Navagram Mosque

Navagram Mosque an elegant pre-Mughal mosque, is situated in Taras upazila of Sirajganj district, about 20.8 km northeast of Chatmohor Railway station. NG Majumdar of the Archaeological Survey of India found an Arabic Tughra inscription engraved on a black stone tablet loose inside a mosque at the Navagram village shortly before 1937. He took an inked estampage of it and forwarded it to Shamsuddin Ahmed, the Government Epigraphist of India who edited and published it in the Epigraphia Indo-Muslemica of 1937-38. Later the name of the builder was correctly read by Abdul Karim. Since the epigraph was found inside a mosque, although dislodged from its original setting, and as there was no other old mosque around for miles, it was presumed to belong to this Sultanate mosque. According to the inscription, the mosque was built during the reign of Sultan Nasiruddin Abul Muzaffar nusrat shah, son of Alauddin husain shah on 4 Rajab 932 AH/21 April 1526 AD. It is interesting that the record mentions the name of the donor as the exalted 'Mian Ajayl Mina Jangdar', son of Mir Bahr, Manawwar Ana (or Munurana).

Measuring 7.2m on each side internally, this brick built single-domed square mosque is provided with four octagonal fluted corner turrets, divided into three sections by moulded bands and one arched entrance on each of the north, south and east walls. Closely resembling the eklakhi mausoleum at Pandua (Malda district in West Bengal) in plan, it has also been compared with the lattan mosque and the gumti gate in the citadel of gaur in plan and decoration. The eastern face of the mosque is tastefully recessed with deep niches and shallow rectangular panels. The panels and recesses are beautifully adorned with terracotta floral and arabesque designs of which the most prominent are the hanging chain and bell motif. The battlements and the decorated cornice are gently curved in the characteristic Sultanate style, above which rises the hemispherical dome. [Nazimuddin Ahmed]

Bibliography Shamsuddin Ahmed, Inscriptions of Bengal, Vol IV, Rajshahi, 1960; AH Dani, Muslim Architecture in Bengal, Dhaka, 1961; S M Hassan, Muslim Monuments of Bangladesh, Dhaka, 1971.