Ruins of the Tomb of Ghias-ud-din Azam Shah, Sonargaon.
Photographer: Brennand, W.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of ruins from the Tomb of Ghiyas-ud-din Azam Shah, Sonargaon, near Dhaka in Bangladesh, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by W. Brennand in 1872. The province of Dhaka was brought under Islamic rule in the 13th century, first by the Delhi Sultanate then by the independent sultans of Bengal, after which it was taken by the Mughals in 1608. Sonargaon was the capital of sultans of Bengal from the 13th century until 1608 when Islam Khan, the Mughal Governor, transferred the capital of the whole province to the nearby city of Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh. Ghiyas-ud-din Azam Shah ruled Bengal from 1368 to 1373. His mausoleum at Sonargaon was carved from a single black of hard black basalt and surrounded by a pillared enclosure. The tomb is described in J. Wise, Notes on Sunargaon, Eastern Bengal (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. XLIII, part I, Calcutta, 1874), pl.VIII: 'This tomb has fallen to pieces. The iron clamps that bound the slabs together have rusted, and the roots of trees have undermined the massive stones. This mausoleum formerly consisted of a ponderous stone which occupied the centre, surrounded by pillars about five feet in height. The stones are all beautifully carved, and the corners of the slabs and the arabesque tracery are as perfect as the day they left the workman's hands. The stones are formed of hard, almost black, basalt...This tomb might be easily repaired, and the cost of doing so would be inconsiderable. There is no old building in Eastern Bengal which gives a better idea of Muhammadan taste than this ruined sepulchre; and there is none, when properly repaired, which would so long defy the ravages of time...'