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Fathabad


Fathabad identified with the modern town of Faridpur, is situated on the bank of an old channel of the Padma (called mara Padma or dead river), about twenty miles away from Goalanda steamer ghat (station). The town first emerged as a mint-town during the reign of Sultan jalaluddin muhammad shah (1415-1433). It continued its status as a mint-town throughout the period of the Independent Sultans (up to 1538) with a short interval during the reigns of ruknuddin barbak shah (1459-1474) and his son shamsuddin yusuf shah (1474-1481). The ain-i-akbari mentioned it as Haweli Mahal Fathabad. It has also been mentioned as Fatiabas in the Dutch-Portuguese maps of De Barros and Blaiv drawn in the sixteenth century. Van den Brouck put it wrongly as Fathur. The earliest reference to Fathabad in Bengali literature is seen in laily-majnu (1560-1575) of Daulat Wazir Bahram Khan. Later on, Fathabad was renamed Faridpur after Shah Fariduddin Masud, a renowned saint and a disciple of Muinuddin Chisti (1142-1236) of Ajmeer, who established his seat in this town.

It appears that the town had strategic importance; it was used as a base of operations against the south and southwestern territories of Bengal. The evidence of the residence of a high Mughal official attests to its growth into a developed town with all urban amenities. It is learnt that Murad Khan (1574), the Mughal General, settled in Fathabad and died there. About 13 miles from the modern town of Faridpur, there is a village and railway station called Khankhandapur, which was probably his residence. Some famous zamindars, namely Mukund and his son Satrajit, who gave much trouble to Emperor jahangir (1605-1627), had their base in this town. [Md Akhtaruzzaman]