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The Nizamat Imambara, a heritage monument complex in Murshidabad, West Bengal houses the Madina Mosque. An Imambara also called a Hussainia or Imambargah is a place of worship for Shia Muslims associated with Muhharram.
The present Nizamat Imambara was built in 1847 after a fire destroyed the old Imambara which was built in the reign of Nawab Siraj-Ud-Daulah between 1756- 1757. The Madina Mosque in the precincts was so called as it had in its foundation soil which was brought from Mecca. This was done to benefit poor Muslims who could not visit Mecca and Madina. The old Imambara, made of wood was destroyed completely in fires in 1842 and 1846 and a new one built by the Nawab Nazim Mansoor Feradun Jah in 1847. The Madina Mosque which was located in the old Imambara was not destroyed in the fire and still stands there.
The Madina Mosque was actually built by Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah around 1756-57 in the old Imambara complex which was destroyed completely in the fires of 1842 and 1846 but the madina Mosque was not destroyed in the fires. The foundation of the old mosque has soil brought from Mecca so that the poorer people who could not afford the Haj Pilgrimage could get the benefit of the Holy Haj pilgrimage by coming and praying at the mosque. When the new mosque was built in 1847 by Nawab Feradun Jah, the old one was left in its place and still stands there. Sadeq Ali Khan was the architect of the new Imambara and the new Madina Mosque which is located inside the inner square also has soil brought from Karbala, the Holy shrine that is visited by millions of Muslims every year.
The old Madina Mosque is small and has a single dome can be seen in the area surrounding the Hazarduari Palace. The new Madina Mosque is larger and located in the new Imambara.
The foundation of the New Medina Mosque was dug to a depth of 6 feet and soil from Karbala was put in the pit over which the mosque was built. The high plinth of the mosque is embellished with decorative tiles. There used to be fountains surrounding the mosque which no longer exist. The walls and arches on the facade of the mosque are decorated with inscriptions from the Holy Quran. There are two floors to the mosque and the second floor has decorative screens with paintings of animals, flowers and people with lighted cressets.
Murshidabad was an important town in the British Raj due to its proximity to Kolkata which was the capital of British India for a long time before Delhi was made capital. Bengal was ruled by the Nawabs and therefore has many Islamic monuments that are strewn all over the state. That is why there are many places of historical and religious in the areas surrounding Murshidabad town such as Sagardighi, Azimganj, Karnasuvarna Jiaganj, Kandi, etc
How to Get There
Murshidabad is 205 Kms from Kolkata which is well connected with the rest of the country and the world by air. Murshidabad is well connected by road and rail with the rest of the country
The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport brings domestic and international passengers to Kolkata and thereon by road or rail to Murshidabad.
Berhampore, the district headquarters of Murshidabad District is only 5 Kms away and has a Railway Station called Berhampore Court which is a major railway station connecting Kolkata from the Sealdah Railway Terminus. Lalgola is another station nearby. There are many trains on this line such as Bhagirathi Express, Lalgola Passenger Hazarduari Express and Dhanadhanye Express etc. to Berhampore and Lalgola.
On the other side of the river Bhagirithi, a main tributary of the Ganges is Khagraghat which is also connected with many towns and cities of West Bengal and other states through trains coming from Howrah Station in Kolkata.
Murshidabad can be reached by road by private cars and taxis by State Highways such as SH11, SH7, SH 9 that pass through.
Murshidabad is connected to Berhampore.by buses operated by the State Transport Corporation. Buses also ply from Kolkata and from surrounding districts such as Burdwan, Maldah, Krishnanagar, Suri, Bolpur, Durgapur etc.