Friday, November 10, 2017

Lucknow Tour: Part 2 - Hussainabad Imambara (Chhota Imambara), Clock Tower, Picture Gallery and Hussainabad Tank

In my previous post about Bara Imambara I have mentioned the beginning of renaissance in Lucknow with the patronage of Nawab Asaf Ud Doula. After his demise in 1797, the successors Nawab Wazir Ali Khan, Nawab Saadat Ali Khan II, Nawab Rafa'at-ud-Daula, Nawab Abul-Mansur Qutb-ud-din Sulaiman Jah carried the baton of but they were more interested to build office and residential places.

Chhota Imambara

When Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah ascended to the throne, he decided to build another remarkable structure like Bara Imambara. He was as ambitious as Nawab Asaf Ud Doula and thus patronaged to construct Chhota Imambara.


Hussainabad Imambara (Chhota Imambara)
Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah’s intention was not to challenge Nawab Asaf Ud Doula, rather he added drove the engine of cultural excellence that his predecessors started.

Dear readers, let’s now explore Chhota Imambara, Hussainabad Tank, Clock Tower, Picture Gallery that you can visit with the same day of viewing Bara Imambara.

As discussed in my previous post about Bara Imambara, you need to take a Tonga and visit to Chhota Imambara by crossing Rumi Darwaza. Please do not issue a new ticket. The same ticket for Bara Imambara is applicable here.

Right after crossing the main gateway of Chhota Imambara, you have reached to the main courtyard. Though there are several other gateways but only the north gate is open for tourists. Now, a water channel is in front of you. The imambara is opposite to you after the channel and can be approached by both sides of the channel. Two mousolla are built on the both sides of the channel. A small mosque can also be found on the north-west corner of the complex.


Mousolla inside Chhota Imambara Complex
Hammams can be found on the west side of the tank. The guide will explain you the pipes for hot and cold water. I got surprised to see the progress of science and technology during that time. Now you would approach to the Imambara.


Hammam at Chhota Imambara
ChhoTa Imambara or Hussainabad Imambara consists of seven main chambers. The southern wall of main chamber has the Shem Shashan so Tazia is kept on it. The east and west wall have small rectangular chambers.

As usual the Shem-Sheren is decorated to display Zari, Alam, Tazia, Panja, Patka and other ritual objects.


Decoration inside Chhota Imambara
Along with the Shem Sheren, the main hall is decorated with costly mirrors of Belgian glass, paintings, photographs, chandeliers etc. The tombs of Nawab Mahmud Ali Shah and his mother are inside the main hall.


Decoration in the ceiling of Chhota Imambara
Dear readers, after Chhota Imambara, let’s see two other monuments located just opposite to it.

Hussainabad Tank and Satkhanda:

Hussainabad Tank was built in the regime of Nawab Mahmud Ali Shah. The polygonal water tank is flanked by Baradari (Picture Gallery) Clock Tower and ruins of Satkhanda.


Hussainabad Tank and Satkhanda
When I visited, Husainabad Tank was under renovation.

Satkhanda is located on the north to Hussainabad Tank and some historians think that it was built to observe moon during the holy month of Ramzan.

Picture Gallery:

Picture gallery or Baradari was constructed by Lakhuri Brick. When I visited there, it was closed.


Picture Gallery and Hussainabad Tank
Clock Tower:

Clock Tower or Ghanta Ghar is the largest clock tower of India. It was built in 1881 to mark the arrival of Sir George Couper, the 1st Lieutenant Governor of Awadh.

Clock Tower, Lucknow
Bibliography:
  • Monuments of Lucknow by R S Fonia (published by Archaeological Survey of India)
View similar posts

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lucknow Tour: Part 1 - Asafi Imambara (Bara Imambara) and Rumi Darwaza

Lucknow is one of the oldest city of India. Lucknow’s existence has been mentioned even in the epic The Ramayana. Then the name of the city was Laxmanabati during that time. In spite of being an ancient city, Lucknow was not that much flourished as Delhi or Agra – two important and enriched cities on the bank of the river Yamuna. Like Yamuna, Gomti is also destined to the river Ganges. After the confluence with Ganges, Gomti had to keep mum when Yamuna told Gomti about her own glory. The way a luckless girl behaves in front of a happy and prosperous girls, Gomti had to hear them silently by resisting her tears. God seemed to have noticed the silent cry of Gomti.

