Paragal Khan

Paragal Khan the commander and administrator of Chittagong under Alauddin husain shah (1493-1519). It is known from the inscription (1474 AD) discovered at the Rasti Khan's Mosque in Jobra village under Chittagong that his father Rasti Khan also was an army commander stationed at Chittagong under ruknuddin barbak shah. Alauddin Hossain Shah occupied Chittagong in 1512 and appointed Paragal Khan as a laskar (Commander). So he is also known as Laskar Paragal Khan.

Though the forefathers of Paragal Khan resided in Chittagong for generations and his father was the administrator there, it is supposed that he did not all along live there. Possibly he was living in gauda before coming to Chittagong with the charge of commander. Husain Shah gave him abundant landed property and precious gifts.

Paragal Khan lived at Zorwarganj on the bank of Feni river under Chittagong and perhaps, the village Paragalpur was named after him where his descendants are living even now. People surrounding the Paragal Dighi (tank) still use its water.

Paragal Khan was a faithful and successful commander. Husain Shah appointed him ruler of Cittagong after he had recovered it from the Maghs.

Peace and harmony was restored in Chittagong under the just and secular rule of Paragal Khan. He patronised Kavindra Parameshvara and Shrikrara Nandi, a patron of literature who have highly eulogised him in their poetical works. At his request Kavindra Paramesvara composed the Bengali mahabharata (c 1515-1519) imitating the Sanskrit one. The work is also known as the Kavindra Mahabharata after the poet or the Paragali Mahabharata after Paragal Khan. The Kavindra Mahabharata is the earliest Mahabharata in Bangla. [Dulal Bhowmik]