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Bhusna


Bhusna situated a few miles east of Magura was once a part of Jessore district. In the Revenue Settlement of murshid quli khan, Bhusna was made a chakla that included a part of the present Faridpur district. Confusions about the location of Bhusna developed because of the fact that in the 18th century the modern district of Faridpur belonged to more than one chaklas and subsequently readjustments were made.

Possibly the earliest known ruler of Bhusna was Dhenukarna, who occupied northern Jessore and assumed the title of Bangabhusana and hence the name of his kingdom. During the Sultanate, Bhusna gained importance as one of the seventeen mint-towns of Sultan nusrat shah. Because of its strategic importance, the fort became an object of intense strife between the Mughals and the bara-bhuiyans during the last two decades of the 16th century. It was included in Sarkar Fatehabad during the time of akbar and was one of the thirteen chaklas (revenue circles) into which Murshid Quli Khan had reorganised Bengal.

Bhusna came to prominence as the centre of administration of the local chief Raja Mukund Rai, one of the Bara-Bhuiyans who resisted the Mughal advance towards Eastern Bengal. His son Satrajit Rai, who fought against the imperial army in early 17th century, was soon overpowered. Satrajit's son, Sitaram having accepted Mughal overlordship, got back the zamindari of Bhusna and Fathabad (Faridpur) and eventually rose to power and wealth. Having founded his capital at Bagjani, about 16.09 km from Bhusna, he fortified it by a long earthen embankment and a ditch. However, Sitaram's subsequent conflict with the faujdar of Bhusna and his defying attitude led to his suppression during Murshid Quli's time (1714). His property having been confiscated was given to Ramjivan of the Rajshahi zamindari. The remains of Sitaram's fort can still be traced at Kaliabari.

Bhusna Fort situated in Kaliabari village under Noapara union of Faridpur district, some twenty-five kilometers southwest of Faridpur town at the confluence of the Madhumati and Barasia Rivers, is now in ruins.

The fort of Bhusna was rectangular in plan: some 396.34m along the north-south axis and 356.71m along the east-west axis. High earthen ramparts on all sides defended the fort; the ramparts in turn, were encircled by 24.4m wide moats, on both its outer and inner sides. The fort offered only one entrance through a causeway on the south. Due to extensive cultivation, only parts of the rampart still stand, rising to a maximum height of 3m while the moats can hardly be recognised. On the western side of the entrance, inside the fort, a mound strewn with brickbats can be seen today, which was possibly the guards' quarters or the residence of some high officials. Some 30m east of the entrance the foundation of a mosque can still be noticed. On this foundation a mosque of corrugated tin has recently been constructed. There is a brick-built old and abandoned well some 30m north-east of the mosque and a brick-built water reservoir near the well.

Archaeologists differ regarding the date of the mosque. Most, however, ascribe it to the sultanate period. A little west of the mosque and east of the entrance lies a low mound which the local people identify to be the grave of Abu Torab, a Mughal commander of Bhusna. At the eastern corner of the southern wall, a number of mounds and remains of buildings can still be seen. Unfortunately, most of the bricks have been taken away and the process still continues. Consequently, the medieval fort of Bhusna may soon become completely non-existent. [Shirin Akhtar and Shahnaj Husne Jahan]