At the last quarter of 18th Century, by the infallible direction of destiny, Mughal dynasty started declining, the “subedar” of Awadh started their journey and finally the capital of the new empire “Awadh” got shifted to Lucknow. The light of art and architecture started illuminating on the bank of Gomti. And Gomti got its own story to share with Yamuna. If you can go to the confluence of Ganges and Gomti in the late afternoon and pay your ears on the girly whisper of Ganges, Gomti and Yamuna, you can hear the story of Gomti.

I am doing my best try to say the story that I heard by paying my head to the girly chit chat. Being your virtual guide, I promise to help you to explore the glorious days of Lucknow. But this is nothing but drinking a glass of water from the river Gomti.


Asafi Mosque inside Bara Imambara Complex
After death of Badshah Auragazaeb on 1707, Mughal Dynasty started losing its glory. During the time of Aurangazeb, Mughal empire were very liberal and secular up the regime of Badshah Shah Jahan but Aurangazeb was very intolerant. Not only other religions but also Shia muslims were in extremely trouble in Alamgirh’s tenure. People of India was looking for a change as they were very happy during the regim of Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.

The successors of Aurangazeb were inefficient and sunk themselves in personal entertainment. So Alamgirh’s death brought the opportunity for the local powers to revolve. Two of the prominent periods started simultaneously – (i) Shivaji – another dangerous character of Maratha and secondly (ii) Nawabs of Awadh

Up to Aurangazeb’s regime, the Nawab family was a “Subedar” under Mughal Dynasty. But the journey of “Nawabs of Awadh” started by Burhan-Ul-Mulk on 1722. Faizabad was the first capital city. The dynasty flourished in the regime of the great Nawab Asaf Ud Doula (from 1775). When he decided to shift his capital to Lucknow.

The legendary king Asaf Ud Doula was not only educated but also a patron of art and architecture. He had an ambition. Asaf Ud Doula knew that only ruling cannot make Lucknow a glorious city but art and architecture can give him what he wanted.

In Asaf Ud Doula’s patronage, the epical journey of Lucknow started. He is considered the architect in general of Lucknow. A number of monuments, gardens and residential architectures were constructed in his time that elevated Lucknow to an architectural marvel.

The most famous monuments in his time are Asafi Imambara, Rumi Darwaza and the first phase of Qaisar Bagh.  

Later Qaiser Bagh area was enriched by Sadaat Ali II, Hussain and Wajid Ali Shah.
My fellow readers, I hope, we have reached at the gate of Bara Imambara Complex and here you need to get the ticket for entering the monuments. With the same ticket you can visit to:
  • Asafi Imambara (Bara Imambara)
  • Rumi Darwaza
  • Hussainabad Imambara (Chhota Imambara)
  • Picture Gallery
  • Clock Tower
  • Hussainabad Talao
Right after purchasing the ticket please get a Tonga (a van pulled by horse). The Tonga will take you to Bara Imambara. Please don’t leave the tonga puller as he will take you to Chhota Imambara.

Architectural detail of Asafi Imambara (Bara Imambara):

As you have just crossed the gate 1 of Bara Imambara and walking towards the gate 2, I would like to say the story behind the construction of the gigantic architecture.


Second Entrance of Bara Imambara
Nawab Asaf Ud Doula created a global requirement for the position of architect. Many architects across the world came with their profile. He selected a Delhi architect Khiyafat Ullah after a competitive process.

The plan of the Imambara was so robust that it required a huge land. The Nawab could show his power to uproot some residents. But Asaf Ud Doula was a people’s King. He found a new place near the river Gomti. Even in the new place an issue raised. A small hut owned by an old lady Lado Saqum stood in the chosen terrestrial. Initially Lado Saqum was reluctant to sell her land. Instead of showing muscle power Nawab met her personally and requested the land for the noble work. Lado was convinced with the greatness of the Nawab and agreed to sell her land with a condition.


Bara Imambara (Asafi Imambara)
Honorable readers, now you have crossed the gate 2 of Bara Imambara Complex and reached in the main courtyard of the great structure. Now, the Imambara is in front of you. Shahi Baoli is on your left-hand side and Asafi Mosque is on the right-hand side.


Site Plan Bara Imambara      Image Source: Inetrnet
Here I would suggest you to visit the Imambara first. Since you have started your day so you are on the top of the energy level.

