Sonargaon served as the capital of the Sultanate of Bengal for an extensive period. The independent sultans governed medieval Bengal for two centuries, and one of the notable figures among them was Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah. He marked his presence as the third sultan of the first Iliyas Shahi dynasty, reigning over Bengal from 1390 to 1411 AD.
Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah was not only a ruler but also a patron of scholars and poets. During his rule, the renowned Bengali poet Shah Muhammad Sagir composed his celebrated work ‘Yusuf-Zulekha’. Additionally, Krittibas Ojha, another famous poet, crafted the ‘Krittivasi Ramayan’, a Bengali translation of the Sanskrit epic ‘Ramayana’. The Sultan even corresponded with the Persian poet Hafez.
The final resting place of Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah is located in the quaint village of Shahchillapur within the Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj district. Situated a short distance east of the Panch Pir shrine on the southern fringes of the old city, the tomb stands beside a dry water reservoir known as Magh Dighi.
Though lacking inscriptions, this tomb is believed to be one of the earliest monuments from the Bengal Sultanate period. Local legend attributes it to Sultan Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah, who passed away in 1411. The tomb, a monolithic black basalt stone sarcophagus, is enclosed by pillars, reflecting the Saracenic art and architecture of Bengal. Its design echoes the ornate style of the Adina Mosque, constructed by Sultan Sikandar Shah, his father, in 1373.
Unfortunately, sections of the tomb succumbed to earthquake damage and neglect during the British colonial era. The iron clamps binding the stone slabs have corroded, while tree roots infiltrating cracks have weakened the massive stones. Within the premises, another simpler red-colored tomb stands, believed to belong to Kazi Siraj-ud-daula, a judge and close confidant of the Sultan.
Under the protection of the Department of Archaeology (DOA), the tomb now holds status as a safeguarded monument. Preserving this remarkable heritage site is crucial to honoring the glorious history of medieval Bengal.