Heritage Times

Exploring lesser known History


Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga – झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

The mosque you see in the picture is located in District Darbhanga just next to a wall of a fort of Maharaja of Darbhanga. It was originally built approx. in 1737 during the era of Ali Vardi Khan as Naib-Nazim of Bihar. It was Ali Vardi Khan who honored the Zamindars of Tirhut with the title of Raja and awarded a large tract of land as well.

In the later era, these Zamindars became the Maharajas of Darbhanga and were inarguably the richest landlords of India during the British Era.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

In the 1930s Maharaja of Darbhanga, Sir Kameshwar Singh Bahadur, K.C.I.E. (1907 –1964) decided to build a huge fort like the other Mughal Forts in India, it was to be known as RAJ QILA.

The area which he marked for the fort comprised a large village of Muslim majority known as Islampur, The Maharaja compensated the residents of Islampur village and got them shifted to the new areas of Shivdhara, Ali Nagar, Laheria Sarai, Chakdohra, etc outside the city but the old mosque of Islampur village came in the way of the boundary wall of the fort.
Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

The Maharaja instructed to change the design & built the wall in such a way that the mosque is not disturbed, accordingly the design was made to leave space for the mosque and the mosque remained intact at its original location. The mosque stands to this day adjacent to the wall of the fort, known as JHAGADUA MASJID.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

I am surprised at the name as there did not arise any dispute (Jhagda) as such. The munificence of Maharaja can be gauged further that since all the Muslim population got shifted to new places, the Maharaja granted a piece of land to start a Madarsa in front of the mosque so that the mosque is taken care of well and is populated.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा
Something about the Maharajas of Darbhanga – The chiefs of this family were deeply religious, devoted to Sanskrit traditions and were huge supporters of orthodox Hindu practices in both caste and religion. Shiva and Kali were the main deities of the royal family.

People don’t realize but they played the most important role in preservation of old manuscripts and popularization of Sanskrit language. As part of their attempt to reintroduce old Hindu customs such as the study of Vedas and Vedic rites, the Maharaja reintroduced Samavedic study by inviting a few well-versed Samavedins from south India to teach there.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा
The Raj was considered to be the embodiment & protector of Mithila and Maithili language as well. Maharaja Rameshwar Singh established Sri Bharat Dharma Mahamadal, a neo-conservative Hindi organization that sought to make Hindu scriptures available to all castes and women. He was instrumental in publishing old Tantric texts in English and other language.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा
Keeping in view that the Maharajas were deeply religious, we must appreciate how great they were ,being so humane and considerate in their outlook. The palace area in Darbhanga has three tombs of Muslim saints along with a small mosque.

There are mazars at GM Road, Denby Road and one in the middle of the road near Darbhanga Tower. A tomb of a Muslim saint is located next to Anandbagh Palace.

Jhagadua Masjid, Darbhanga - झगडुवा मस्जिद, दरभंगा

Trivia -Surprisingly when the work was in full swing in 1939–40 and the three sides of the fort were constructed, an Agrawal family of Banglagarh objected and filed a suit in the court that owing to the construction of high walls , he will be deprived of the proper sunlight in his courtyard.

The litigation took some time and finally the Agrawals won the case and the construction of the fourth (West) side of the wall was stayed by the high court. After a few years the country got independence and soon the Zamindaris got abolished. The fourth side of the wall remained unconstructed and unfinished.

(Views are personal)

Share this Post on :

Khalid Bin Umar

Khalid Bin Umar is a history buff, a voracious reader of history and literature with an interest in heritage, Sufism and biographies. Endowed with command over languages he loves to explore and write primarily on the micro historical accounts.