Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Historical Pagla Bridge or Temple..??

Historical ruins at Pagla on Dhaka-Narayanganj Road (Feb 2007)

Deity of Shiva on the extension of historical structure

Temple priest in renovated area

pic of Pagla Bridge ruins (early 1990's) from the book of Prof Muntasir Mamun

Pic of 1890 from the book of Prof. Muntasir Mamun

Photo of Pagla Bridge taken by Hoffman in 1880 (British Museum)

Charles D'oyle's etching on 1827 (from M.Mamun's book)

Historical Pagla Bridge, 5 miles east of Dhaka on Dhaka-Narayanganj road, was known to be constructed in 1660 CE. by MIR JUMLA, Subahdar of Bengal under the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, on the branch river, a former course of Dulai at Pagla. French traveler Tavernier noticed it in 1666 as a fine brick bridge. Bishop Heber, while visiting Dhaka from Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1824, found the Pagla Bridge in a fairly good condition and identified it as a fine specimen of architecture.

Mir Jumla's construction activities in Dhaka and its suburbs resulted in two roads, two bridges and a network of forts, which were necessary for public welfare, strategic purposes, and speedy dispatch of troops, equipment and ammunitions. A fort at Tongi guarded one of the roads connecting Dhaka with the northern districts. The other road led eastward, connecting the capital city with Narayanganj, where there were two forts. The Pagla bridge lies on this road off Fatulla.

While visiting Pagla last week, the extant of the dilapidated bridge structure (a bazaar grown around) was found inside a Temple (Mandir) area with a deity of ‘Lord Shiva’ placed there (see pic above). The priest (Sebayet) of the temple, south of main road, introduced the ancient structures as part of temple of ‘Pagal-nath’ (Shiva). He referred to a ditch away on the north as the site of the bridge. The Temple compound encompassing a third domical structure has several masonry rooms for devotees built not far long ago.

I went to see the remnants of historical Pagla Bridge but returned rather confused. The photos taken by me (posted above) claimed by the priest as part of Temple, have striking similarity with the images printed in the book of Prof. Muntasir Mamun on Dhaka and British Museum as 'Pagla Bridge'.

I hope the Archeological Dept. will provide correct information about the structures (ruins) of Pagla Bridge to dispel any doubt.
Also see: Mughal Bridges of Dhaka.


Anonymous said...

good work, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/downloads/01266_dhakacity_1680x1050.jpg other than the sky being from someone else's picture, is this a real picture of Dhaka?

Ershad Ahmed said...

http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper/downloads/01266_dhakacitypic as mentioned by anonymous seems more of a computer work than camera.

It may be compared with the pic I took from the top of BIRDEM hospital (same directional skyline) and posted on 18 apr 2007-