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Bhulua


Bhulua an ancient kingdom of eastern Bengal and a tributary state under the kings of Tippera. Greater Noakhali district was once known as Bhulua. A place of historical importance, Bhulua is now a village situated a few miles west of Noakhali town on the Laksmipur road. According to tradition it derived its name from a scion of Raja Adi Shur of Mithila in the early 13th century. Because of its proximity to river Meghna Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah is said to have attacked Bhulua from sonargaon.

The local chiefs of Bhulua- the vassals of the Raja of Tippera, ruled over a large territory that now constitutes Noakhali district. The region was of great strategic importance as it commanded the route to Chittagong, the domain of the powerful king of Arakan. The Arakan king, along with the Maghs and Feringi pirates, proved to be a serious challenge to the expanding Mughal authority in the 17th century. Consequently, the Mughals conquered Bhulua and chose it as the head quarters of the pargana of the same name under sarkar Sonargaon.

During the 18th century, Bhulua came to the lime light as the centre of salt trade by the English. At first Bhulua was included in the newly founded Tippera district (1799). But due to the inconveniences and administrative complications arising out of the position of the salt agents at Bhulua, it was separated from Tippera in 1822 and made a new district with areas taken from the neighbouring districts. Subsequently the seat of administration was shifted to Noakhali from Bhulua.

The largest pargana in the district of Noakhali, Bhulua covered an area of 635.85 sq km paying total land revenue of Rs 1,23,929. In the revenue settlement of 1728, Bhulua was recorded in the name of Kirti Narayan. In 1788, a 4-anna share of the estate was sold to Ganga Gobinda Singh, the founder of the Paikpara family. In 1833 the entire estate of Bhulua was brought to sale for arrears. dwarkanath tagore bought the estate and eventually sold it for about Rs 3 lakhs to Rani Katyayani of Paikpara family. By 1920s, most of the property was let out in Pattani (under-tenure holding). The geo-political entity of Bhulua, with remnants of a 17th century Mughal fort, was thus shorn off its last vestiges of glory. Around 1845 Bhulua lost its entity as an independent Kingdom. [Shirin Akhtar]