Jinjira Palace – A Relic of the Past

Dhaka is a city in Bangladesh that is blanketed in history. Some if its structures, temples and monuments stand as reminders to the turmoil and wars that shaped the country. One such a structure is the Jinjira Palace. Although all that remains is mostly ruins, it was once a building that was filled with success and nobility. It is also a palace that is shrouded in tragedy and misfortune. Visitors to this site can gain a glimpse into its former greatness.

It was originally named Qasr-i-Jazirah, meaning ‘Palace of the Island’. The name was very fitting as the palace was constructed on the Buriganga river banks and had a moat around it, creating an island for itself. It is believed that a bridge once connected the palace with the city, but no sign of this wooden structure remains today. The palace was constructed between the years 1689 to 1697 as a recreation facility for Mughal Subahdar Ibrahim Khan II. Later, when Murshid Quli Khan received the Diwani of Bengal, the palace automatically became his, after which the palace became residence to Husain Quli Khan. The first tragedy struck the palace after Nawab Sarfaraz Khan fell, between the years of 1739 and 1740. During this time the entire family of Husain Quli Khan were kept prisoner in the palace, and after he was murdered in Mushidabad in 1754, this family, including wife, mother and children were also murdered. The second tragedy struck the palace during the Battle of Plassey in 1757, when war broke out between the British Forces and Nawab Sirajuddaula. Sirajuddaula’s forces were defeated and his wife and daughters were kept within the palace. It is said that they were drowned in the Dhaleswari in 1760 under the orders of the new ruler, Mir Sadeq Ali Khan.

The tragedy of the Jinjira Palace now is the disrepair and ruins are all that remain of this historical building. The octagonal towers have fallen, the foundation with its moat and the gateway are the only reminders of a palace that was once home to rulers and leaders. Due to overgrowth, some parts of the palace are now inaccessible. But it still remains a wonderful attraction in Dhaka and a part of its diverse heritage.