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)

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


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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