The first impression that we had on reaching this deserted place is of a typical Bollywood movie set. Black and white opening of a ruined town with that melodramatic music and a coarse voice-over of “how a prosperous place has been brought to dust”


Panam city,  couple of hours drive from Dhaka referred to widely as “Lost city”, “Deserted city”, “Ghost city” has all the ingredients of the typical Bollywood flick.  It has this immediate effect on you to ask for “what happened and who did it in” and gets you to talk, research and dig deeper on “what could have been this city” had it not happened.


Before I get to the past glory of Panam city there is lot to talk about its photographic aesthetics as we see it now.  A narrow road is all that is there in Panam city with rows of houses (sorry you can’t call them houses cause they are mansions) in depilated condition.


The mansions have been skinned down to the bricks literally, robbed of all its flesh.  Since we do mostly wildlife the closest this could be compared to is making images of Vultures pecking on the last bit of bones left off the kill.


Most of these mansions (52 in all) are locked. People would dare not get into these mansions if they were not locked not for some “vittalacharya” kind of reasons but the structure could cave in any time.


The narrow road does lead to somewhere, to a school, we did see quite a few kids in their uniform walking on the road cheerfully to learn.  Will they learn the glorious past of the road they scamper by daily, maybe not.


The homes (mansions doesn’t matter people lived there that’s all matters) on both sides of the road have nothing much to offer unless you are interested to shoot some closed doors in multiple colours.  Step behind these row of houses and the “beauty of destruction” is inviting.

Most homes down to bricks, moss covered, showing that little semblance of glory of the past.


One of these homes which is converted to some kind of office did let us in to explore.


Like any one of our ancestral homes it has a small door, opening into the expanse of a courtyard with rooms lined up in the sides which brought to mind when it was inhabited must have been the place where all kids of the home must have been running around with the ladies of the home keeping watch on them from the side rooms.  After going up a few steps actually it felt like a huge hike thanks to those calf muscle wrenching staircases.  Why would they need to make even staircases an exercise machine in those days.


The occupants of these mansions have lived a royal life in a self contained township. haunted13

Music, dance floors, beautifully decorated ornamental homes.  The typical Bollywood havelis that we have seen countless number of times was what you get to see in these isolated ones now.

haunted 11

Carved pillars, colourful well decorated ceilings, etched glasses with sun seeping through making the dancing floors interesting.  Galleries where the women folk would have been relegated to distanced from the men sashaying.  haunted14

With so much of Bollywood in our blood enacting the actual scene when you lay foot in any such place isn’t tough.  Go up another level into the terrace and what was on display was a neighbours home which probably looked even more grandeur than this one.


Couple of hours of walking around in Panam city with the Flash Back stories flowing incessantly is all that you do there. Not a bad day at work I should say since one is able to piece together a story with so little strain.

With the present out of the way, I am to take you back to the actual flash back in colour of Panam city’s glorious past. Sorry I am going to disappoint you here.  Google and you have enough of that.


~ by Uma & Ganesh on August 18, 2015.

One Response to “Flashback”

  1. Very nicely done.also interesting read

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