In the city of Mymensingh stands a magnificent historical structure called Alexandra Castle or Iron Castle. Maharaja Suryakant Acharya Chowdhury, the zamindar of Muktagacha, built this luxurious structure. Famous people like Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore have stayed in the house at different times.
It is said that Alexander or Alexandra Castle, built 132 years ago, is locally known as iron ax due to the significant amount of iron used in its construction. It was built in 1889. Currently it is being used as the library of Mymensingh Teachers Training College.
Every day many local people come to see this historical structure. People who come from far away to Mymensingh also visit this palace if they get a chance. The palace, built of iron and wood, has now become vulnerable.
It is known that Mymensingh district was established in 1787. It was built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the district. It was built in the name of Alexandra, the wife of the then British King Edward VII. Instead it was built in the name of then English collector Alexander.
Also read – Complications over Mymensingh’s traditional ‘Alexandra Castle’
At that time its construction cost was 45 thousand taka. The palace is decorated with various types of furniture. The ground floor of the two-storey palace is currently the library of Mymensingh Teachers Training College.
The palace was then used as the garden house of Muktagacha zamindar Maharaja Suryakant Acharya Chowdhury. Besides, foreign guests used to stay here when they came to Mymensingh. Even after the abolition of zamindari system, noble guests stayed here at various times. When Rabindranath Tagore came to Mymensingh in 1926, he stayed in this iron cage for four nights. Mahatma Gandhi came in the same year. Besides, Lord Curzon, Chittaranjan Das, Nawab Sir Salimullah, Kamal Pasha, Maulvi Wazed Ali Khan Panni and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose have stayed in this iron cage, it is known from history.
Many legendary personalities of undivided India have walked in this traditional building at different times /Dhaka Tribune
Mymensingh archeology researcher and writer Swapan Dhar told the Dhaka Tribune, “It was constructed with Chinese craftsmen bringing teak wood from Myanmar. The palace was air-conditioned by bringing mica from India.”
Recently, some complications have arisen with this historical structure.
In this regard, Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Enamul Haque Dhaka said, “We are working on the renovation and preservation of all historical structures of Mymensingh. On Tuesday, August 30, three lakh rupees have been allocated for the development of Alexandra Castle. The confusion created in the public mind over the construction of the school’s boundary wall has come to an end. No more walls are being built here.”