‘Quiet Flows the Chitra River’, the title of Tanvir Mokammel’s popular film, perfectly describes the environment of that lovely river.
At this season, some of those waters are, rather disconcertingly, choked by a moving, vivid green, carpet of weed. But elegant and immaculate at the top of a brick stair way stands the mid 18th Century classical pavilion, built as the landing place for the Zaminder and his guests in the days when, perhaps more sensibly than today, so travel was undertaken by river.
Elegant, yet classically solid, the structure, with iron girders supporting the roof, clearly marked Frodingham Iron and Steel Co.Ltd., a British Iron Foundry in North East England, set up only about 1860, have defied the depredations of weather, war and land development, to present one of the few intact monuments of that period in Bangladesh’s history.
It is believed by some local people that this monument, too, is being eyed for demolition. It is to be hoped they are wrong, although, sadly, some authorities in the country, it appears, have still to understand the real potential for the tourism that, on average around the world accounts for about 9% of GDP, and that tourism development is not about providing beds, as much as providing, or preferably conserving, attractions, such as the Landing Place at Narail.