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Egarasindhur


Egarasindhur a trade centre and a place of historical interest under Pakundia upazila of Kishoreganj district. It stands on the eastern bank of the Brahmaputra. Egarasindhur has been mentioned in the akbarnamah of Abul Fazl.

The ancient history of Egarasindhur is uncertain. Excavations in 1933 revealed here a few punch marked silver coins. Recently a number of hand axes made of crude iron, spear-heads and stone-beads usable in bows have been discovered from a highland beside the Brahmaputra. Scholars assume that the coins were of the 6th century BC and the other artifacts belong to the 10th century BC. So the existence of the village can be traced to at least one thousand years BC. The Koch and the Hajongs were the early inhabitants of the place. From the coins of the 6th century BC, it appears that at that time Egarasindhur was a trade centre. During the Mauryan period, the people of the locality developed trade relations with pundranagara and Magadha and with northern India for the first time.

During the Gupta period, Egarasindhur was included in the Dabak kingdom. Then probably, the territory went under kamarupa. According to the accounts of the 8th century Arab geographers the Muslim traders took the muslin and other merchandises from a commercial port situated at the confluence of the two rivers and carried them to Persia and Rome. Historians assume that Egarasindhur was the port referred to.

In the early 10th century AD, taking advantages of the weakness of the king of Kamarupa, there emerged a number of feudal states in the lower part of Kamarupa. During this time, Azhaba, feudal king of Hajardi territory captured Egarasindhur defeating Batong, the Koch feudal king. But within a few years, an independent king Bebuiddya by name defeated Azhaba and captured Egarasindhur. From the time of Bebuiddya the rise of Egarasindhur began. King Bebuiddya built fort, palace, temple etc. and dug a large dighi (pond) and moats in Egarasindhur. In the later part of the 10th century, Egarasindhur went under the rule of Chandra king Srichandra. Probably, during the reign of Rampal, the authority of the Barman kings was established over the territory of Egarasindhur and they continued to rule the territory up to the middle of the 12th century. Then probably Egarasindhur came under the rule of the Senas and after the end of their rule, it again became a part of Kamarupa.

It is learnt from the writings of Chakrapani Datta that Sultan shamsuddin firuz shah of Gaur conquered greater Mymensingh (with Egarasindhur) and Sylhet in 1303. Egarasindhur came under the possession of Sultan fakhruddin mubarak shah of sonargaon in 1338. Possibly, Mubarak Shah took shelter at the fort of Egarasindhur at the time of his discomfiture. During the early Iliyas Shahi rule, Egarasindhur was under the sultans of Bengal. Sultan sikandar shah repaired the Egarasindhur fort in 1357 and during his time it also earned fame as an important commercial centre.

It is not known who held Egarasindhur from the second to the ninth decade of the 15th century (1415-1484 AD). May be one of the bara bhuiyans had Egarasindur under his control. During the Habshi rule (1486/87-1493 AD), Egarasindhur came again under the authority of the Muslims. The Portuguese traders built customhouses together with business centre and residences at Egarasindhur when ghiyasuddin mahmud shah of the Husain Shahi dynasty was in power. After Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah, Egarasindhur went under the rule of sher shah. But after his death, the local zamindars took over its administration.

In 1577 AD, isa khan Masnad-i-Ala established Egarasindhur as a political and trade centre. During the early phase of his war against the Mughals, the Mughal general Muhammad Quli and Shah Bardi captured Egarasindhur. But Isa Khan, by a counter attack, utterly defeated the Mughals and recaptured Egarasindhur.

durjansingh, son of mansingh, was killed in the war with Isa Khan at the gate of the fort of Egarasindhur in 1597 AD. Isa Khan and Mansingh also fought here before singing a treaty at Egarasindhur. After the death of Isa Khan, Egarasindhur went under the authority of musa khan.

During the reign of Emperor jahangir, Egarasindhur was under the control of usman khan afghan. According to the baharistan-i-ghaibi, the Mughals captured Egarasindhur at the end of 1608 AD. The Mughals made it their centre and led their campaign against Usman Khan from there.

During the reign of Emperor shahjahan, the king of Assam attacked Egarasindhur with a fleet of 500 ships. A fierce battle took place between the subahdar of Bengal and the king of Assam which caused heavy damage to Egarasindhur. It lost its importance as a fort and continued its existence merely as a centre of trade. [ABM Shamsuddin Ahmed]