Sonargaon – The ancient capital of Bengal

screenshot_392The historic beauty Sonargaon was the capital city of ancient undivided Bengal, which was the then combination of present West Bengal and Bangladesh. Sonargaon means the city of gold. In these days Sonargaon is an Upazila of Narayanganj District. The recent modern settlement of the city is on either side of the road. The right side comprises of the Mograpara and adjacent villages whereas the left side consists of the Panam city and Goaldi. It has been appeared to us by embracing the old Brahmaputra, Meghna, Dhaleshwari and Shitalakshma River from the north, east, south and west respectively. It is located about 25 kilometres to the south-east of Dhaka (capital of Bangladesh) and 5 kilometres from Narayanganj city.

Sonargaon is considered as one of the firstest and oldest capitals of Bengal. It is also known as ‘The City of Panam’. During the pre-muslim ruling period of ancient Buddha ruler named Danujamadhava Dasharathadeva transferred from Bikrampur (a pargana under Munshiganj District) to Suvarnagrama in the middle of 13th century. The name Sonargaon cames from Suvarnagrama. After a prosperous ethnicity of the Pala and Deva Dynasty in the early 14th century Samshuddin Firoz Shah conquered the region. After that few muslim rulers named Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah, Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah and a few more ruled Bengal. Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah was the first independent ruler of Sonargaon. Sonargaon was the capital during the reign of Isha Khan (the leader of 12 Bhuiyan’s of Bengal) and his son Musa Khan. It is a low-lying area so it was then called the Bhati region. During the British rule in the late 19th century the Panam city was established for trading cotton fabrics. The hindu merchants then started building colonies in these region. Panam city is connected to the main city by three brick built bridges named Panam Bridge, Dalapur Bridge and Panam Nagar Bridge. It is to be mentioned that these bridges are still in use.

Sonargaon becomes a place of historical and archaeological importance not only for administrative but also for religious, commercial, cultural, educational and health puposes. Among the visitors and immigrants of Sonargaon many are Sufi Saints who built quite a number of Mosques, Madrasas and Mazars as well. Sonargaon is rich in countless historical relics. The existing relics includes a number of religious buildings of Sultanate and Mughal times, some residential buildings of Mughal times. Besides many tombs, mosques, ponds, bridges, shrines, Sardar house, Khansnagar Dighi, Sonakanda Fort, ruins of Panam city and the tomb of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah are historically important. In the year 1975 a Folk Art and Crafts Museum named Lok Shilpa Jadughar was established by a Bangladeshi painter named Joynul Abedin at Bara Sardar Bari

Sonargaon has attracted many travelers and scholars during ages, among them Ibn Batuta, Mahuan, Fahien and Ralph Fitch are mentionable.

As the foundation of Dhaka city was laid in early 1600 AD, Sonargaon started losing its glory. Sonargaon is still a place of great wonder and its great architectural beauties are really praiseworthy.

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