Nawab of Sylhet
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Nawab of Sylhet

Prithimpasha Nawab Family
Current regionKulaura, Moulvibazar, Sylhet
Earlier spellingsPrithimpassa
EtymologyPrithim pasha
Place of originIsfahan, Iran
MembersNawab Ali Haider Khan, Nawab Ali Abbas Khan
Connected familiesMurshidabad, Awadh
ReligionShia Islam
Estate(s)Prithimpassa Estate
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The Prithim Pasha Family, also known as the Nawabs of Longla[1][2], are an aristocratic family from the Prithimpassa Union, Kulaura Upazila, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Bangladesh. The family was of the erstwhile feudal nobility of East Bengal. Prithimpassa Nawab Bari is a place of tourist attraction. The family played important roles in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Partition of India and Sylhet referendum in 1947, and the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Sakhi Salamat Isfahani is the founder of the family who settled here from Persia in 1499.


Fifteenth-Seventeenth century

Sakhi Salamat of Isfahan settled in the Bengal Sultanate from the Timurid Empire in 1499. His son was Ismail Khan Lodhi who was, during the reign of Sultan Sulaiman Khan Karrani, made governor of Odisha and given the title Kh?n-e-Jah?n Am?r al-Umar?'. Later Daud Khan Karrani, son of Sulaiman Khan Karrani also confirmed him as governor of Odisha in 1573. Sakhi Salamat's son was Ismail Khan.

After the Battle of Raj Mahal, the whole of the Bengal Sultanate was ceded to the Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperor Akbar granted Ismail Khan jagirs and made him the local Nawab. In the reign of Jahangir in 1612, Eastern Bengal was conquered and during that period all local leaders under Subahdar Islam Khan I were brought under the Emperor Jahangir and were settled in the area with assurances to live peacefully under the Mughal ruler. Nawab Muhammad Shamsuddin was the son of Ismail Khan who lived from 1624 to 1682.

Eighteenth century

Shamsuddin's son, Moulvi Muhammad Rabi Khan titled Danishmand was an erudite person and a highly respected and revered scholar of that time. He was the teacher of the children of the Nawab of Bengal, Sarfaraz Khan as well as Shahamat Jung and others. He obtained jagirs under sanad from Sarfaraz Khan, Alivardi Khan and Shahamat Jung (who was Naeb Subehdar of Dhaka). He obtained a jagir from Qasim Ali Khan, also under a sanad and these sanads (negotiation papers) remain in the family to this day. Moulvi Rabi according to history emerges as a figure of considerable charismatic authority and organisational ability. He commanded considerable manpower to carry out his work. He received sanad from Emperor Alamgir II.[3][4] In 1756 he established Rabir Bazar (Rabi's Market), a town in Kulaura and in close proximity to the village of Prithimpassa. There was even a calendar in his honour in the reign of Nazims of Bengal.

Moulvi Muhammad Ali Khan, son of Moulvi Muhammad Rabi Khan, was the assistant Qazi of Sylhet in 1773 and afterwards became a Qazi of Taraf (modern-day Habiganj). In 1793 he strongly put down the rebellion of Naga and Kuki tribes. For this, he obtained a Jagir and some authority of keeping troops and other honours from the British Raj. In 1819, the Jagirs were made permanent with the Nawab family.


Nineteenth century

In the anti-British Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the family sided with the mutineers. Some 300 sepoys who revolted against the British, looted the Chittagong Treasury and took shelter with Nawab Gaus Ali Khan, son of Muhammad Ali Khan.[5] The treasury remained under rebel control for several days.

His son was Moulvi Ali Ahmad Khan who helped the British in the Lushai Expedition of the late 1800s.[6] The British thanked him and as a reward, exempted him from the 1878 Indian Arms Act. During his period, the Nawab Estate's revenue reached its peak and the powers and authorities of the Estate grew enormously. Ali Ahmad constructed the river port Chandnighat on the Surma River. His children were Nawab Ali Amjad Khan and Nawabzadi Latifa Banu. In 1872, he built the famous landmark of Sylhet - Ali Amjad's Clock - naming it after his son. He died in 1874.

Nawab Gaus Ali Khan's other son was named Ali Gohor Khan who went on to make the Monraj Family and he became the first Zaminder and Shaheb of the Family. See below for more details.

