The earthquake is called ‘Vaishal’ in Sylhet region. On 12 June 1897, a large earthquake destroyed many structures in Sylhet. In history, that earthquake is known as ‘Bara Vaishal’. At that time, a part of the middle of a tall pyramid-shaped structure on the top of a tiller collapsed and bent. After that there is no movement, it has stood still for 125 years. The installation was built in 1850. The history of the establishment has been overshadowed by the wonder of survival. The installation is carrying a big sign of big Vaishaal in Sylhet region.
The hill is on the outskirts of Sylhet in Chhatak town of Sunamganj. Chhatak is known as the ‘industrial city of the British’ in the Sylhet region. The Tiller peak in the Bagbari area of the town on the banks of the Surma River is a memorial to the death of a British national. Tiller 2 acres 80 percent of the land is included in the government khas khatian. It is said that George English, a British citizen, came to the roof business in the early 18th century. He is a British businessman who started a limestone business in the region. When he died, he was buried on the roof. His son Harry built a triangular-shaped monument in the shape of a pyramid at the top of Tyler as a token of his love for his English father. To the locals it is known as ‘English Tila’ or ‘George Tila’.
It was built in 1850, according to various books. The hill was then raised to a square for the memorial. The monument, about 25 feet high and 4 and a half feet wide, is engraved in marble with the words of George English and his wife Henry English. After its construction, Henry moved to the United Kingdom. He did not return. Their son Harry returned to Meghalaya to trade in English limestone. He is buried in Cherrapunji, Shillong.
Chhatak has been known for its trade, commerce and industry since the British rule. Surma river flows on one side of Chhatak. There are happy waterways for this.
The railway from Sylhet to Chhatak was established during the British rule. Long ropeway (ropeway) is used to transport goods from Bholaganj stone quarry in Kompaniganj upazila of Sylhet. There are also roads. The first pulp and paper mill was built on the roof with the help of water-rail-road and ropeway. The paper mill is closed now. However, the cement factory is still open.
In the midst of so much fame, the English hill is attracting the attention of the visitors only in the wonder of the survival of the monument. When there is an earthquake from small to big, people’s eyes fall on the hill. Many people have been surprised that the monument has not been moved in the small earthquakes so far. Purnendukanti Das, a retired professor at Maharaja Bir Bikram College, Agartala, India, wrote in his autobiography, Amar Kal Amar Bhuban (Vol. I), that on June 12, 1897, almost all the houses in the whole of North-East India were destroyed by an earthquake. A piece in the middle of the monument, about 40 feet high, fell off and the upper part fell on the head of the lower part. Surprising to think! How was that possible? I saw the monument in this condition in 1951/52. It surprised me. ‘
Architect Rajan Das, General Secretary of Bangladesh Architects Institute (IAB) Sylhet Center, went to see if there was any other deviation in the monument of Tiller Peak after several earthquakes in Sylhet recently. He said in the first light, this pillar was built at a high place keeping in mind the survival of the earthquake. Several steps of construction have been observed. The construction idea has been implemented that the installation can survive even if it deviates from one step to another. For this reason, it has survived even in big earthquakes.