Beauty of some Terracotta Mosques in Bengal


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Beauty of Terracotta Mosques in Bengal

Terracotta temples could be a common affair for the people in Bengal. But Terracotta mosques? Terracotta means Burnt Clay. These beautiful, crumbling, almost dilapidated architectural masterpieces are barely talked about. Built around the 16th to 19th centuries, did you know that these mosques even pre-date the temples of Bengal? The Islamic influence did away with representation of humans and animals in the terracotta panels. Instead glazed terracotta and decorative techniques of pierced mosaics were adopted from the architecture of Central Asia and Delhi Sultanate. But Bengali artisans had also incorporated styles of folk art and ornamental designs in these mind-boggling pieces of artefacts to maintain ingenuity. These mosques uphold the true heritage of Bengal.

Adina Mosque, Pandua

Interior_of_adina_mosque,_gour,_malda_district_of_west_bengal.JPG

The Adina Mosque of Pandua, built by Sultan Sikandar Shah in 1375 is one of its kind. It stands out because of it elaborate design pattern and vast size. It bears a strong resemblance to the Great Mosque of Damascus. From open courtyards to prayer chambers, or inverted tumbler shaped domes to embellished galleries and pulpits, the Adina Mosque stands tall and famous, not only in Bengal but in the entire sub-continent. Adina Mosque consists of bricks designed with stones. Unfortunately due to the damages caused by the earthquakes in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the mosque is mostly in ruins today.

Lotton Mosque, Malda

Lotton Mosque
(Image Courtesy- Outlook Traveller)

The Lotton Mosque was constructed at around 1475 AD by Sultan Yusuf Shah. This is the only architectural structure in Gaur where the walls had been faced with coloured bricks. Traditionally ascribed to a royal courtesan, the single domed structure has a verandah with two domes and a sloped roof. The once coloured bricks had disappeared leaving some glitches of its splendid past.

Tantipara Mosque, Gaur

Tantipara Mosque
(Image Credit- taleof2backpackers)

The Tantipara Mosque is located very close to the tomb of Fateh Khan. The Mosque is known for its terracotta murals, floral panels and 10 domes, which are bound to keep you tongue-tied. Built in 1480 by Mirshid Khan, this beautiful work of art is a supreme example of the Bengali carved brick style layout.

Qadam Rasul Mosque, Gaur

Qadam Rasul Mosque

The Qadam Rasul, a single-domed square artifice, was built by Sultan Nusrat Shah in 1530 to enshrine a stone reproduction of an impression of the Prophet’s foot.  Arched entrances pierce the north, south and east sides. Qadam Rasul of Gaur is important for its place in the development of the Bengali regional style of architecture, which reached its maturity under the Sultanate. Designed like a hut, it is a square room with verandahs on three sides, embellished with black stones that holds the relic.

Saptagram Mosque

Saptagram Mosque
(Image Courtesy- Panoramio)

The Mosque at Saptagram is devoid of any roof or dome and has ornamental works in brick. One Arabic inscription engraved on stone slab on the front wall of the Mosque records its erection during the time of Sultan Nusrat Shah by Sayyid Jamalud-Din Husain of Amul in 1529 AD. At the enclosure with three tombs Sayyid Fakhr Ud-Din, his wife and his eunuch are said to be buried.

Kherur Mosque, Sagardighi

Kherur Mosque
(Image Courtesy- Hubpages)

Rich in floral motifs, the Kherur Mosque is extensively decorated with terracotta art. Kherur is about 40 km from Baharampur, the district headquarters of Murshidabad. This mosque was erected by Muazum Rifat Khan in 900 Hizri (1494-95 A.D.) during the reign of Sultan Alauddin Hussain Shah. The most attractive feature of this relic is that it is a single domed brick built mosque!

Bari Masjid, Pandua

Bari Masjid
(Image Courtesy- Hoparoundindia)

The Bari Masjid is a traditional work of art that stands tall and steady in Pandua. The meaning of the Bari is “the big mosque which shows the incredible architecture styled with Bricks”. It was built by Shah Sufiuddin in 14th century.

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20 comments

  1. The Photograph which you have shared here as Adina Mosque is actually that of the famous Mohammad Shah’s Tomb at Lodi Gardens, New Delhi.

    There are many other Terracotta Mosques other than these in West Bengal. This month Outlook Traveller Magazine featured a writeup on such Terracotta Mosques. The article was written by me which also featured some photographs taken by me including the cover page photograph.

    Take a look at the pdf version here : https://amitabhagupta.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/terracotta_mosques_outlook.pdf

    Or you can check the online Photo feature version here :
    http://www.outlooktraveller.com/photo-features/the-terracotta-mosques-of-bengal-1008574#24426

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  2. What is the point of writing a blog post which is a copy pasted from a published article ?
    This is straightway “inspired” by Last month’s Outlook Traveller Magazine’s cover story on Terracotta Mosques!

    It is also obvious that you have no knowledge on “Terracotta Mosques of BengaL” Or else you would not have put up photograph of Mohammad Shah’s tomb at Lodhi Garden as Adina Mosque!

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    • Hi Monojit, Thanks for visiting and observing our blog so closely. No doubt, we got inspirations from different sources of information and gather for our visitors the best available information in our own words. Because the blog is itself about putting the online surveyed information on Self Drive Trips. I hope that might be possible that you have mistaken that this blog is of Solo Traveller who travel and share their experiences on blog. Unlike, this is a blog which makes it easy for visitors to see and accordingly plan of their vacations after reading SelfDriveTrips instead of reading so many different blogs. This we made possible by creating a column of Travel Moods which segregate all types of moods under one blog. So, yes Monojit we got inspiration from many different magazines and online blogs to come up with the best we want. But our aim is not copy something and paste rather it is to bring up with a mixture of all travel moods under one roofs. And also I am sure that you will find some of the topics we have written that are out of the box to show our own creation as well. Please keep reading and comments are always welcomed. So Thanks Again!!

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