Mughal Era ‘Badarpur Fort’ in Assam to be Restored

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Taranga Barta Desk: A Mughal era fort on the banks of the river Barak in Assam’s Karimganj district would soon be restored. The fort in Badarpur, which before independence was a part of present day Sylhet district in Bangladesh was a major railway and commercial hub during British rule.

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The fort’s fundamental structure revealed a Mughal provincial style, Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Sanjiv Gohain Boruah told to news feed agency PTI. The Karimganj district administration recently approached the state Directorate of Archaeology and the Archaeological Survey of India for restoration of the fort, which dates back to the 18th century. “We have talked to ASI officials and a team of experts is to visit it soon to carry out a survey and chalk out plans to preserve the fort,” Boruah said.

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The fort located at the crossroads of the National Highway 44 and 53 and Badarpur railway junction, would be of special interest to tourists from Bangladesh as they had a shared history with the area, Boruah added.

There was also a proposal to set up a museum at the adjacent heritage ‘Dak Bungalow’, which was currently serving as the circle office of the area. Prominent citizens of the Barak Valley stressed the need for a museum in the dak bungalow as it could be used for Educational programmes, lectures and functions and also had enough space for parking. “Museums must develop their own distinct character to attract a specific section of public and the uniqueness of a possible museum site at Badarpur is that the fort will add to the museum’s attraction and serve as a complement to it and vice-versa,” eminent historian Kamaluddin Ahmed said.

The dak bungalow representing colonial architecture was constructed during World War I and housing a museum would help in preserving it as a heritage building, Ahmed said.

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Badarpur’s mention is frequently found in old accounts as the frontier between Bengal and Sylhet. Its name is derived from Shah Badaruddin, a disciple of saint Shah Jalal of Sylhet, another noted historian Devashish Dutta Choudhury said.

In early 14th century it was the seat of ‘Porha Raja’, a tribal chieftain under a Tripura king, but he was later subjugated by Malik Muhammad Toran, thereby integrating Badarpur area with Turko-Afghan rule in Gaur (Bengal).

In 1612, Badarpur became a frontier between the Mughal empire and the Kachari kingdom and a Mughal ‘thanedar’ was posted there at the time of Shah Jahan. Burmese invasion and the threat of war led to the signing of the Treaty of Badarpur between Kachari king Gobind Chandra and Agent to the Governor General David Scott.

Badarpur also witnessed some skirmishes between the Burmese and the Company’s soldiers during the Anglo-Burmese war but with the signing of the historic Treaty of Yandabo in 1826, the region was completely brought under British control, Dutta Choudhury added.

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