On 17 November 1871, Nawab Ali Amjad Khan was born in Prithimpassa. His mother was Umraonissa Khatun. Nawab Ali Amjad Khan was very successful in increasing the revenue of the estate. In the 1897 Sylhet earthquake, colossal damage was caused to the Estate. Ali Amjad was a hunter and undertook many hunting expeditions in which he usually invited other rulers from as far away as Murshidabad and Rampur. According to records, he alone killed 43 tigers in his own jungle and other forests of Assam and Tripura. He also won trophies for marksmanship. He was one of the pioneers in tea cultivation, and established the Rungicherra Tea Estate (now spelt Rungichara). He also established Ali Amjad Government Girls' High School in Moulvibazar. He sanctioned stipends and scholarships to many schools of Karimganj and Chittagong. He presented gold medals to outstanding students and offered financial assistance to poor and deserving students. He was the member of the Aligarh University Committee. He received citations and accolades from the British government in recognition of his contribution towards the development of education in Sylhet. In the village of Prithimpassa, he also established Ali Amjad High School, which was one of the earliest co-education institutions in Bengal. For his contributions to the region in various areas, the British declared Nawab Ali Amjad Khan as Honorary Magistrate. In 1901 Lord Curzon, who was Viceroy of India, visited Silchar and Ali Amjad played a prominent role during the visit. In March 1895, Nawab of Murshidabad Wasif Ali Mirza Khan visited Sylhet and they had a very successful tiger hunt in the hills near Bahadurpur, Hailakandi. Ali Amjad was a horse rider, polo player and sharp shooter. His sons were Ali Haider and Ali Asghar. He later completed Ali Amjad's Clock during his lifetime which is still currently working. During his trip to Kolkata on 29 September 1905, Ali Amjad Khan was struck with enteric fever and on 24 November 1905, he died aged 34 years.

Shia Mosque at Prithimpassa Estate

Twentieth century (emergence of Pakistan)

Nawab Ali Haider Khan was born on 11 February 1900 and died on 30 June 1963 AD. He married Murshidzadi Husne Ara Begum, daughter of Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza Khanof Murshidabad. Ali Haider was a Minister of Agriculture in the cabinet of the Prime Minister of Assam, Sir Syed Muhammad Sadullah. He was also a Minister of Power and Water Development in Gopinath Bordoloi's cabinet. Ali Haider was the leader of the Independent Muslim Party. In 1945 he was, in the Parliamentary Board which was formed with Assam Congress Coalition and Independent Muslim Parliamentary Party of which he was the leader, along with Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (who later became the President of India), and Gopinath Bordoloi. (Muslims in Assam Politics by M. Kar 1990, Pg. 251). After partition he continued in politics as leader of Muslim League and contested elections. The library of Prithimpassa Estate was established in 1921. In 1950 the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi visited the Estate and stayed for four days at the palace and went wildlife hunting in the Estate forests. Governor-General of Pakistan Khwaja Nazimuddin accompanied him in this trip and Officer Ayub Khan served as security in charge. Ali Haider's children were Ali Safdar, Sahebzadi Syedatunnessa Begum and Ali Sarwar.

Nawab Ali Safdar Khan popularly known as Raja Saheb was the eldest son born in 1917 in the Hazarduari Palace of his maternal grandfather. He died in 1974 on 16 July at Dhaka. He was a leader in Ballisara peasant movement of the 1960s. In 1971 he led the liberation war of Bangladesh as commander of regiment from the Tripura borders.

Sahebzadi Sayeedunnessa Begum, the only daughter was born in 1923 in Kolkata, died in 6 December 1999. She was married to Prince Wahid Ali Mirza, direct descendant and heir apparent of ruler of Oudh Wajid Ali Shah. The couple had a son Sahebzada Asif Ali Mirza, the great grandson of Prince Qamar Qadr and great greatson of Wajid Ali Shah, the ruler of the Royal House of Awadh. After the premature death of Wahid Ali Mirza, she married a very successful and honourable Police Officer of India Syed Amanat Hossain, who was a Barah Syed, the lineal descendant of Muhammad. He was superintendent of Special Police Department controlled by the Federal Government in Islamabad and was in charge of East Pakistan.