At the entrance of the main building, please change your shoes but not shocks (because when you will be on the terrace of the Imambara, the heated floors will give burning heat on your feet). Please take a guide from here. They will charge you near about INR 500 bucks. If you don’t take a guide, you cannot explore the imambara thoroughly.

Please follow the guide and listen to him carefully. The main consists of a large vaulted chamber containing the tomb of Nawab Asaf Ud Doula and the architect Khiyafat Ullah. (Story 2)
The main hall is 50 meters by 16 meters over 15 meters tall. It has no beams supporting this ceiling. There are eight surrounding chambers built to different roof heights, permitting the space above these to be constructed as a three-dimensional labyrinth with passages interconnecting with through 489 identical doorways.

Bhulbhulaiya, the labyrinth was constructed to confuse any enemy intruder. Some of the narrow stairways have dead ends, some of them has precipitous drop and only a few to exit point, some of the doorways will lead to the same point from where you started. There is a legend that some of the stairways lead to hidden tunnels that are connected to river Gomti, nearest town Faizabad and even to Delhi. The legends sound convincing to me because strategically these connections have strategical benefit. Faizabad was the former capital of the Nawab and connection with river Gomti can help to escape in case of any emergency.


Balcony of Bara Imambara
The labyrinth was constructed so strategically that even a small noise can be heard from anywhere. In fact, if somebody whispers or light a match stick that can be heard from the other corner of the room. It also contains watching window by which the entire courtyard was clearly visible.

Leave the technical things apart. The real fun is to get lost inside Bhulbhulaiya. I tried to do so. I took one after another staircase and after an unsuccessful try I came back to the same point from where I started. At last our guide Muhammad showed me the way.


View from the terrace of Bara Imambara
Viewing the entire Lucknow city from the terrace of Bara Imambara is a nice experience. Please stay ample time in this imambara. This can be a life time experience. At the end, come out of the structure and I am sure, you will give some extra tips to the guide.

Now you are at the courtyard of the Bara Imambara complex. You can first see the grand mosque – Asafi Mosque.

As said above, Asafi Mosque was also constructed by Asaf Ud Doula. This is the biggest mosque in Lucknow. Asafi Mosque has been positioned in such an angle so that anybody inside the complex can offer prayer.


Asafi Mosque
The mosque can be approached by imposing few steps. Only Shia Muslims can go inside the mosque. Exceptionally this rule is followed only in Lucknow. I have visited Jama Masjid in Delhi, Nakhoda Masjid in Kolkata, Shat Gombuj Masjid (Sixty Dommed Mosque) in Bangladesh and many other mosques across Indian Subcontinent. Nobody stopped me, but only in Lucknow I was not allowed to go inside. If you are not a Shia Muslim (not even a Sunni Muslim can go inside the mosque) the only option for you is to get the exterior view of the gigantic mosque. Asafi Mosque was built of Lakhuri bricks laid in mortar and design extended by stucco which mostly confine to floral, geometrical and arabesque pattern. This is interesting. Here we can see the influence of Buddhist and Hindu architecture. So, we can see the secularism practiced by Nawab Asaf Ud Doula has been reflected in his creativity. We can say the Indo-Islamic Architecture that started with the foundation of Qutb Minar achieved completeness in Asafi Imambara Complex.


Asafi Mosque, Front View
Our next point is Shahi Baoli. Baoli is the stepped well to store water. Summer in India is very hot. So, it was required to store water. Baolis were dug to serve this purpose.

When Asafi Imambara and Asafi Masjid were constructed, the requirement of water was huge. A big well was dug to serve the purpose. Asaf Ud Doula had a unique plan. His creative and innovative mind suggested him to make a Baoli so that it could be the perennial source water for the day to day work of entire Imambara.

Shahi Baoli is located on the east side of Imambara Complex, opposite to Asafi Mosque and can be approached by an entrance gateway. It is built in sections in seven levels. Among them four are under the well, three are above the water level. The lower section consists of a large four-storied octagonal block.


Steps of Shahi Baoli
Our guide Mohammed showed us some unique features of Shahi Baoli. It has a small labyrinth. Another feature is if anybody entered in the Baoli, s/he can be spotted clearly by their reflection in water from any vantage point. Although when I visited there I experienced a dry well that may be due to the global warming.


Shahi Baoli
The construction of Shahi Baoli shows technical competence of design, construction skill and aesthetic balance of composition.

Nakkarkhana and Nahabat Khana are located outside the Imambara and are not open for the tourists.

