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Farashganj bears the memory of the former French merchants in Dhaka city. The French East India Company started their business in Dhaka in the mid 17th century. They had built their "Kuthi" near the present Ahsan Manzil Palace.
French merchants opened businesses at Farashganj in 1740 with permission from Nowazish Mohammad Khan. The French settlement started with the seizure of the English Factory by the French in 1750. This, however, created a crisis, which was resolved by the intervention of Jasarat Khan. The factory became known as Dhaka Factory, years before the fall of the last Muslim ruler of Bengal in 1757, but Farashganj continued to flourish. In the area, French merchants established wholesale trading posts for spices like raw turmeric, ginger, garlic and chilli.
Dhaka city's population continues to grow and Old Dhaka is seriously overcrowded. The streets are narrow, and there are almost constant traffic jams. Farashganj is not alone in this problem.
Points of interest
There are a number of historic buildings in Farashganj, mostly dilapidated. The stately two-story riverside mansion Ruplal House is now occupied by squatters. The once magnificent 19th-century mansion Bara Bari, with its ornate curved balconies over the street, has been partly demolished.
Loharpul bridge also located in Farashganj. It was a great engineering feat at that time. In 1832 the collector of Dhaka, Mr. Walter put up work for a single-span hanging bridge over the canal at Sutrapur (Farashganj) for facilitating passage from Dhaka to Narayanganj.
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