Built 33 years ago, by two brothers, the house has 96 big and 12 small rooms
Mud houses are integral to the heritage of rural Bangladesh; and Mahadebpur, Naogaon boasts one such house with 108 rooms.
Mud houses are quite comfortable to stay in during the winter and summer seasons; as they keep the temperature cool when it is hot outside and warm when it is cold outside.
There was a time when the rich of the village spent a substantial amount of money to build mud houses but due to the constant development of infrastructure technology—and the introduction of brick and cement—mud houses are almost extinct.
However, one may glimpse the golden heritage of rural Bangladesh as the mud house of 108 rooms in Alipur village of Cheragpur union, under Mahadebpur upazila of Naogaon district, still stands.
People from all walks of life visit the site every day to experience this prime example of rural Bangladesh’s heritage firsthand.
When asked about the mud house, Babu Sree Shabinath Mitra, Cheragpur union parishad chairman said: "The house was built in 1986. It has 108 rooms, stretches 300 feet in length and 100 feet in width, and covers 1.20 acres of land.
"The mud house stands tall and is visually stunning, resembling a palace; and with the government’s initiative and supervision, this place will become a popular tourist spot."
Samsher Ali Mondol and Taher Ali Mondol, brothers, are responsible for constructing this amazing piece of architecture 33 years ago.
Altaf Hossain, a resident of Alipur village explained how mud houses are built from a mixture of soil, straw, and water—that is turned into mud—to construct the 20-30-feet-tall walls.
He said: "It takes quite a bit of time to build the walls as one cannot just raise a wall this tall without working in phases. In each phase one builds one to one-and-a-half feet of the wall.
"Once the mud mixture dries the same process is repeated."
Sabbir Hossain came to visit this place, along his family, all the way from Natore.
When asked about the rural heritage sight he said: "We have come to see the mud house which has 108 rooms. The new generation does not even know mud houses exist in real life. I brought my children here to see the mud house.
"I did not believe that a mud house could be so beautiful. Now I know why so many people come here every day."
The present owner of the house, Masud Rana, son of late Taher Ali Mondol said: "My father and uncle were both were men of taste. Together they built this mud house. Although they are not alive anymore, all their memories reside here. My father died four years ago whereas my uncle died 10 years ago.
"Every day people from all over the country come to see our house. It took 100 workers to build the house."
Fatema Beywa, wife of Samsher Ali Mondal said: "It takes at least seven-to-eight minutes to take a complete tour of the house. There are only seven entrances to the mud house. However, each room has multiple entrances. The house has 18 staircases to go to the second floor.
"One can access all the 108 rooms of the house by using any of the doors. There are total 96 big and 12 small rooms in the house."
Furthermore, Mohabarak Hossain Parvez, Mahadebpur upazila executive officer said: "As far as I know, this mud house is the biggest in Bangladesh.
"We provide our advice and recommendations to the people who take care of this place."
"We also provide accommodation in the upazila post-office bungalow to the people who come to see the mud house and want stay the night here.
"We have contacted the Ministry of Tourism for the construction of a resting place and other additional compounds to serve the visitors," he added.