Shujauddin Mosque

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Shujauddin Mosque is situated at Dahpara in murshidabad, West Bengal, on the west side of the river Bhagirathi. It is popularly known as Farahbagh or the Garden of Joy and was built by shujauddin (1727-1739 AD), son-in-law and successor of murshid quli khan.

Unfortunately, Farahbagh proper has now disappeared and the river has engulfed half of the mosque. However, there exists a mosque within the walled garden compound of Roshnibagh to the north of the tomb of Shujauddin, which is nowadays known as Shujauddin's mosque. According to an inscription affixed on the east faE7ade of the mosque, it was constructed by Mahabat Jang in 1156 AH (1743 AD), a date determined by the numerical value of the inscription's final word. Since Mahabat Jung was the title of alivardi khan, who ruled between 1740-1756 AD, it may be presumed that Alivardi built this mosque, four years after the death of Shujauddin.

Shujauddin's mosque is probably the earliest mosque in Murshidabad of the rectangular single-aisled type, following the tradition set by the Mughal architecture of Dhaka and Rajmahal. Three arched doorways punctuate the eastern wall. Correspondingly, the western wall inside contains three niched mihrabs. The central doorway and the central mihrab are larger than the flanking ones. Moreover, the central doorway has a rectangular projection carried up to the parapet. At either angle of the projection is an octagonal slender minaret rising over the parapet that is terminated with a guldasta finial. Four octagonal turrets having series of bands and mouldings along their shaft and ending in ornamental shell kiosks and capped by bulbous cupolas are attached to the corners of the building. Three recessed single pointed basalt archways of the mosque are surmounted by rounded engrailed arches, a featrure seen earlier in Murshidabad at the Katra Mosque (1724-25 AD) and Azimun Nisa Begum's Mosque. Unlike two earlier mosques, in Shujauddin's mosque the surmounting multi-foiled arches rest on pilasters. The treatment of the facade is also quite unusual. Above the central entrance arch is a do-chala roof motif resting on attached columns. The facades of the flanking bays also contain similar motifs, but these are shaped like char-chalas. Interesting to note is the mihrab projection on the western wall, which also bears a do-chala design and is one of the first of its kind to appear in this position on any mosque in Bengal.

The mosque is roofed over by three domes. The larger one is in the centre, and is flanked by two smaller ones on either side resembling char-chala. The central dome is a hemispherical ribbed one rising over an octagonal drum and is crowned with a lotus and kalasa finial. The parapet and the cornice of the mosque are highly decorated and divided into two tiers, one separated from the other by a prominent band. [Sutapa Sinha]