Nawab Ali Sarwar Khan was the youngest child born on 15th. May 1924 at Kolkata, at Sylhet House. He died in 1995, 21 July, at Dhaka. He was elected member of Provincial Assembly, which later became Constituent Assembly following the independence of Bangladesh, on 9 December. 1970. In 1973 he contested the election again and was elected Member of Parliament by a landslide. He was a freedom fighter. He was at the Tripura front.

Nawab Ali Asghar Khan(1903 - May 1984 AD) was the second son of Nawab Ali Amjad Khan. He was MLC from Muslim League in British India. His son was Nawab Ali Yeawar Khan was MPA from 1958 to 1968 during the regime of Ayub Khan.[7][8]

The Monraj Family

Monraj Zaminder/Shaheb Family was founded by Ali Gohor Khan a son of Nawab Ali Gaus Khan of Prithimpassa Family. The Shaheb Bari was Located at Monraj Village Rauthgaon Union Kulaura Upazila but doesn't remain any more.

Zaminder Ali Akhtar Khan son of Zaminder Ali Gohor Khan. Was the second Zaminder of Monraj. He was a businessman and Landowner, Ali Akhtar Khan owned a three way partnership business in Shillong India and travelled there quite often. He also owned businesses in Manipur, Assam and Kailashahar Tripura. He married to Syeda Nadira Banu of Narapoti Shaheb Bari Chunarughat Upazila, Habiganj District, Sylhet.

Zaminder Ali Anwar Khan son of Zaminder Ali Aktar Khan was the Last Zaminder of Monraj. It has been said that after his Circumcision his father hosted a celebration at the Monraj Estate with dancers from Patna India. He looked after his father's Business and land at his old age. He married Syeda Sanwara Akhter of Nasirpur Shaheb Bari Nasirnagar Upazila Brahmanbaria. During his time the Monraj Shaheb Bari was divided into two parts which one part was owned by him and the other part by his paternal cousin. Nearing the Abolition of Zaminders and Because of some issues with property he and his Cousin had to soon sell both their parts of the Monraj Zaminder Bari. Which now doesn't exist and only the land which the estate used to be on remains. After this tragedy Ali Anwar Khan moved to Moulvibazar Sadar Upazila and took a job as a middle class officer at the Moulvibazar District Water board. Also while they were moving to Moulvibazar Sadar Upazila in another tragedy he lost one of his luggages at the train station which contained all his property papers, these haven't still been found. He lived at the Water Board colony with his family of 6. After his retirement He moved to another house but in the same area. In 2016 he died in a heart attack at a uncertain age which ranged from 70-75 years. He was buried at the Prithimpassa Graveyard next to his cousin and his eldest son who died with liver cancer in 2015.

His children are:

  • Ali Azhar Khan born Nasirpur Shaheb Bari(maternal grandfather's House) Eldest son and Child of Ali Anwar Khan. Married Selina Akhter of Mostofapur Syed Bari. Died with long term liver cancer in 2015 aged 45-50. He Was Buried at Prithimpassa Graveyard. His children are:

(Ali Akhil Khan,) (Ali Arman Khan,)

  • Jeburnessa Khatun born Nasirpur Shaheb Bari(maternal grandfather's House) Eldest daughter and second oldest child.

Married Riaz Khan, Settled In London England. Her children are: (Ali Aqib Khan,) (Nabila Tasfia Khan,) (Naushin Khan,)

  • Ali Haider Khan born Nasirpur Shaheb Bari(maternal grandfather's House) Youngest Son. Married Aysha Khan. Settled in London England. His Children are:

(Zareen Tasnia Khan,) (Ali Ikram Khan,) (Ali Afraz Khan,)

  • Bodrunessa Khatun(Sabina Yesmin) born Nasirpur Shaheb Bari) maternal grandfather's House) Youngest daughter and youngest child. Married Bozlur Rahman. Settled in Auckland New Zealand. Her Children are:

(Naffes Rahman,) (Sajeda Rahman,)


