Tabrizabad

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Tabrizabad now a village in West Bengal, 35.40 km north of old Maldah and 24.14 km north of pandua on the Maldah-Dinajpur road via Pandua and Devikot. Its ancient name was Deotala. The place emerged as a seat of Muslim culture in the early thirteenth century AD. Shaikh jalaluddin tabrizi (d 642 AH/1244-45 AD) chose this site as a centre of his religious activities which resulted in the Jalalia sufi order.

Deotala was named Tabrizabad after this great saint. In Abul Fazl's time (16th century) the place came to be known as Dev Mahal. In fact, the Persian equivalent of the Bengali word Deotala is Dev Mahal and both mean the 'place of demon'. The name expresses the popular belief that this region was infested by the demons. This agrees with the statement of Amir Khusrau (1253-1325 AD) that when Shaikh Jalaluddin Tabrizi went to a town in Bengal the people of that locality were greatly troubled by a demon. This implies that at that time pillage and murder prevailed in that region. Shaikh Jalal seized the demon and confined it. Overwhelmed at his miraculous power the Hindus of the locality accepted Islam at the hands of the Shaikh who built a Khanqah and opened a langar (free kitchen) there.

A langar of Shaikh Jalal exists there even today and a bais-hazari estate in Pandua was dedicated to it. The lands of Deotala are included in this waqf estate. During the time of Sultan barbak shah (1459-1474) the place took the shape of a town and a mosque was constructed there in 1464. In late sixteenth century the place was known as qasba Tabrizabad indicating that it was then a small town. The place stands on the bank of the Targan and perhaps it was also a river port. [Md Akhtaruzzaman]