Jump to: navigation, search

Jahanabad Mausoleum


Jahanabad Mausoleum located in the village of Jahanabad, is about 32 kilometres from Rajshahi city on the right hand side of the Rajshahi-Nawabganj road, under Godagari upazila of Rajshahi district. The monument is in a ruinous condition. The exterior covering has now almost disappeared, three of its corners have fallen, the dome is crumbling, quite a few banyan trees have grown on its cracks, and its gateway is half-reclined. If no steps to preserve the structure are taken, the time is not perhaps far away when it will collapse and eventually disappear.

The square brick built Mausoleum, 6m each side on the exterior and 4m on the interior, is surmounted by a dome built on squinches. Externally, the dome rests on an octagonal drum. Within the squinches of the northeast corners are two small niches built perhaps for placing candles. The sarcophagus which was seen in well-preserved condition in 1969 and 1970 is now leveled to the floor. The Mausoleum has four doorways on the cardinal sides. Each doorway is framed by a stone sill, two stone jambs and a stone lintel, and each of the openings measures 0.80 metre in width and 1.50 metre in height. The doorways are framed within a four-centred arch, of which only the southern one was perhaps cusped. There was originally an inscription tablet in the tympanum of this arch, which is now preserved in the varendra research museum.

The Mausoleum was once plastered over, traces of which remain here and there. On the left-hand side of the southern doorway, placed horizontally in line with the apex of the arch, is a black basalt piece, which once probably formed part of an older monument. The middle part of the stone piece is carved with an apex of a cusped arch whose spandrels are ornamented with two conventionalised rosettes. The upper parts of the walls and the drum were once ornamented with rows of merlons, but have now almost disappeared. The large plaster rosette within the apex of the dome has also fallen.

The gateway of the mausoleum on its southern side measures 4.25m in length and 1.15m in width. It's doorway arch is now almost broken. The sidewalls of the front were once decorated with a pair of niches on each side placed vertically one above the other.

At one time there were two ponds near the mausoleum, one on the southern and another on the eastern side. But these have now almost dried up, and parts of these are being used for cultivation.

The identity of the builder of this Mausoleum or the person for whom it was built is not known. The fixing of iron rings in the centre of the squinches for hanging cloth baldachin suggests that this might be the Mausoleum of a saint, perhaps an associate or a follower of Shah Sultan, whose Mausoleum is nearby. Shah Sultan appears to have flourished in the area in the 17th century, and it is said that the Mughal Governor shaista khan founded Sultanganj to commemorate the memory of the saint. If the saint who is buried within the present Mausoleum is an associate or a follower of Shah Sultan, it is obvious that he also flourished in the area at about the same time, or perhaps a little later (late 17th or early 18th century). The inscription tablet, which was brought from this Mausoleum to the Varendra Research Museum, commemorates the building of a mosque in 879 AH (1474) and has no connection whatsoever with the monument. It is likely that during the erection of the Mausoleum the inscription tablet was brought from somewhere else and was just put over its southern doorway as a decorative piece. [Sultan Ahmad]