Thursday, July 28, 2011


The history of Savar, now one of the centres of the flourishing Ready Made Garments industry in Bangladesh, is an ancient one. The site of a Buddhist Vihara, probably from an early period, since some believe that there is evidence in nearby Dhamrai that it was one of the places in Bangladesh where the Lord Buddha himself preached, lies in the centre of the bustling town.
Remains of Buddhist Vihara near Savar

More contemporarily, are the monuments to the considerable activity in the area of freedom fighters during the 1971 Liberation War, including the National Monument.
It is probably unsurprising to find the Vihara almost certainly incorrectly described as the palace of a Buddhist King, Harish Chandra, but also unsurprising to find two ‘Stately Homes’ nearby.
Stately Home of a Zaminder, Savar Bangladesh

 Both evidently 19th Century in origin, with 20th Century additions, there were probably the residences of Zamindari. The presence of Hindu Temples suggest that both were the homes of Hindu Zaminders, who may well have fled at the time of Partition in 1947, or certainly at the time of the abolition of the Zaminder office in 1950.
Hindu Temple, Savar Bangladesh

At the time of abolition, there were about 150 Zaminders working in the lands of Bangladesh, and that means that there are about 150 such palaces and stately homes across this fertile land.
Having been evidently acquired by businessmen, both homes seem to be in a reasonable state of conservation, if not preservation.

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