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Dinajpur Rajbangsha

Dinajpur Rajbangsha (Royal family of Dinajpur Zamindari) one of the oldest zamindar family in Bengal. Srimanta Datta Chowdhury (1608-1640) established the zamindari during the reign of emperor Jahangir. The credentials of nine Rajas (zamindars) of the family descending from Raja Sukdeva (1640-1677) and covering about more than three hundred years are available. Raja Sukdeva was the zamindar of Bardhankot (Ghoraghat). His zamindari comprised the sarkars of Ghoraghat, Barbakabad, Tajpur and Panjor. During his time, a huge dighi named Shuksagar was dug on the east side of Dinajpur Rajbadi (palace).

Prana Nath Roy descended his father Sukdeva to the zamindari estate. He administered his zamindari for fourty years. The excavation of Pransagar Dighi, at 18 km south of Dinajpur city (in Gangarampur thana) represents one of his achievements. Besides, he dug another dighi named Matasagar in the vicinity of the palace. But his brilliant work is the construction of kantanagar temple. After the death of Prana Nath, his adopted son Ramnath (1722-1760), received zamindari sanad from the Nawab of Bengal. During his time, Prangopal Temple was built at Gopalganj (1754), 6 km north of Dinajpur town. Ramsagar dighi dug during the time of Ramnath, 8 km away from Dinajpur town represents the largest dighi in Bangladesh. He invited the Brahmins from outside and settled them at Rajapur Mauza in the south-east end of the palace. It was during the time of Baidyanath (1760-70), son of Ramnath, the English East India Company acquired diwani of Bengal, and the Englih officials started supervision over the local revenue system.'

After the death of Baidyanath, his adopted and minor son Radhanath (1780-1801) became the zamindar. Rani Saraswati administered the zamindari on behalf of her minor son. Zamindar Radhanath was reduced to bankruptcy consequent upon the oppression of the ijaradar Devi Singh and the conspiracy of the English officials and local amlas. At that time Radhanath had to sell a number of profitable Parganas of his zamindari. After the death of Radhanath, his wife Tripura Sundari administered the zamindari on behalf of her adopted infant son Govindanath (1801-1841). Between 1817 and 1840 Govindanath recovered most of the lost properties of his father. The next zamindar Raja Taraknath, son of Govindanath, died as childless and his wife Rani Shyam Mohini administered the zamindari on behalf of her adopted minor son Girijanath.

Girijanath Roy was a noted zamindar of Dinajpur rajbamsa. He received the title of Maharaja Bahadur from the British government in 1906. He established Rajbari Jubilee Middle English School in 1887 and Maharaja Girijanath High English School in 1913 in Dinajpur. He was a Member of the British Indian Association and Bengal Land Holders Association, and the president of Nikhil Bharat Kayastha Sabha. Besides, he was the honorary magistrate of Dinajpur, the first elected chairman of Dinajpur Municipality and of the District Board. After his death in 1919, his adopted son Jagadisnath became the zaminder. Jagadisnath received the title of Maharaja in 1929 from the British government and was the president of the Bangiya and Nikhil Bharat Kayastha Shobha, member of Provincial Legislative Assembly and also a member of the Council of State of the Viceroy of India. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the British Indian Army in 1926. Dinajpur zamindari was abolished under the east bengal state acquisition and tenancy act of 1950. [Mohammad Moniruzzaman]