
Its location is in a place called Majhir Kanda of Nawabganj. This idol is built under a huge banyan tree. Every year Hindu devotees perform puja around this idol. Fairs are also organized here. But, at present, there is no existence of this idol.
Jopmala Queen’s Church-
This temple located in the Hasnabad area of Nawabganj was established in 1777. The interior of the church is very beautiful and there is a huge field in front of it. Many missionary camps are built around the church. It is currently inaccessible.
Ichamati River is the soul of Nawabganj. Being located along the banks of the river, the zamindars extended their dominance here. You can refresh yourself by sitting on the bank of the river for a while. If you want, you can explore the surroundings by boat or trawler. The boat will cost 200-500 Tk per hour.
Wonderella Water Park-
If you want to spend time with family, friends or children, you can come to this Wonderella Park. Entry Fee- 100 Tk. Apart from the various rides, the park has enough space to sit and chat. The park is located on the main road on the way to Kalakopa.
There are also some places you can visit–
-Birthplace of Mahakabi Kaykobad-
Agla, Nobabganj is the birthplace of the great poet Kaykobad. Although Kaykobad was born here, no initiative has been taken here to retain his memory. A school named after this poet and a bridge were built but these did not gain much popularity.
-Afazuddin Shah’s shrine, Galimpur
Travel Precautions and Tips-
1) No entry allow inside Andharkota, Judge house, Teli house/Moth house.
2) Food from outside is not allowed inside Adnan Palace.
3) Dhaka buses are not available in Nawabganj after 8 pm. So try to back to Dhaka after the evening.
4) Without buses, you can go back by CNG from Nawabganj to Babubazar Bridge of Gulistan. But it is safe not to come to CNG at night if you are alone.
6) These old houses are our heritage so don’t write on the walls and litter around.
8) Descendants of hereditary landlords are living in the old houses. So don’t do anything that makes them angry.
5) Avoid shouting and making noise while visiting old houses.
6) Tourists can’t visit the old buildings inside the Ansar camp.