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Mahadevpur Zamindari


Mahadevpur Zamindari was established during the time of Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605-1627). Mahadevpur is now an upazilla under the district of Naogaon in Rajshahi. It is situated on the bank of river Atari about 24 km west from Naogaon. Nayanchandra Rai Chowdhury was the founder of the zamindari. His early habitation was in Bardhaman, West Bengal. Nayanchandra Raichowdhury or his successor Bireshwar Raichowdhury believed to have received the Jagir of pargana Jahangirabad from emperor Jahangir as a reward for assisting the Mughals to invade Bangla. Later this jagir turned as an immense zamindari and it was renamed as Jahangirpur after the name of the emperor.

Bireshwar Raichowdhury was noted as a good administrator. For the welfare of the people, he constructed temples and excavated ponds in his zamindari vicinity. After the death of Bireshwar Raichowdhury, his estate was divided between his four sons and a cousin brother named Laxmikanta Raichowdhury. After the death of Laxmikanta, his son Brajanath Raichowdhury succeeded him. In his lifetime Brajanath divided his estate equally between his two sons, Durganath Raichowdhury and Govindanath Raichowdhury. Govindanath was an influential, kind-hearted and learned zamindar. After his death his son Shaymanath Raichowdhury succeeded him as the next zamindar of Mahadevpur.'

Shaymanath Raichowdhury was a philanthropist zamindar. He established a school and a hospital in Mahadevpur and contributed financial aid regularly for the maintenance of those institutions. He contributed a huge amount of money for establishing a printing press in Dinajpur city and during the famine of 1874, he donated more than 15000 taka for the relief committees of Bengal. Besides, Shaymanath bequeathed lands for the construction of roads, spent huge amount of money for establishing new schools and for arranging wedding ceremony of the poor Brahmins youths of Bengal.

Shaymanath Raichowdhury died at 24 in 1878. The successors of Mahadevpur were Khitishchandra Raichowdhury of Barataraf and Raibahadur Narayanchandra Raichowdhury of Chhotataraf. Narayanchandra Raichowdhury was noted as a scholar and a philanthropist zamindar. He established Mata Sharbamongoladevi High School at Mahadevpur in 1921. The zamindari was abolished under the east bengal state acquisition and tenancy act of 1950. Jahangirpur College was established in 1967 within the Mahadevpur palace, which happened to be now a government College. [Kazi Mustafijur Rahman]