  • 1. Sakhi Salamat of Isfahan, 1499 AD
  • 2. Nawab Ismail Khan Lodhi, Khan-e-Jahan Khan, Amir al-umara, Governor of Orissa
  • 3. Nawab Shamsuddin Muhammad, 1624-1682
  • 4. Nawab Muhammad Rabi Khan, Danishmandi
  • 5. Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan, Assistant Qazi of Sylhet and Taraf
  • 6. Nawab Gaus Ali Khan
  • 7. Nawab Moulvi Ali Ahmad Khan, 1840-1874
  • 8. Nawab Moulvi Ali Amjad Khan, 1871-1905, Honorary Magistrate (Sister: Nawabzadi Latifa Banu)
  • 9. Nawab Ali Haider Khan, 1900-1963, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Power and Water Development, Leader of the Independent Muslim Party
    • Wife: Nawabzadi Syeda Husne Ara Begum, daughter of Nawab Wasif Ali Mirza of Murshidabad
    • Children:
      • Nawab Ali Safdar Khan Raja Saheb, 1917-1974
        • Nawab Ali Abbas Khan, 1958-
        • Nawab Ali Mehadi Khan
        • Nawab Ali Naki Khan
        • Nawab Ali Taki Khan
        • Nawab Ali Hassan Khan
      • Sahebzadi Sayedunnessa Begum, 1923-1999
        • Son: Sahebzada Asif Ali Mirza
  • - Nawab Ali Sarwar Khan, 1924-1995

Wife: Nawabzadi Syedatunnisa Begum Children: Nawab Ali Anwer Khan

              Nawab Ali Wasif Khan 
              Nawab Ali Hamid Khan
              Nawab Ali Arshad Khan 
              Sahebzadi Niffer Haider 
              Nawab Ali Wajid Khan 
              Nawab Ali Waris Khan 
  • - Nawab Ali Dawar Khan,
  • 10. Nawab Ali Asghar Khan, 1903
  • - Nawab Ali Yeawar Khan, 1925-2003
  • Zaminder of Monraj Ali Gohor Khan -other son of Nawab Ali Gaus Khan
  • Zaminder Ali Akhter Khan second Zaminder of Monraj married Syeda Nadira Banu.
  • Zaminder Ali Anwar Khan last Zaminder of Monraj married Syeda Sanwara Akhter.


  • Ali Azhar Khan
  • Ali Haider Khan
  • Jebunessa Khatun
  • Bodrunessa Khatun(Sabina Yesmin)

The 12 zamindars are:

Name Birth Ascension Children Death Claim
Sakhi Salamat ? 1499 Ismail Khan Lodhi ? Jagir grant from Akbar
Nawab Ismail Khan-e-Jahan Khan Amir-al-Umara Lodhi ? ? Shamsuddin Muhammad 1624 First son
Nawab Shamsuddin Muhammad ? 1624 Rabi Khan 1682 First son
Nawab Danishmandi Muhammad Rabi Khan ? 1682 Muhammad Ali Khan ? First son
Nawab Muhammad Ali Khan ? ? Gaus Ali Khan ? First son
Nawab Gaus Ali Khan ? ? Ali Ahmed Khan ? First son
Nawab Moulvi Ali Ahmed Khan 1840 ? Ali Amjad Khan 1874 First son
Nawab Moulvi Ali Amjad Khan 1871 1874 Ali Haider and Ali Asghar Khan 1905 First son
Nawab Ali Haider Khan 1900 1905 Safdar, Syedunnesa, Sarwar, Dewar 1963 First son of Amjad
Nawab Ali Asghar Khan 1903 1963 Ali Yeawar Khan 1984 Second son of Amjad
Nawab Ali Sarwar Khan 1924 1984 Hamid 1995 Son of Ali Haider
Nawab Syed Ali Hamid Khan 1956 1995 present Son of Ali Sarwar

Further reading

  • The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Richard M. Eaton.
  • History of Bengal, Blochman, Akbarnama pg 177.
  • Riyaz-ul-Salatin pg 180.
  • Ain-I-Akbari pg 520.
  • Tazak-I-Jahangiri pg 104.


  1. ^ Kaniz-e-Butool. "Urdu". Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  2. ^ Jobrul Alom Shumon (25 August 2015). " ? -? " (in Bengali). Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Richard M. Eaton
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Rare 1857 reports on Bengal uprisings - Times of India".
  6. ^ Chisholm 1911, p. 130.
  7. ^ "Brief History of the Family". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  8. ^ Prithimpassa Estate, Ali Hamid Khan

?Syed Adil Hussain

?Tarpi shaheb Bari Prithimpasha

3 July 2018

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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