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Pilkhana is a place within Dhaka City in Bangladesh. The word Pilkhana means "stable of elephants". Pilkhana is not officially named in any record of Dhaka City Corporation, but this is the popular name of this place as elephants are a part of its history (pil means "elephant" and khana means "home").
During the 16th century AD, in the period of the Mughal Empire, Pilkhana was a jungle place and was used as the grazing area for the royal elephants, its stable housing no less than 300 elephants. Later, during the period of East India Company administration, the company employees used to tame freshly caught untamed elephants. The rich Zamindars also sent their untamed elephants to this place, where company employees were paid to tame the elephants. This place was practically a forest, with River Buriganga beside it. During the Mughal period the royal elephants kept in this place used to go for grazing in the nearby jungle to the east, which was later turned into Dhaka Nawab's Garden, now known as Paribagh and Shahbagh. The path between Pilkhana and the jungle, through which the elephants traversed, later became public road named Elephant Road.
The Elephant Road now can be traced starting at BGB Gate number 3, running through the middle of New Super Market, adjacent to Dhaka New Market, touching the Gauchia Market to reach Bata signal point, and ending at Paribagh. This road is now known as Old Elephant Road.
After the fall of Mughal Empire the place Pilkhana was continued to be such used and the then British Empire took over the place for their military activity. In the year 1876 AD Viceroy of India founded "Frontier Force" and established its headquarters in Pilkhana. This Frontier Force changed its name as Assam Bengal Rifles in the year 1920 AD. After the achievement of Pakistan the name of this para-military force was changed to East Pakistan Rifles, (EPR),thereafter during the Independence War of 1971 the name of EPR was changed to East Pakistan Civil Armed Force, EPCAF. After the Independence of Bangladesh it was changed to Bangladesh Rifles, (BDR) and after the BDR carnage on 25 February 2009, it has been changed currently as Border Guard Bangladesh, BGB. Although with the passage of time the name of the said para-military force was changed on number of occasion, but the headquarters of it remain in Pilkhana.
Pilkhana is a magnificent place. Its a beautiful Greenery. Pilkhana being maintained by a disciplinary force, everything inside Pilkhana is being placed as if picture in frame. From the space Pilkhana is seen as covered by the leaves of trees. Nothing could be seen peeping through these leaves. There are hundreds of thousands of different trees both of wood and fruit. There are number of Gardens. The roads inside Pilkhana are so beautiful that one can not imagine such roads and is adjacent in the Dhaka city. Pilkhana used to be one of the favourite destinations in Dhaka city. In no part of the city one would find in one place - gardens of rose and orchid, fields and another lucrative treat was the scenic beauty of Pilkhana. Recently huge sculptures were set at different point at Pilkhana adding extra beauty to it.
How to reach there
Pilkhana being used as headquarters of Border Guard Bangladesh, a disciplinary force of Bangladesh, is a restricted area. It has 5 Gates to enter, one of such convenient gate, from the Dhaka New Market, adjacent to the residential locality New Paltan known as gate no.3,which has been recently (March 2013) named as 'Bir Sherestra Habibur Rahman Gate'. The other convenient entrance is Gate No.4 at Dhanmondi Road No.2,recently named as 'Bir Sherestra Salauddin Ahmed Gate'.Gate No.2 is at Azimpur Road and the Gate no.1 & 5 are at Hazaribagh area. A visitor can use any of these gates to enter Pilkhana, subject to obtain prior permission. Even private Cars intends to cross through Pilkhana is required to take 'Sticker'upon making applications in prescribed form obtainable from the office of Director general,BGB and to pay an amount of Taka.1000.00 as fee.
1971,25 March: Pakistan Army made EPR forces as their prime target and raided Pilkhana at 12.00 Am on 25 March 1971, prior to which at the evening the Controlling West Pakistani Army officers disarmed the General soldiers of EPR.As many as 200 un-armed helpless Bangali EPR member fell dead by such raid. Dead bodies of these EPR members left in the Barracks for days and thereafter buried in mass grave within Pilkhana without observing any religious formalities. This was an war Crime committed by Pakistan Army in invaded East Pakistan.
1973, 25 March: Upon formation of BDR in 1972 Sheikh Mujibur Rahman ordered for absorbing with the Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini which caused dissatisfaction among the erstwhile EPR member of the force. On 25 March in 1973 those section of the newly constituted BDR force and caused a commotion that almost resulted in a mutiny.
2009, 25–28 February: The 2009 Bangladesh Rifles revolt took place. Members of the Bangladesh Rifles mutinied against senior officials of BDR who were mostly from Bangladesh Army. While the exact reasons for such a widespread mutiny largely remains unknown, words have been on the air regarding possible involvement of vested political quarters inside Bangladesh and even of forces outside Bangladesh. On that fateful day of 25 February 2015 at 9 AM Bangladesh Rifles jawans entered the "Darbar Hall" auditorium killing BDR Director General Major General Shakil Ahmed. Over the next three days, the BDR jawans killed as many as 64 officers and their family members including women and children. The conflict left as many as 57 people dead and 6 missing .
- "Dhaka District - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- "New Market Thana - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-04-09.
- Dhaka-Sriti Bisritir Nagari, Muntasir Mamun.
- Personal knowledge
- Bhaumik, Subir (25 February 2009). "Bangladesh's first line of defence". BBC. BBC. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- BDR Mutiny and Trial: The 2009 Carnage is still shrouded in mystery; http://www.bangladeshchronicle.net/index.php/2013/02/bdr-mutiny-and-trial-the-2009-carnage-is-still-shrouded-in-mystery/
- "657 jailed for Peelkhana mutiny, 9 freed". bdnews24.com. 27 June 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
- Julfikar Ali Manik (3 March 2009) "6, not 72, army officers missing", The Daily Star Internet edition. Retrieved 6 November 2013