Panam Nagar, also known as The Lost City, used to be a bustling place. Having been practically abandoned ages ago, only the untouched stones and derelict buildings remain a testament to its ancient stories. Maybe 450 years ago you would have loved the lively and busy city, but today we visit an unseemly restful place.
Common knowledge tells us that 15th century ruler Jamidar Isa Khan was the first to settle Panam Nagar as the capital of the area, though the area was popular even as far back as the 13th century. There were three large settlements; Boro Nagar, Pash Nagar and Panam Nagar. As we now can tell, Panam Nagar was and is the most renowned of the three.
It was a place of great economic and political power and was the east terminus of the 2,500 km Grand Trunk Road that connected Bengal to Central Asia. Panam Nagar attracted the richest of Hindu titles and merchants. Muslin and Neel (blue) had great hold for trade in the area. But a lot of time has passed between then and now, and Panam Nagar has since become a place of great history and heritage.
Though the city is now a historic location filled with ruins, many structures still remain. The architecture in Panam Nagar follows old European and Mughal designs. Everything that still remains is still breathtaking with brick, slate and stones embedded amongst colors and terracotta designs.
Even though it thrived hundreds of years ago, their planning was in place. A 600 meter long section of road has over 50 abandoned residences on both sides, and these 2-3 story buildings probably have unique stories behind them. The houses all had their own water wells with huge spaces beside them probably used as gardens. There were also many places of worship and recreation.
Through time and nature, Panam Nagar’s history grew as many of its buildings crumbled. However, enough of it still remains to give us a glimpse into the culture of the people then. It is said that back then, the evenings would come alive with music and dance. That even the most miserable of people would melt into the festivities.
Walking around the ruins, you will now find bath houses, courtyards, halls and dance stages. Can you imagine the extent the people of Panam Nagar went to to keep in touch with culture? Can you imagine the plays and theatrics of that time centuries ago? How amazing one night may have been.
End of an Era
But all things have their own time and time was running out for Panam Nagar. With conflict pushing many wealthy merchants away and that in turn decreasing interest in the area, Panam Nagar started to depreciate in ‘value’. Less people lived here and so even less was done to increase its appeal. Interest fell along with business. Trade saw more benefit in other places and the thriving image of Panam Nagar of old just sort of started to fade away. Not for no reason is it sometimes now referred to as The Ghost City of this region. What a sad end to such a lush place.
But it’s not really an end for the location as a whole, even if it was the end of an era. Today, Panam Nagar is a tourist hot spot; popular among local and foreign tourists. And as far away as ‘ruins’ make it feel like, the city is quite accessible. There is a multitude of ways to get to this beautiful historic land-piece. Tickets are fairly cheap as well; only BDT 15 for locals and BDT 100 for foreigners.
Panam Nagar was grand in it youth; always busy and bustling with life. Now that time has claimed its toll, it remains only a memory of life in this region from centuries ago; or what we can make of it from the ruins. Take a look at our video to see just what we’re talking about. We hope it makes you plan your next trip to Panam Nagar soon.