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     Volume 2 Issue 12 | June 23, 2007 |


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Journey through Bangldesh

From Sirajganj
A Tagore Memorial in Sirajganj

Golam Mostafa Jibon

Rabindra Kachharibari is a memorial of Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore at Shahzadpur in Sirajganj district. The poet left behind much literary memorabilia here. Kumar Dwarakanath Tagore, grandfather of Rabindranath Tagore bought the estate of Shahzadpur at a price of Taka 13.10 when it was sold off at an auction in 1840. The Tagore family then acquired the Kachharibari, established on 8 bighas of land.

Rabindranath first came to Shahzadpur from Kolkata for supervision of the estate in 1890 when he was 28 years old. In the rainy season, Tagore moved by boat and in the dry season, he traveled in a palanquin. Rabindranath Tagore came to Shahzadpur several times between the years 1890 to 1895 to supervise the estate.

During his stay at Shahzadpur he wrote many books of verse like Nowkadubi, Sonar Tori, Drama Bishorjon, Chitra, Choitali as well as short stories like Postmaster and Panchobhuto.

There is plenty of Tagore memorabilia inside the Kachharibari. The objects of interests include shoes, wooden sandals, a bedstead, couch, goggles, palanquin, sofa, piano, harmonium and different metal objects. The Kachharibari is a two-storey building, an quite an architectural delight itself. There are seven rooms inside the Kachharibari.

The Kachharibari and its building have, in time, become badly damaged due to neglect by the authorities over a long time. During the rule of Pakistan, the damaged Kachharibari and its roof were renovated by the Archaeological Department in 1969. The next time in 1999, an auditorium given the name Rabindra Auditorium accommodating 500 people was constructed here. There is a museum where many rare photos, furniture and metal vessels have been preserved.

The Kachharibari Museum is open six days (Sundays closed) a week for visitors. Visitors can come any time between 9.00am and 6.00pm. There is a Tk. 5 entrance fee. Locals say that every year the Sirajganj district administration celebrates Tagore's birth anniversary on the 25th of Baishakh. However, the death anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, which is on the 22nd of Srabon, is not observed. They also claimed that a part of Kachharibari which includes some valuable memorabilia is being damaged every day due to lack of concern.

On the 65th death anniversary of the poet Rabindranath Tagore (22nd Srabon, 6th August, 2006), locals demanded that Tagore's death anniversary be observed as well as his birthday. Furthermore, it was demanded that preservation and restoration efforts should be undertaken.

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