Boro Katra

Type: Palace
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Boro Katra (বড় কাটরা) was built between 1644 and 1646 AD to be the official residence of Mughal prince Shah Shuja, the second son of emperor Shah Jahan. The prince endowed it to his diwan and the builder of the serai, Abul Qasim. The word Katra may have originated from Arabic word Katara which means colonnaded building.

It is a historical and architectural monument located in Old Dhaka, Bangladesh.‘Katra or katara’ in Arabic and Persian means ‘Caravan (Karwan) Sarai’ or simply a ‘Sarai’. It is a palatial building dating to the reign of the Mughal dynasty in the Bengal region. It is situated to the south of Chowk Bazar close to the north bank of the river Buriganga.

Words from the Second inscription of north gateway: “Sultan Shah Shuja Bahadur was famed for deeds of charity-Wherefore being hopeful of the mercy of God his slave Abul Qasim al-Husainia-Tabtaba, As Simnai, Built this sacred edifice endowing it with twenty two shops attached to it, o the rightful and lawful condition that the official in charge of the endowment should expend the income derived from them upon the repairs of the building and upon the poor, and that they should not take any rent from any deserving person alighting there in, so that the pious act may reflect upon the monarch in this world and they should not act otherwise, or else they would be called on the day of retribution. This inscription was composed by Sad-ud-din Muhammad Sherazi” (Dacca, p.193 by prof. A.H. Dani)

Architectural Property: The building’s architecture follows the traditional pattern of the Central Asia’s caravanserai and is embellished as per Mughal architecture. It originally enclosed a quadrangular courtyard surrounded by shops and was overlooked by a row of 22 living cells in each wing. Two gateways were built in the northern and southern wing. The southern wing is a two-storeyed structure and extends 223′ along the river. It is marked in the middle by the southern gateway, an elaborate three storied central archway framed within a projected rectangular bay that provides access to the courtyard. The underside of the arched alcove of the gateway is adorned with intricate plasterwork. The wall surface around the spandrels with plastered panels in relief contain a variety of forms such as four-centred, cusped, horse shoe and flat arches. Each wing is two storied and the corners are marked by tall octagonal towers.

How to go

It’s located at Rahmatganj of Old Dhaka, Just very south to the Chalk Bazar Shahi Mosque. From Gulistan Bus-stop it is near about 3km south-west via Kazi-Alauddin road or Nazimuddin road. You can just hire a rickshaw or auto-rickshaw to get there from the Gulistan Bus-stop.

How To Reach: Old Dhaka

You can reach Old Dhaka by taking local transport from any part of Dhaka city.

Where to Stay

Things to do

Beside enjoying the enchanting view of the Boro Katara, you can go for a boat trip from the Shadarghat boat terminal which is a few minutes away. You may also taste the delicious & traditional Nawabi foods found in Chalk Bazar area and its surrounding.

Eating Facilities

Haji biryani, Star Kabab, Dhaka Roti House etc. Referred to where to eat in Dhaka city, click here


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