Belbari Madrasa

Belbari Madrasa is one of the two madrasas known to have been erected by Sultan Alauddin husain shah at Belbari on the Indian side of Gaur-Lakhnauti. The other is at Darasbari in Bangladesh side. The darasbari madrasa has been clearly identified by the discovery of the foundation plan after excavation of the site and the finding of the inscription within the debris recording its erection. But the Belbari madrasa (the origin of the name is uncertain) is yet to be discovered, although a vast quadrangular site at the north of the Chhota Sagar Dighi, generally known as 'Bhita of Chand Saudagar', has been identified by Cunninghum to be the actual spot of the Madrasa. The nature of the site, together with the inscription removed from the place but now 'set up on the enclosure wall of a mosque north-west of the English Bazar police station', testifies to its existence there. The inscription records the Madrasa as al-madrasa al-xarifa (excellent madrasa) to be distinguished from that at Darasbari, which has been described as al-madrasa al-jamila (picturesque and magnificent madrasa). According to the inscription, the Belbari madrasa was erected in 907 AH (1502 AD). Although its site has not yet been cleared up, we can presume that it resembled in plan and construction the Darasbari madrasas, the standard type of madrasas known to us from other examples in India and the Middle East. [ABM Husain]