If you’re from Kolkata, you’ll probably know of this beautiful structure standing tall as a symbol of the rich heritage of Indian cultural diversity: Tipu Sultan’s Mosque. This beautiful mosque was built by the 11th son of Tipu Sultan, Prince Ghulam Mohammed, in memory of his father, once the whole family had been forcibly relocated to Kolkata by the British six years after the historic defeat at Srirangapatnam. Prince Ghulam was a kid when he arrived at Kolkata, but later used his power to purchase a plot of land in a central position in Kolkata (near Prince Anwar Shah road) and built a mosque there to commemorate the name of his father. An identical mosque was later built by the Waqf board in Esplanade, known as the Shahi Masjid.
Around 1980’s the Mosque at Esplanade was damaged during construction work by the Metro Rail Corporation, While this was seen as a communal stand by the erstwhile state government by some, the government promptly formed a committee to address the issue and the mosque was later repaired as a joint effort of the Tipu Sultan Shahi Masjid Protection & Welfare Committee and the Metro Railway Corporation.
For over 175 years, these magnificent structures have stood tall, enduring the weather and proud witnesses to the evolution of the city. While most other structures built around the time have disappeared, the mosques being places of worship and in continuous use have withstood the travails of time, according to Anwar Ali, the Mutwali of Prince Ghulam Mohammad Waqf Estate.
You can visit the Mosques here:
Prince Anwar Shah Road, Lake Gardens, Kolkata, 700045, West Bengal
185, Lenin Sarani Rd, Chandni Chawk, Bowbazar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700013, India