Pirpahar

Three miles east of the town is a hill called Pirpahar, from the top of which a fine view of the surrounding country is obtained. The hill is called after an old Muhammadan Saint or Pir, whose name is no longer remembered, though devotees occasionally come to worship at his grave. There are two old tombs side by side at the foot of the hill, on one of which there is an inscription to the foot of the hill, on one of which there is an inscription to the memory of one Mary Anne Beckett, who died in 1832, while the other has a damaged inscription showing, till a few years ago, that it is in memory of a person named D’Oyly; the portion containing the name has now disappeared. The former is somewhat unconventional in form and character, consisting of a mausoleum surrounded by four walls open to the sky, and has a memorial tablet inserted in the northern wall, with the uncommon and not unaffecting inscription “Be still, she sleeps”. It is not known who Mary Anne Beckett was, but several legends are current about the manner in which she met her death. One is to the effect that she was a young girl who was killed when riding down the hill; another is that she threw herself down the hill owing to some love trouble; while another account says that she was the Kashmirian wife of a Colonel Beckett. Nothing is known about the person to whom the other tomb was erected, but Sir Warren Hastings D’Oyly, formerly Collector of Munger, to whom a reference was made, states that it is possible that he or she was a relative of a D’Oyly, who was formerly an indigo planter in the district. The inscription which is now obliterated shows that he or she died in 183-, i.e., between 1830and 1840.

On the top of the hill there is an old house which may be identified with the residence which, according to the Sair-Ul-Mutakharin, was erected for himself by Ghurghin Khan, the Armemian general of the Nawab Kasim Ali Khan. This is referred to in the Sair-Ul-Mutakharin as the house on the hill of Sitakund, though the sacred springs of Sitakund are two miles away and we learn that when Vansittart, the Governor of the East India Company, visited Munger in 1762, it was assigned to him for his residence. Thirty years later it appears to have been known as Belvedere and a pleasing description of it is given by Mr. Twining in “Travels in India a Hundred years ago”. Former Collectors of Munger resided in this house, which commands one of the finest views one can obtain along the Ganga. Both house and hill are now the property of the sons of the late Babu Upendra Nath Mandal of Chandernagore. Close by, on the summit of another small hill, is a house belonging to Babu Ram Lal Mukerji, a public-spirited Bengali gentleman, who placed a large sum at the disposal of Government for the relief of the distressed in times of famine and flood.

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