Now Dear readers, you have completed visiting Bara Imambara and have already make got spellbound by the architectural beauty. Now take the tonga that you left before entering the complex and go to Rumi Darwaza.

Rumi Darwaza, the main entrance of Bara Imambara stands historically on the old Hardoi Road with a distance of approximately 100 meters from the entrance of Bara Imambara. The magnificient architecture has two different views from each side (east and west). The gate is between Bara Imambara and Chhota Imambara.

It has several levels and plan has been changed from one level to another. From west, it looks like a Mihrab, formed by two extra arches. All along lotus panels, cursive engravings and other geometric patterns are depicted to its body.


Rumi Darwaza
From west side, it looks like a half crested shapped building. It has three medium sized gateways adorned with multi foiled arches with floral design. This is probably an influence of Rajput Style.

On the roof of the gateway there is a pentagonal structure. Influence of Mughal architecture is observed in the minerates.

The legendary Nawab Asaf Ud Doula and his architect Kifayat Ullah have shown due respect to ancient Indian origin and left their own signature in Indo-Islamic architecture. They not only gave completeness to Indo-Islamic Architecture but also brought renaissance in Lucknow.


Bibliography:
  • Monuments of Lucknow by R S Fonia (published by Archaeological Survey of India)
View similar posts

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A week end at Rangaroon Tea Estate

Diner table discussion and chit chat in a family get together are always very interesting. Recently in such situation my uncle was saying about his first trek to Sandakphu in mid 70s. I was adding more spice to his memory recollection by sharing my experience during Sandakphu Trek. Suddenly my parents expressed their interest for a week end trip to North Bengal but they asked not to plan for any trek, instead, they it would be better to stay in a village near to Darjeeling preferably in a tea garden and forest.

When everybody of the table agreed to their plan I ran a search query in my mental database and retrieved the name of Rangaroon Tea Garden.

Rangaroo Tea Garden
Rangaroon Tea Garden is 16 kilometre away from Darjeeling. Located on the opposite hill of Darjeeling, this hamlet can be reached by car either via Kurseong-Jorbangla-3 Mile Mor of Via Teesta Bazar – 3 Mile Mor.

Next morning, my first job was to issue tickets for New Jalpaiguri (as NJP is the gateway to go North Bengal) and after getting six births in Darjeeling Mail I booked Khalling Cottage of Rangaroon Tea Estate for two nights. This time our team consisted of six members – my parents, uncle, aunty, my cousin sister Sanghamitra and myself.

We reached NJP in a cloudy morning. Cottage authority arranged a car for us that took us from NJP. While going through Rohini Road, we experienced light shower. I love to see shower on a tea garden. The sound of rainfall on a tea garden refreshes me like anything.

Suddenly our driver said, “Mausama kharaba cha. Kanchenjunga herna kunai mauka” (Weather condition is bad, no chance to see Kanchanjungha). “La”, I replied. Though I felt that everybody in the car got a bit upset by I knew my luck to see Mt. Kanchanjungha. Mt. K never betrayed me. Even in my Lamahatta trip, where it was only me in the team who saw Mt. Kanchanjungha just for 2minutes.

Meanwhile our car to turn from 3 Mile Mor and entered into Sinchal Forest. Finally, we reached at Khalling Cottage at around 12.30pm. This is the best home stay ever I have stayed in my life. The interior decoration reflects the taste of Rai family. Every corner of the cottage contains the ethnicity of Nepal.

By that time rain was stopped. After getting freshened up, had a wonderful lunch and planned to roam around the tea garden. But nature had a different idea. The rain started again. Rain on a forest in a hill station!!! What more a person like me can expect!!!

Myself with my sister went to the cottage owner Mr. Rai to have some chat. He is a nice gentleman with a pleasant personality. We talked for 2-3 hours. He said the history of the tea garden.

Once upon a time in 19th century a British guy was looking for the best quality of tea. He chose this place for plantation. In 19th century and also early days of 20th Century, Rangaroon tea was served in Buckingham Palace.



Next morning, we got up earlier and started walking around the village. The picturesque village is surrounded by the tea garden. Most of the villagers are jovial, educated and dignified. Tea garden and driving are the source of income for the villagers. It was a Sunday. So, people were celebrating the weekly off by doing domestic work and chit-chat. Personally, I love to interact with the villagers and always I have felt that people of North Bengal and Sikkim respond to me in a very positive way. This adds more pleasure in every trip. I experienced the same warmth of local people in this trip also.


