Bhawal Estate – The Second Largest Zamindari of East Bengal

screenshot_417The second largest zamindari (estate) in terms of earnings and extensions after the Dhaka Nawab Estate was Bhawal Estate. The Bhawal Estate currently situated at Gazipur district of Dhaka division. It is about 20 kimometres away from Uttara of Dhaka.

Before the Mughals conquere Bengal the Bhawal Estate belongs to the Gazis. Landlord Fazal Gazi was among the Baro-Bhuiyans (12 landlords) of Bengal. During Subedar Islam Khans final conquest and rule of Bengal the Gazis accepted sovereignty of the Mughals. However the amazing fact is that the Gazipur district was named after the Gazis of Bhawal. The Rajas of Bhawal came from Munshiganj. Balaram was the primogenitor of Bhawal Rajas. During the reign of Sultan Murshid Kuli Khan at 17th century, Balaram was the dewan (minister of ruler) of Daulat Gazi. As a protocol of collecting due revenues in a proper manner Murshid Kuli Khan replaced many Muslim landlords with Hindus. Balaram who was the dewan of Daulat Gazi at that time took the opportunity and with the approval of Murshid Kuli Khan replaced Daulat Gazi with his son Sri Krishna in 1704. The Rajas of Bhawal ruled the region until the demolition of landlord system in 1951.

In 1878, the successor of Balaram Kalinarayan Roy Chowdhury entitled as ‘Raja’ from the British ruler. Further his son Rajendra Narayan Roy Chowdhury expanded the zamindari in Dhaka, Bakerganj, Faridpur and Mymensingh . Bhawal Rajas own almost most of the City of Dhaka after the Dhaka Nawab Estate by thyself and allegedly seems to be the second largest Zamindari of East Bengal after Dhaka Nawab Family. The entire Bhawal Estate possessed 4,59,163 acres of land and in the year 1904 the estate earned Rs. 4,62,096 and paid Rs. 83,052 as revenue to the central government.

Due to the proper and well-disciplined management of the Bhawal Raja, the Bhawal Estate become one of the most popular zamindari across the whole Bengal. The total estate is now under the government of Bangladesh.