Khwaja Anwarer Berh : The Tomb complex of Khwaja Anwar Shahid at Burdwan
Khwaja Anwar Shahid was a famous Mughal warrior who worked underthe Mughal Emperor of Delhi. He became a Shahid, a person who fell in battle, near Burdwan, a place known as Badh-e-dewan (District Headquarters) during the Mughal period .
In consideration of his services Emperor Farrokh Shah built a tomb over his remains at a place now known as Berh, at the outskirt of the town of Burdwan and granted to the Khaja's family five mauzas for the purpose of maintaining the tomb . This was in 1127 Hijri (1698 AD) although it is said that the tomb complex was completed by 1712 AD.
The tomb complex, locally known as “Khwaja Anwarer Berh”, is a fine example of Tomb built in Mughal style with added Bengal-style architecture. The tomb stands in a large compound entered through a gateway in the south wall.
On entering the complex, what attracts first is the sheer size of the complex. Though dilapidated now, the grand gate is itself awe-inspiring. From the gate the view in front is majestic. There is a huge pond (dry & full of weeds at present) with a central domed chamber, beyond which is the picturesque structure of the tomb proper. The central square tomb has a beautiful dome with four minarets at four corners, & it is flanked by two smaller chambers with typical Bengal style “DO-CHALA” roof.The architectural adaptation of a simple Bengali hut with its dochala or chauchala roof became a significant tomb type in seventeenth century Bengal architecture.
The facade of the tomb was once enriched with incised stucco patterns and cusped recessed niches, but now everything is on the verge of collapse, with trees taking roots on the central dome itself.
This tomb of Khwaja Anwar at Burdwan was probably inspired by the architecture of a similar structure in Dhaka, now in Bangladesh, known as the mosque of Haji Khwaja Shahbaz which was constructed in 1679 AD.
On right side of this tomb, there is a beautiful mosque with three domes.
On visiting the place, one cannot but leave with a heavy heart at the present sorry condition of this once majestic complex, & the sense of loss will be further aggravated if one look at what was the past view of this grand structure in it’s full glory in the sitehttp://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/b/019pho000430s29u00020000.html
where onecan see a photograph of this majestic structure taken by some unknown photographer in 1904 AD.
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