Rangaroon Village
A young girl took me and my sister to the gate of the factory. She explained the entire process of making tea. She took us to the tea garden. I would suggest my fellow readers to have this experience. I had done it in my previous trips also. But every time I feel the same pleasure while walking along the lush green tea garden.

I got a bit nostalgic. It might be due to the history of the garden. The soil of the garden is the silent speaker of the dream of a young British merchant. The tree plants are the proud mother as the leaves were used in Buckingham Palace. So aristocratic history the garden has!!!
Meanwhile it was 12pm and we came back to resort for lunch. After lunch, we decided to trek to the jhora. We started walking towards it. But suddenly the weather betrayed and we came back.
In the evening, I came out of the resort to have a fag. Suddenly I got surprised to see the opposite hill. Darjeeling hill is just to the opposite of Rangaroon Tea Garden. The city lights were glowing and it seemed like a golden neckless on the throat of a dark hill. It was the climax of the tour. The heavenly beauty made me spellbound for a long time when Mr. Rai asked me for dinner.

While coming back, I was thinking that although it was a successful trip but we could not see Kanchanjungha. Suddenly our driver said, “saab dekho.” We all looked through the right window of the car and saw the clouds were getting disappeared. Within a few seconds Mount Kanchanjungha showed its face just like a crown on Darjeeling hill.


Kanchanjungha from Jor Bangla, Darjeeling

Going:

Train to NJP or flight to Siliguri followed by car from Siliguri/ NJP can reach you to Rangaroon Tea Estate by two ways – either from Hill Cart Road (Siliguri-Kurseong-Ghum) or from Teesta Bazar. You can also take a car from Darjeeling to Rangaroon Tea Garden.

Staying:

Khalling Cottage is the only place to stay at Rangaroon Tea Garden.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Khan Jahan Ali Tomb, Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Usually history does not give poetic justice to anybody. Even we do not know the name of the architect of Taj Mahal or Agra Fort or Bara Imambara. Always we can find the name of the king as a founder of any architecture. The creativity and technicality of the architect always gets politically and purposefully unrevealed. It seems like the name of the Kings are making the history books very clumsy.

Khan Jahan ali Tomb

But sometimes the torn and faded pages of history books smile with pleasure to share the name of the architects. If you touch those pages they say the names. One of such pages says the name of Khan Jahan Ali who was an architect as well as a saint general of Khalifabad District (Bagerhat), Bangladesh during 15th Centrury.

In my previous posts (Shat Gombuj Masjid, SingairMasjid, Noy Gombuj Masjid) Khan Jahan Ali’s work has been mentioned. We have already seen how his creative sense constructed Tughlaq Style Architecture by Terra cotta style of Bengal.

After the death of the great architect in 1459, his followers decided to construct his tomb in this style so that the legendary artist’s soul can rest in peace in his own architectural genre.
Located on the northern bank of Thakurdighi (at Bagerhat, Bangladesh), Khan Jahan’s Tomb can be reached by bus or car from Khulna. It is around 2.5 kilometers away from gigantic Shat Gombuj Masjid.

The 13.7 meter long Tomb is made by tempered brick with a thickness of 2.4 meter. Four exterior angles of the building are emphasized with solid circular towers.

The four walls have stone casings up to the height of about 0.9m-a technique, which was no doubt introduced with a view to preventing the building from being affected, by the ground moisture so common in the humid climate of south Bengal.

The interior of the single domed building could originally be entered through four axial archways fitted with stone lintels, but the northern one is now closed with brick fillings. The large hemispherical brick dome, which covers the entire building, is internally carried on squelches springing from the stone brackets projected out of the walls. The triple cornice bands, running round the corner towers, are curved in a manner typical of the Bengali style.

Right now, the tomb is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site along with other 15th Century mosques of Bagerhat. The majar has recently been renovated by the joint collaboration of Bangladesh Archaeological Department and Archaeological Survey of India. 


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Monday, June 12, 2017

Noy Gombuj Masjid (Nine Domed Mosque), Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Noy Gombuj Masjid (Nine Domed Mosque) is another silent speaker of the cultural excellence of Bengal (Now at Bangladesh) in 15th century. As I mentioned in my post Shat Gombuj Masjid, during the Sultanate era of Bengal, Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah appointed a saint general Khan Jahan Ali to decorate Khalifabad (now Bagerhat) area. The saint general showed his architectural excellence and created a number of mosques. Noy Gombuj Masjid is one of the beautiful these archaeological treasure.


