13 Zamindars’ estate spooky forest now!
Published: 11:12 PM, 3 October 2019 Updated: 11:13 PM, 3 October 2019
Imagine, a place where all the buildings were built in the Colonial period’s architecture. Footmen-guards are on duty with stick and spear on the gate. Children and women’s clamor is buzzing in zenana (house-inside). As soon as the evening arrives, the locality gets pomped with conch-sound. In the presence of famous singers from Kolkata song gathering is organized in a building lightened with thousands of lanterns and fluttering lights. Somewhere fair is going on. A barge is anchored in the Jamuna river bank, beside the village. Maybe after a while, the Jamindar along with his group will start for his land of his own area for looking over.
After hearing the old story from the locals of Haturia village, in a remote area of Bera Upazilla in Pabna; you may see such a view through your imaginary eye. A Zamindar was the collector of land revenue of a certain region during the Mughal rule and British colonial times. Once upon a time, there lived 13 Jamindars (landlord) together in this village. They had also land, out of the greater Pabna. Being the 13 Zamindars’ village, the village was truly astonishingly colorific.
At present, there is nothing left of the heritage except the broken buildings and a few ponds. The village, once full of splendor, today has no end of problems. There is no suitable road. Due to the lack of drainage systems, there is waterlogging around the wide area. Due to the unhealthy environment, people are being suffered from different diseases. The biggest thing is that most of the residents of this village are leading a miserable life due to losing everything in the river erosion. Many of the areas have turned into a spooky forest because of the absence of people and lack of maintenance.
During the Zamindari period, the village was known as one of the elite areas and trade centers of the Greater Pabna district. The fame of Haturia village also existed in Kolkata. There was a direct waterway to Kolkata from the near river port of Nakalia. It was easy to move anywhere in the country from this village. So besides the Zamindars, elite class and rich people also lived here at that time.
About a hundred years ago there were two Zamindars in Haturia village. Gradually it was raised to 13. They were, Pramthanath Bagchi, Kancinath Bagchi, Upendranath Bagchi, Bhabanicharan Bagchi, Kalisundar Roy, Kshirod Chandra Roy, Suren Chandra Roy, Sudhanshu Mohan Roy, Shaktinath Roy, Bankim Roy, Kudhiram Bhandik Pal, Yudunath Bhumna Pal.
According to the local elderly people, the period of residence of these Zamindars in Haturia village was approximately from 1915 or later. Until abolishing the landlord system, they operated estates from this village.
The most prominent Zamindar’s name was Pramathnath Bagchi. Despite having so many landlords in one village, there was no conflict. However, there was an ongoing competition between them for celebrating various festivals, including worship. Everyone had own home in Kolkata. After the abolition of the Zamindari system, everyone moved to Kolkata permanently before partition.
Every one of the Zamindars lived in the palace surrounded by boundary. There was a large pond or dighi on the side of the palace. Some of the ponds have been filled up due to lack of conservation and renovation. The rest is 6-7. However, the current condition of them is very poor. The same situation is with the buildings. After the ownership change, some buildings were demolished and some were destroyed naturally. There are still two or three buildings as ruins. Few families are living there with risk.
This ancient-historical place is on the way of loss due the lack of preservation. Experts, analysts along with the locals demand the proper preservation of this historical architecture.
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