Home > Bengal Terracotta Architecture, Day Trips from Calcutta (Kolkata), General > Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque

Adi Saptagram, Hooghly District

Adi Saptagram (literally meaning ancient seven villages) is a station on the Howrah – Burdwan Main Line and is the located just beyond Bandel. According to legend the seven sons of the King of Kannuj left their royal life and travelled all the way to Tribeni in Bengal.

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

At Tribeni the river Bhagirati, a distributary  of Ganga, distributes into three parts the central is Bhagarati (often refereed to as Ganga). The one on the west is Saraswati and one on the east us Jamuna.

Foundation plaque Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque

Foundation plaque Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque

Incidentally at Triben in Allahabad the joining point of three rivers Ganga, Sarswati and Jamuna (Yamuna).

So the seven princes decided Tribeni to be their ideal place of meditation and each acquired a village to set up their ashram.

The seven villages were Basudevpur, Bansberia, Khamarpura, Debanandapur, Shibpur, Krishnapur and Trishbigha. Hence the name Saptagram or Adi Saptagram.

Apart from the legend Saptagram has a rich history of a flourishing river port. The rise of Saptagram can be probably attributed to the conquest of Tribeni by Zafar Khan Gazi. (Also see: Tribeni, Mosque & Dargah of Jafar Khan Gazi) in 13th century AD.

Interior of Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque

Interior of Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque

Saptagram finds it place in several ancient Bengali text, including the Mansmangal. Several 14th century account describes Saptagram as a flourishing port town filled with large mansions of rich people.

The port of Saptagram attracted traders and mariners from far of lands like  Arabia, Persia and Turkey.

Muhammad bin Tughluq established established a mint in Saptagram and the first coins from that mint rolled out in 1328.

By the late 16th century, Saptagram’s importance as a major trading port had ended and the focus had shifted to Hooghly and from there, eventually to Kolkata.

A panoramic view of the interior of Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

A panoramic view of the interior of Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Today Adi Saptagram is a just a ordinary small town in West Bengal and the only surviving witness of it glorious days is the Sayed Jamaluddin’s Mosque. The mosque was built by Syed Jamaluddin, son of Sayyid Fakhruddin of Amul in 936 Hizra (1529). It is a brick built mosque with terracotta ornamentation.

Terracotta ornamentation in Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Terracotta ornamentation in Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Stone has always been in short supply in the vast flood plains of Bengal. Hence the architects had to restore to other substitute. As clay was easily available the burnt clay bricks soon became a good substitute of stone.

Floral and geometric designs in Sayed Jamaluddin’s Mosque, Adi Saptagram

Floral and geometric designs in Sayed Jamaluddin’s Mosque, Adi Saptagram

This gave rise to a new form of temple architecture and lead to the construction of elaborately decorated terracotta temples giving Bengal a place in the world tourist map.

Strangely the terracotta art was not restricted to temples alone. Several of the brick built mosques of Gour & Pundooah, Murshidabad and Hooghly district have elaborate brick ornamentation.

As Islam forbade the use of figurative motifs so the ornamentation was only restricted to floral and geometrical patterns. But in many cases these intricate patters were no less beautiful than their figurative counterpart. Moreover the usage of domes, arches and turrets added a new dimension to the age old terracotta architecture of Bengal.

Graves in the Sayed Jamaluddin’s Mosque compound

Graves in the Sayed Jamaluddin’s Mosque compound

The Adi Saptagram Mosque is rectangular in shape, the roof ha long collapsed and nothing can be said about the domes of the mosque. The four corners probably had minarets sadly only the minaret on the north western corner stands to this day.

The western wall contains the three mihrabs. One on the centre and left are well decorated with terracotta ornamentation. The one on the right is slightly smaller and only has traces of terracotta ornamentation.

The north and south walls have two entrance, whose tops have long collapsed. The eastern or the front part has three entrances, among them the one of the left is through a recessed archway. Probably the other two entrances had similar archways but they have long collapsed. In between the two arch less gateways on the eastern side is the foundation stone of the mosque. The courtyard con.tains remains of two stone pillars.

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram (view from south east)

Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram (view from south east)

On the south eastern corner of the mosque complex is a raised platform with three tombs. The tomb contains the mortal remains of Sayyid Fakhruddin, his wife and his eunuch. The tombs are covered with decorated sheets of cloth and the places seems to be religiously active.

Advertisements
  1. September 5, 2018 at 7:53 PM

    Sayed Jamaluddin Mosque, Adi Saptagram, Hooghly District is well broughtout

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: