Shat Gombuj Mosque

The Muslims built mosques for ritual needs. Numerous mosques built during the Mughal period. Shat Gombuj Mosque is one of them, also known as the Shat Kamboj Mosque(Shait Gumbad Mosque) is a mosque in the mosque city of Bagerhat, Bangladesh. Shait Gumbad Masjid is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bangladesh. The construction of the mosque started in 1442 and completed in 1459 during the Bengal Sultanate by Ulugh Khan Jahan, the governor of the Sundarbans. Shat Gombuj Mosque is locally known as the “Saith Gambuj Masjid,” however, there are Seventy-seven domes over the main hall and exactly 60 stone pillars. It is an ambient and a beautiful place to visit. The whole structure stands majestically on a vast expanse of land surrounded by gardens on all sides and two banian trees on either side of the grand mosque. It also has a museum near it in the same area.

Location of Shat Gombuj Mosque

Shat Gambuj Mosque located in the mosque city of Bagerhat district in the southern part of Bangladesh, which is in the Khulna Division. It is about 5km from the main town of Bagerhat. Bagerhat is nearly 320 km from Bangladesh. It is possible that the mosque initially referred to as the sixty pillared Mosque where Amud meaning column into Gombuj in Bangla, which means domes.

History of Shat Gombuj Mosque

There are three World Heritage Site in Bangladesh. The Shat Gambuj Mosque in Bagerhat is one of them. It is a 15th-century Islamic edifice located in the suburbs of Bagerhat(A district in Khulna Division), on the edge of the Sundarbans, on 175km southwest of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. In the 15th century, a Muslim colony founded in the mangrove forest of the Sundarbans, near the coast in the Bagerhat District by a saint-General, known as Khan Jahan Ali. He preached in an affluent city during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, which then known as Khalifabad. Khan Jahan Ali adorned this city with more than a dozen mosques, the ruins of which focused around the most imposing and is the largest multi-domed mosques in Bangladesh, which is known as the Shait-Gumbad Masjid. The construction of the mosque started in 1442 and completed in 1459. It used for prayers, and also as a madrasa and assembly hall.

Structure

The structure of the building represents the 15th century Turki architectural view. The mosque anticipated that before 1459 the greatest devotee of Islam named Khan Jahan Ali established this mosque and was also the founder of Bagerhat district. The mosque is an enormous Mughal architectural site covering area 17280 square feet. It is unique in that it has sixty pillars, which supports eighty-one exquisitely curved domes that have worn away with time. It has walls of unusually thick, tapered brick in the Tughlaq style and a hut-shaped roofline that anticipates later style. The length of the mosque is 49m(160ft) tall and 33m (108ft) full. It has four towers. Two of the four towers used to call azaan. The interior divided into many aisles and bays by slender columns, which culminate in numerous arches that support the roof.

The Interior Design of the Mosque

The vast prayer hall, although provided with 11 arched doorways on east and seven each on north and south for ventilation and light. A dark and cloudy appearance inside. It divided into seven longitudinal aisles and 11 deep bays by a forest of 60 slender stone columns. The mosque has 77 square domes with seven four-sided pitched Bengali domes in the middle row. However, the decoration of the mosque is mostly in terracotta and brick-setting. A rare example of stone carving in low relief. Much of the ornamentation has already disappeared due to the ravages of time. Still survives in the doorway arches, mihrabs, the angles of the intersecting arches below the domes. The interior of the Chau-Chala vaults, the raised moldings of the corner towers. The cornices of the compound gateway and the mosque proper.

The History Of name Shat Gombuj

‘Shatgumbad’ means sixty domes, but the reality is the mosque has eighty-one domes in total, and seventy-seven over the roof. Four smaller ones over the four corner towers. However, the name of the mosque given ‘Shat Khumbaz'(Shat means sixty, and Khumbaj means pillar). The word khumbaj has subsequently corrupted Gumbad to give the building the popular name of  ‘Shatgumbad.’

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