|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Mosque|
|Location||Dhubri district, India|
The historic Panbari Mosque or Rangamati Mosque is a famous mosque in northeast India and is considered to be the oldest mosque in the Indian state of Assam. The mosque is situated on the National Highway 17, near Panbari and Rangamati, about 25 km east from Dhubri town. This 15th/16th century three-domed mosque also presents an excellent example of great architectural achievements of the Sultanate of Bengal. Postal address including PIN Code should be given
The mosque was believed to be built by administrator Alauddin Husain Shah in between 1493 and 1519 AD who was then the sultan of Bengal, though its exact history is not known. After taking over the kingdom of Kamatapur, the sultan declared to commission a mosque in Panbari to celebrate the victory and to offer prayers. Another story says that the mosque was built in 1662 when Mir Jumla, a powerful subedar of Bengal, under the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, invaded Assam. Adjacent to the mosque there is also an "Idgah" and a deep well, which were also probably constructed during the same period. The mosque has a vast paved courtyard and one minaret, which were constructed later. About 150 people can pray inside the mosque at a time.
During the reign of the Koch rulers Rangamati area was a very prosperous place. It was the frontier post of the Koch rulers. Invading army of Bengal sultans and Mughals also used Rangamati fort. The area, as some believe, was also the headquarters of Alauddin Husain Shah. And this mosque was used as a prayer hall by the Muslim soldiers.
It is said that about 200 years ago, the local people of this place found this mosque in Panbari "Pahar" under the thick foliage. They cleaned this place and started to offer Namaz there. Today, Panbari "Pahar" is known as the holy seat and the mosque is a holy shrine for the people of western Assam. The scenic beauty of the hills with its rich flora, its unique location together with the archeological importance, holds promise of becoming an important tourist spot in India. Of late, a township consisting of brick-plinths, terracotta antiquities as also a hoard of coins have been discovered near the mosque, which have been tentatively attributed to the Mughal regime.
The mosque is run by a local body, Panbari mosque management committee, who appoints the imam and other employees. Various religious services like imamat and leading namaz are performed by the imam. The expenses of the mosque are covered from different kind of donations obtained by the mosque. As the mosque enjoy a special place in the society of western Assam, people donate generously irrespective of religion, caste or creed.
During the annual Islamic festivals like Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, this mosque wears a special look. Thousands of people from different parts of the country visit the mosque. Not only the people from India but also from England and Japan visit this place. Normally hundreds of people gather here for the weekly Friday noon Jumu'ah prayers, besides other regular prayers.
As the mosque is standing on the national highway 17, regular bus services are available from Guwahati, Dhubri and Cooch Behar. The nearest railway station is Fakiragram (30 kilometers) and the nearest airport is the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (200 kilometers). The mosque is also not far away from the mighty Brahmaputra (8 kilometers).
The Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture has taken some steps to conserve the monuments of this area. However, local people are not happy with the token steps of the government and demand more.
- Rupkamal (3 June 2011). "A forgotten chapter of history – Panbari mosque". Its my northeast. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Panbari Tourism, Assam India, Mosque of Assam, Panbari Mosque, East India Tours, Alamganj in Panbari, Mughal City of Assam, Assam Tours". Indiainfoweb.com. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- "Dhubri - District in Assam, Indi". Gloriousindia.com. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Historic Panbari Masjid losing its glory, The Assam Tribune, Guwahat, 11 July 2011
- ASI slammed over mosque neglect, The Telegraph, Kolkata, 18 January 2012
- TwoCircles.net Two Circles+ Add Contact. "Panbari Masjid in Dhubri, the oldest masjid in N-E India Photo by wap.indyarocks.com | Flickr - Photo Sharing!". Flickr. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
- Rangamati Mosque, INDIA the pristine beauty
- Dhubri District Profile
- ISLAMIC VOICE, JULY 2000.
- Government of Assam, Official website[permanent dead link]
- Choudhury, R. D.; HERITAGE OF ARCHITECTURE OF ASSAM – NEED FOR CONSERVATION, National Museum, New Delhi.
- The Archaeological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture.