Hooghly Imambara: Famous for its Clock and Scenic Beauty

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Shia Muslims have special love for Husayn Ibn Ali, the maternal grandson of the Prophet of Islam Muhammad. He was martyred o 10th October 680 (aged 55) (10th Muharram AH 61). Therefore, they commemorate his martyrdom every year during Muharram and next month. For this purpose they built Imambara wherever they settled.  Imambara is congregation hall, which is referred to by Husayniyya and Ashurakhan as well. Shia Muslims perform religious functions and commemoration ceremonies in Muharram. They beautifully decorate them and sometimes make a fire outside Imambara in order to remember the tyranny inflicted on their Imam al-Husayn. One of such Imambaras was built by Mohammad Mohsin at the bank of Hooghly River near Kolkata.


Imambara of Hooghly is famous for its clock. It is at the middle of the twin towers constructed on the doorway of the main entrance. Each tower, having a height of approximately 150 ft., takes 152 steps to reach its top. The clock has two dials with three bells having weight 80 mds, 40 mds and 30 mds. Smaller bells ring at an interval of 15 minutes and bigger bell rings to signify one hour. The clock requires two people to wind it for half an hour of each week, with a key weighing 20 kg. It was bought for Rs. 11,721 (in 1852) by Syed Keramat Ali from the manufacturer: M/s Black & Hurray Co., Big Ben, London.

If you happen to visit Kolkata, do not miss to see Imambara of Hooghly, which offers spiritual aroma.

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