Old village in West Bengal, India

Tribeni is a town in the northern part of Bansberia Municipality in Hooghly in the state of West Bengal, India. It was an old holy place for the Hindus. The sanctity of the place has been recognized for many centuries and has been mentioned in Pavana-Dutam, a Sanskrit piece of the last quarter of the 12th century. The Muslims took it over during early phases of their conquest of Bengal.

Jafar khan Ghaji Mosque in Tribeni, Hooghly


  • “The principal object of interest at Tribeni is the Dargãh of Zafar Khãn Ghãzî. The chronology of this ruler may be deduced from the two inscriptions of which one has been fitted into the plinth of his tomb, while the other is inside the small mosque to the west of the tomb. Both refer to him and the first tells us that he built the mosque close to the Dargãh, which dates from A.D. 1298; while the second records the erection by him of a Madrasah or college in the time of Shamsuddîn Fîroz Shãh and bears a date corresponding to the 28th April, 1313 A.D. It was he who conquered the Hindu Rãjã of Panduah, and introduced Islam into this part of Lower Bengal… The tomb is built out of the spoils taken from Hindu temples…
    • Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report, 1902-03, p. 56. Quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them. [1]
  • “The eastern portion of the tomb was formerly a maNDapa of an earlier Krishna temple which stood on the same spot and sculptures on the inner walls represent scenes from the RãmãyaNa and the Mahãbhãrata, with descriptive titles inscribed in proto-Bengali characters… The other frieze… shows Vishnu with Lakshmî and Sarasvatî in the centre, with two attendents, and five avatãras of VishNu on both flanks… Further clearance work has been executed during the year 1932-33 and among the sculptures discovered in that year are twelve figures of the Sun God, again in the 12th century style and evidently reused by the masons when the Hindu temple was converted into a Muslim structure…”
    • Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report 1933-34, Pp. 36-37.. Quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1990). Hindu temples: What happened to them. [2]
  • “The existing tomb and mosque of Zafar Khan Ghazi at Tribeni is another example of contemporary Hindu fragments being utilized in Muslim structure… “The Mosque of Zafar Khan Ghazi is the earliest known example of Mosque architecture in Bengal, and ‘is certainly the oldest in Bengal far anterior to any building at Gaud and Hazrat Pandua’. Marking the earliest phase of Muslim building activities, it incorporates fragments of non-Muslim monuments, like those of the Quwwat al-Islam Mosque in Delhi. R.D. Banerjee is of opinion that ‘the Mosque of Tribeni was most probably a Vaishnava temple but relics of Buddhism and Jainism were found…’
    • Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. p. 128 ff.
  • …Unmistakable Hindu workmanship is evident in the mutilated figures in some of the architectural fragments used -- a phenomenon to be observed in the Adina Masjid at Hazrat Pandua, dated AH 776/AD 1374. There are five mihrabs in the qibla wall, the most striking being the central one. Tastefully carved multifoil brick arch of the central mihrab is supported by slender stone pillars of some Hindu temple…“…The utilization of non-Muslim building materials is to be taken as a matter of expediency for no mosque plan was ever superimposed on the traditional ground plan of temple architecture. In the light of this phenomena the mosques can hardly be regarded as mere improvisations of existing temples, as stated by R.D. Banerjee in the case of the Mosque of Zafar Khan. The Muslim architects did not feel any scruple to employ fragments of Hindu sculpture still bearing traces of iconographical art in their mosques, and furthermore Hindu workmanship is evident in the delicate stone carvings and sensuous tendrils, and corbelled domes.”
    • Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. p. 128 ff.

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