The Flower District

5 spots to hit up in Jessore

By Ashik Uz Zaman Ashik

In the southwest corner of Bangladesh, lies the district of Jessore (officially Jashore). The prominent rivers in these low-lying plains are the Kopotakkho and the Buri Bhodra. The hometown of the famous poet Michael Madhusudan Dutta, Jessore is also known as the flower kingdom of Bangladesh, because of the commercial flower production in its Godkhali region.

The district offers up several beautiful baors, or oxbow lakes, for the nature lovers, and a few archaeological edifices and sites for history buffs. The rolling green pastoral lands of Jessore offer soothing vistas for those travelling by road.

HOW TO GO

One can get to Jessore by rail, road, and plane. Bus links include both AC and non-AC options (from Gabtoli, Kalyanpur, and Kalabagan) Green Line, Shohagh, Eagle, Shyamoli, and others. Train options include Sundarbans Express and Chitra Express. You can fly there via United Airlines, Regent Airlines, and Novo Air.

MICHAEL MADHUSUDAN DUTT MEMORIAL (MADHUPALLI)

The Michael Madhusudan Dutt Memorial is known as Madhupalli by locals. It is located at Sagardari, Jessore. Michael Madhusudan Dutt was born on January 25, 1824, in this very house. The Archaeological Department renovated the house in 1986, and in 1998- 2001, the area was walled off with a cottage-like gate, reception halls, and a stage.

The post bungalow of the Sagardari Tourist Center and Madhusudan Museum have been built around the Madhupalli. On the banks of the Kopotaksh river, the Biday Ghat and the almond tree attract tourists. This memorial is open from October to March 9am to 5pm and April to September 10am to 6pm. Weekly holiday is on Sunday and other public holidays. Entry fee to Modhupalli is Tk10 for domestic tourists and Tk100 for foreigners.

HOW TO GO

You have to take a bus from Jessore bus stand to Keshabpur. From there, you can come to Sagardari by battery-powered rickshaw or van.

SHIVA TEMPLE, CHANCHRA

The Chanchra Shiva temple, which was built by Monohar Ray in 1696, is located right on the Jessore-Benapole highway. This temple is is a two-storied structure, with the second story (rotno) being smaller than the base structure. The outer walls are ornamented with terracotta tiles. The Department of Archeology of Bangladesh has declared the Chanchra Shiva Temple as a protected structure.

HOW TO GO

Grab a van, rickshaw, easy bike, or motorbike to Chachra Shiva Temple from the entrance of the Monihar Cinema Hall.

ELEVEN SHIVA TEMPLE COMPLEX

This is an ancient archeological site located in the Bhatpara village in the Abhaynagar upazila, about 45km west of Jessore town. As the name suggests, it is a complex housing 11 temples, and was built around the eighteenth century by Raja Nilkanta of the Chanchra Zamindar family for his widowed young daughter Abhaya, who, in the days before widows were allowed to remarry, decided to devote her life to worship. The temples have been arranged facing each other in a rectangular pattern.

HOW TO GO

If you want to go by private car, you have to cross Noapara Ferry from Jessore Monihar Cinema Hall. And if you want to go by bus/motorbike, you have to go to Rajghat from the side of Monihar Cinema Hall. You have to cross the river by boat through gate number 6 of JJI Mill in Rajghat. The temple is a 5 minute walk from there.

BHARAT RAJAR DEUL/BHARAT BHAYANA

Bharat Rajar Deul is an abandoned town located at Gaurighona Union in the Keshabpur upazila of Jessore district. It is an important archeological site. 1,800 years ago, an influential king named Bharata Bhadra ruled over a large part of the Sundarbans, including the banks of this river. To keep his memory alive, he built Bharat Vaina on the banks of the river Bhadra, later known as Bharat Deul or Bharat Raja Deul.

It exists today as a partially excavated mound that once housed a palace, temple, and shrine, as well as housing for Buddhist devotees. The excavation projects are said to have yielded a treasure trove of cultural artifacts.

HOW TO GO

First you have to take a bus from Jessore town to Chuknagar Bazar. From there, get on the easybike/CNG and go within 5 km to Bharat Rajar Deul.

IMAMBARA OF HAJI MOHSIN

Haji Muhammad Mohsin was a well-known philanthropist of his town. The Imambara is a memorial of sorts, built by his step-sister and successor Munnujan Khanom, in 1802, after Haji Mohsin’s death. The Department of Archeology declared this building as a protected edifice. Islamic inscriptions built into the structure lend the building religious significance.

HOW TO GO

Easiest way to visit this area will be to walk from the Murali Moar of Jessore town.

WHERE TO STAY

There are many hotels in Jessore. Notable ones include Zabeer Hotel International, Hotel City Plaza International, Hotel Hasan International, and Hotel Divine Center Ltd, etc. According to your budget, you will find both cheap and expensive options to stay in those hotels. Similarly, you won’t have any dearth of dining options in the district, with ranges to suit various budgets and tastes.

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