Chawk Masjid

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Coordinates: 24°11′07″N 88°16′16″E / 24.185296°N 88.27107°E / 24.185296; 88.27107

Chawk Masjid
Chawk Masjid Painting.jpg
A painting of the Chawk Masjid in Murshidabad (circa 1790-1800).
General information
Type Mosque
Architectural style Islamic Architecture
Town or city Murshidabad
Country India
Coordinates 24°11′07″N 88°16′16″E / 24.185296°N 88.27107°E / 24.185296; 88.27107
Construction started 1767 AD
Design and construction
Architect Shaikh Khalilallah
Website
"Chawk Masjid's website". 

The Chawk Mosque (also Chawk Masjid) is a mosque in the city of Murshidabad, India. It was founded in 1767 AD by Munny Begum, wife of Nawab Mir Zafar. Earlier in this place Nawab Murshid Quli Khan had built the "Chahel Sutan", which was the city's forty pillared audience hall. The mosque still recalls the stories of the ruling days of the Nawabs and still holds on its glory of the past.

Construction[edit]

The Masjid was founded by Munny Begum, the wife of Nawab Mir Zafar in 1767 AD under the supervision of Shaikh Khalilallah . Earlier on this venue Nawab Murshid Quli Khan built the "Chahel Sutan", which was the city's forty pillared audience hall. The mosque still recalls the stories of the ruling days of the Nawabs and still holds on its glory of the past. The mosque is located in the Nizamat Fort Area near the Hazarduari Palace and its other nearby buildings.

An old photo of the "Chawk Masjid" (picture taken by C.B. Asher)

This mosque was of great importance in the Nawabi era as Munny Begum was a favourite of Robert Clive and Warren Hastings in terms of her lavish distribution. She in turn received several gifts; one was a palanquin which could accommodate 30 people from Rani Bhavani. Munny Begum had her allowances separately assigned. Thus, she was a Gaddinashin Begum. There have been several other Begums who have been a Gaddinashin Begum, like Babbu Begum another wife of Nawab Mir Zafar, she was on a receipt of 8000 per month while Munny Begum received 12000. There have been more such Gaddinashin Begums. Munny Begum had done several acts of munificence to the East India Company and their servants. On her death a salute was fired by the Government corresponding to the number of years of her age as she was always viewed with cordial regard and has a distinguished consideration to the Government of the East India Company.

So, the mosque was of utmost importance then under the rule of the Nawabs.

Etymology[edit]

The Masjid (mosque) has been named so as it has a Chawk still surrounding it. Chawk means a shopping place often square in shape. So Chawk- means shopping place or a market and Masjid- means mosque. Thus, the total sums up to a mosque in a market. This market is the principle market of the city of Murshidabad.

Features[edit]

This mosque has a majestic and grand appearance. It is a five domed mosque and has two chau-chala-end-vaults at the two corners at the side of the mosque. The exterior and the interior of the mosque both are decorated with motifs, panels and so on; this mosque has been ornamented with such arched shaped niches in stucco and vegetal motifs lavishly. Five gates passing through arched gateways lead in front of this grand mosque. There are several shops around so this place is known as the "Chawk" (shopping place or market, square in shape). This market is the principle market of the city of Murshidabad.

Festivals[edit]

This mosque usually remains closed throughout the year. However, this mosque is opened during prominent occasions like Eid-ul Zoha, Eid ul-Fitr and also for public prayers. Earlier a single gun was fired from the Hazarduari Palace and several other gums were fired from several other places - one was fired from here - to proclaim the different intervals of the hours for the meals and prayers during the great fast of Ramzan.

Map[edit]

A map of the full Nizamat Fort Campus (excluding Wasef Manzil, Dakshin Darwaza or the South Gate of the campus, Nawab Bahadur's Institution and the South Zurud Mosque) showing the Nizamat Imambara in yellow and other buildings surrounding it, like the Madina Mosque, the Hazarduari Palace, Chawk Masjid, Bacchawali Tope, the clock tower, Shia Complex and the Zurud Mosque (North).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]