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March 2015

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Ruined Fouti Masjid, Murshidabad
Ruined Fouti Masjid, Murshidabad

Prologue

I looked at the ruined mosque. Then I turned to my guide Abbas Bhai, a middle-aged Muslim gentleman clad in a sherwani.

 “I have seen old brick mosques having their domes broken. Then why only this particular mosque is known as Fouti Masjid or Phuti Masjid. ?”  I asked Abbas Bhai.

Despite the fact my hotel was close to Hazarduari Museum, I decided to start my tour with this dilapidated structure. Structure wise the Mosque is unique than many mosques of Bengal.

The Mosque is located near a railway crossing, almost 1 km from Hazarduari. Surrounded by Trees, thatched huts and a pond the 135 feet long structure looked like a sick giant counting its last days.  Getting into the mosque is itself a problem for the aged as there is no stairs or even a raised platform.  Curious local children were looking at us.

Abbas Bhai did not reply immediately. He was chewing paan. He spat some of it, looked back at me and said “Because Janab, in those mosques the domes were completed. They broke down at a later stage. In the case of Fouti Masjid, only two domes out of the five were constructed. The rest three was never made at all.  It was incomplete. Nobody had read Namaz here. It was an unfinished work, a failed mission of Sarfaraz Khan – the grandson of Murshid Quli Khan. ”