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Mograpara


Mograpara a medieval historic settlement in the territory of Sonargaon, now forming a village and a union under the Sonargaon' thana of Narayanganj district. Mograpara on the bank of the Menikhali and on the southern side of the present Dhaka-Chittagong highway represents the site of the earliest Muslim settlement in Sonargaon and the mainstay of the Muslim capital city developed in the early thirteenth century.

The name Mograpara does not belong to the Hindu period, and the place was called Rathkhola (chariot yard) during the time of the last Hindu Raja of Sonargaon. Rathkhola of the Hindu times with remnants of the stone-chariot of the last Hindu Raja, and having been the future site of the Muslim township of Mograpara, does not seem to be for beyond the Hindu capital city comprising the Panam-Khasnagar area. Even if we consider Rathkhola outside the pale of Hindu capital city, it at least formed the suburb of the city in view of its proximity with Khasnagar and panam.

From archaeological evidence it can be assumed that a rich and extensive Muslim settlement must have grown over the entire Mograpara and Goaldi region. Most of the remains of the city of Sonargaon, a few medieval buildings mostly religious, are found scattered in this area particularly in the villages of Mograpara, Sadipur, Shah Chilapur, Bhagalpur and Goaldi. The entire area possesses a well-formed land mass and is fairly high with thick human habitation. There still exists relics, such as fath shah’s mosque (1484), dargabari complex, ghiyasuddin azam shah’s tomb (1412), goaldi mosque (1519), yusufganj mosque, a lofty circular mound still bearing the name of Damdama (fort or look-out tower).

Mograpara appears to be an illuminating centre of Islamic learning during the last quarter of thirteenth century under the versatile scholar Maulana sharfuddin abu tawwama who established a khanka and madrasa there to impart education on religious subjects as well as secular sciences.

Mograpara along with some other places with distinct names was called Balad Sonargaon or generally Sahr Sonargaon signifying a territory or township during the Muslim rule. The market place of Mograpara is still called Bara-nagar. It is likely that the earliest administrative headquarters of the Muslim rulers was established at Mograpara near about the khanka and madrasa complex of Sharfuddin Abu Tawwamah where still exists the ruins of the buildings called Tahwil or Tahakhana (treasury) and the Nahbat-khana (music chamber), indicating the ramnants of an administrative centre. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]