Noy Gombuj Maasjid (Nine Domed Mosque)
Architecture:

Noy Gombuj Masjid is a brick built structure measuring about 16.76 meter externally with 2.44 meter thick wall. Nine domes are placed on the roof with three rows of three columns each.
North, south and east wall of this square shaped architecture have three arched opening. The Qibla wall (Western wall) is internally recessed with three engrailed arched Mihrabs. Central Mihrab is larger than others. Terra cotta floral scrolls and flower motifs are the decorations seen around the Mihrab.

But most interesting features of this mosque are its curved cornice and corner towers. This is a signature of Khan Jahan style. Two cornice bands are decorated with lots of lotus panel and lozenges. Corner four corner towers (Miners) are divided with by molded bands. Decorated motifs as lotus panels, lozenges are depicted on the towers.


Noy Gombuj Maasjid (Nine Domed Mosque) in monochrome

Location:

Noy Gombuj Masjid is located near Thakur Dighi at bagerhat. It is 10 minutes’ walk from Khulna Bagerhat Highway.

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Singair Masjid (Singair Mosque) at Bagerhat, Bangladesh

In my post about Shat Gambuj Masjid, I mentioned that during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud, a saint general Khan Jahan Ali decorated Bagerhat (aka Khalifabad) town with lots of mosques. The group of mosques helped Bagerhat to be enlisted into UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Singair Masjid is one of these archeological assets.


Singair Masjid
Located on the south west corner of the great Shat Gambuj Masjid, Singair Masjid can be reached by one minute walking from the gigantic one.

Like other historical mosques of Bagerhat this one was also constructed in 15th century. The mosque has a square shaped architecture made of tempered brick (terra cotta). Each side is 12.04 meter long and its each wall’s thickness is 2.1 meter.

The eastern side of the wall contains three gates. Among them, the central gate is larger than others. The northern and southern wall has only one entrance. A decorated “mihrab” is placed in the western wall.


The beautiful architecture has a large and heavily built dome with four thick miners on four sides. Singair Masjid is an example of Tughlaq style architecture.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Shat Gambuj Masjid (Sixty Dome Mosque) at Bagerhat, Bangladesh

Bagerhat is district under Khulna Division of Bangladesh. This region is famous for its archaeological richness. The group of architectures helped Bagerhat to be enlisted into UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Shat Gombuj Masjid from south-west
On 15th Century, a saint general Khan Jahan Ali founded a Muslim colony near Sundarban area. During the regime of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, this affluent city was named as Khalifabad. With the patronage of Sultan, Khan Jahan decorated the entire city with more than a dozen of mosques.

Shat Gambuj Masjid (Sixty domes Mosque) is the most famous mosque among them. It’s construction started in 1442 and ended in 1459.


Shat Gombuj Masjid from south
There is a trick in the name of this mosque. In Bengali, “Shat” means sixty, and “Gambuj” means domes. So, Shat Gambuj Mosque should have exactly sixty domes in its top. But actually seventy seven domes are present on the top of the mosque. Now, studying the internal structure of the mosque more closely we can see that the architecture contains exactly sixty pillars. This can be a reason for the name – Sixty Domes Mosque.

Let’s not think more about its etymology; instead we can focus on the architectural beauty of the mosque.


Shat Gombuj Masjid from north-east
The Turkey style architecture was made by tempered brick. Seventy seven low domes (seventy of them are rounded domes and seven of them are “Char Chala” domes) are arranged in seven rows of eleven each. Four domes are on the top of four low towers (minar) positioned on four corners.


Shat Gombuj Masjid from south-east
The interior has a vast prayer hall with eleven arched doorways on east, seven each on north and south. May be they have been placed for ventilation. Sixty pillars have divided the interior into eleven deep bays. There is a cool and comfortable atmosphere inside the mosque that may be due to the unusual thickness of the wall.

There are ten “Mihrabs” inside the mosque, the central one was built by stone; a special doorway had been built in “Qibla”.


Shat Gombuj Masjid from east
Shat Gambuj Masjid is located at Khulna-Bagerhat Road and can be reached by rail, car or bus from Khulna and Jessore. Nearest airport is in Jessore.

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