In the evolution of time, zamindars and zamindari systems have emerged from the land of Bengal long ago, but their history and tradition have not been erased. The houses and various structures built by the zamindars are still standing today. One such zamindar house is the Jahapur Zamidar Bari in Muradnagar, Comilla.
The name of this zamindar house is Jahapur Zamindar Bari (Jahapur Zamindar Bari).Although the age of the zamindar’s house is 400 years, the age of their zamindari is not so long. Originally the zamindari was established on 7 Magh (1280 AD) in 1862 BS the zamindari started . The zamindari of this dynasty started from Radhika Mohan Das,to zamindar gouri mohan dash of Saroji Mahal in Dhaka district. At the same time his brothers Ram Dayal and Kamalakanta Roy got zamindari. They have been involved in business for a long time. They collected rent from the tenants and submitted it to the Nawabs of Dhaka.
There are two lion statues at the first entrance of the zamindar’s house. This zamindar house has a total of 10 palaces or buildings. The first building has three floors and all of them have two floors. Two of the buildings were almost destroyed. And a few herbs are worn out. The rest is still pretty good.
The last building of the zamindar house was built by Ashwini Kumar Roy, the grandfather of the present descendant Professor Anjan Kumar Roy. He also established the chariot and temple of Jagannath Dev here. All the buildings have different types of floral designs. Even the window grills have designs. It is known that the masons of Bikrampur in Dhaka were brought to design the houses. The designs of the buildings have been made in Mughal style. The buildings are in English type I and L type.
As you enter through the main gate you will see a temple. This is the Nat Temple. Devotees gather here during Durga Puja. Next to it is the idol of Goddess Durga. The statue has been permanently erect.
From here go straight to the ananda mahal. The present descendants are living in this palace. Here we will meet the 11th descendant Shri Ashish Kumar Roy, Samarendra Roy and Ajit Kumar Roy. Besides, there are Professor Anjan Kumar Roy, Principal Ranjan Kumar Roy and their families. They are currently looking after this huge house. Two more families of zamindars are living here. You may not meet any of them.
In front of your eyes you will see the inscription ‘1334 BS’ engraved on the door of the building. It was made by Anjan Kumar Roy’s grandfather Ashwini Kumar Roy. This is the last building of the manor house. There is a wide veranda (balcony) in front of it. The height of the ceiling from the floor is 14 feet. At the bottom of the roof you will see carved ceilings made of wood and iron. You will see a narrow staircase to go up to the second floor. Get up a little and stand in the middle. 8 to 10 rooms on the second floor. If you wish, you can see the whole zamindar house with an area of about 3 acres from the roof.
You will see high walls on the outside of the house. There is a barbed wire fence on one side. Visit all the buildings one by one.
Now enter Rani Mahal. Going there will remind you of Rani Nanda Rani, Mahamaya Roy, and Shyama Sundari Devi. There was a pond in front of Rani Mahal. The queens used to take a bath by mixing saffron in the water of that pond. Besides, the queens used to perform housework by fetching water on the 3rd floor through a hand pump.
Let’s go to the bedroom. You will see the fancy beds used by the zamindars, the designed chairs, the easy chairs lying down, the vases decorated with ornaments. If you ask anyone, you will know that the furniture made of teak wood is more than a hundred years old.
Now proceed towards Aina Mahal. Every evening there used to be regathering to enjoy the festival of dance-songs here. You will see one or two hijack lights used at that time. Fancy zamindars used to use jarbati. However, as there was no electricity, candles were used in them. Since there was no electric fan then a hand fan was used. If you look for such a fan, you have to ask Ranjan Babu.
You will see a small garden in front of the house. At one time this garden was decorated with colorful flowering plants brought from different countries of the world. The golachi tree brought from Orissa was alive for a long time. There are still eye-catching Parijat, Chapa, Magnesium and Konakchampa. There were also separate orchards.
Now you go to the dining room. There used to be a few regular cooks here. Apart from the members of the zamindar’s family, the employees, pike-pedestrians are also used to eating and drinking here . You can charm your eyes by seeing a plate of white stone used by landlords.
Keep an eye around the dining room, a lot of rare things will catch the eye. Currently we use filters to purify water. One can understand how health conscious the zamindars were even 100 years ago by looking at the filter next to the door. If you look at the bottom of the filter, you will see a small text, ‘Made in London’.
Now step out of the dining room. On the way out you will see an umbrella. However, it was not an ordinary umbrella, it’s an umbrella with a silver handle. Zamindar used to go out, two or three people would hand the umbrella to give shade.
Now get out of the main house and go to the crematorium. Many zamindars including zamindars Ram Mohan Roy, Krishnamohan Roy and Gauri Mohan Roy are buried here. However, according to Hindu custom, the saint Kamalakanta Roy was buried in soil instead of burning in fire. Candles are lit here every evening. All Hindus and Muslims respected him.
How to go
Various buses leave from Dhaka Saidabad to Comilla or Companigonj . You will reach the cantonment adjacent to Mainamati just 2 hours before Comilla town. If you get on the bus in Companyganj, you don’t have to change the bus anymore. If you get on the bus from Comilla, you have to get off at Mainamati. From here you have to get on the bus to Companiganj and get off at Pannarpool in Debidwar. Jahapur zamindar’s house is located at a distance of 10 km from there on Bakhrabad road.
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