The Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat is a 15th century city with a high density in Islamic religious monuments.
Bagerhat, the historical Khalifatabad, was founded by Khan Jahan, an Islamic preacher probably of Turkic origin. This Khan Jahan, about whom not much is known, adorned the city with mosques, roads, bridges, palaces and reservoirs. He established all of this within a short time span, while introducing a distinct architectural style.
Only the mosques and Khan Jahan's shrine remain today.
Visit January 2007
The lost city of Bagerhat now mainly consists of a number of mosques and the tomb of its founder, Khan Jahan. We start our tour at the 60-tower mosque (there are actually 77). Because a service is about to start, we do a quick round on the inside. 60 pillars, now mostly covered in cement, hold the roof of this largest mosque of its time.
On the other side of the road is another small mosque, built in the traditional brick style. A few kilometers down the road is the shrine of Khan Jahan. This still is an active site of worship. It attracts both visitors and beggars.
Because it's Friday when we visit, the museum is closed and the mosques are reserved for praying. There are a lot of Bangladeshi daytrippers around. Most of them are gathered near the large pond behind the Khan Jahan tomb. They are staring at / feeding a crocodile that lives in this pond.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
one can have greatly entertained & welcomed by the bangladeshis here.the way to reach bagerhat is very easy.that is, you have to come to dhaka from any where of the wrold&then you can go to bagerhat by bus.there is also another haritage site in bagerhat that is sunderbon,and bagerhat is the only place of the world where one can find two haritage site at a time.so dont forget to visit bagerhat if you are in bangladesh.
I was resident of Bagerhat.Iknow that aBuddha statue was found while excavating thakurdighi,abig pond nearShat gumbaj.The statue was gifted byKhan Jahan Ali to one of his HIndu follower who Worshiped it as Shiva,a hindu deity.This incident bears the testimony that Khan Jahan Ali was a secular ruler and Khan Jahan Ali established the town where there was also a civilisation of Buddhist culture.This fact should be recorded while we remember the archaelogical back ground of the site.
|Paul Tanner (UK):|
These inscribed monuments are titled “Bagherat” after the modern town situated nearby but are in reality those from city of Khalifatabad built in the 15th century by the Turkish Sufi general Khan Jahan Ali who became widely known as a warrior-saint. Little of the city remains visible apart from a number of Islamic buildings – mainly mosques, but also the tomb of Khan Jahan himself. These are important architecturally for being pre-Mughul in design. However the location is perhaps more highly revered by Bangladeshis as the country’s Islamic cradle than the buildings might appear to justify to the average non Bangladeshi visitor or architectural expert!
The site is easy to get to from Khulna (and fits in well with a visit to the WHS of The Sundarbans) but the mosques are scattered in 2 main groups across several kilometres and require time to visit even if you have a car. The most significant building, is that of the Shait Gumbad Mosque (photo) said to be “the most magnificent traditional mosque in the country”. There are at least 7 other mosques to visit – mainly small square or rectangular buildings in brick with terracotta decoration and varying numbers of domes. At the Shait Gumba you are likely to be welcomed and shown the interior by the friendly Imam but you will probably be the only person around as you search out the other mosques by following footpaths among fields and ponds – in itself a pleasant way of spending time! The mausoleum building is rather busier with active worshippers and women are not allowed inside.
I found the greatest interest in noting the similarity of building materials and, to some extent, style and decoration to that of Hindu temples I had seen earlier at Kantanagar and Puthia. The former is an absolute gem but is not even on the Bangladesh Tentative List. I wonder why? Bangladesh still has around 14% Hindu citizens and a Buddhist structure has been nominated as a WHS .
| Date posted: February 2006|
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