Chowk Bazar Shahi Mosque also known as Chowk Mosque is one of the oldest Mosques in Dhaka. It is located in the Chowk Bazar area of the old town of Dhaka, south to the current city center.
The mosque was constructed in 1676 by Subahdar Shayesta Khan (সুবাহদার শায়েস্তা খান). It is called ‘Shahi Mosque’ as it is founded by Subahdar Shayesta Khan. The mosque is built above a raised platform. The three domed mosque above the platform, now transformed into a multi-storied structure was originally a copy of Shayesta Khan’s another three domed mosque at the Mitford Hospital compound near the Buriganga River. Some square shaped rooms may be built for Imam and for students of the Madrashah. As a result of several renovation & reconstruction work, this mosque has lost its ancient original view.
History: This Mosque was constructed in 1676, as noted by an inscription in the Persian language over a gateway. The inscription attributes the project to Subahdar Shaista Khan. So far, this is known as the earliest dated mosque in the History of Muslim Architecture in Bengal, built on a high vaulted platform. Its architectural design was perhaps influenced by Tughlaq Architectures; such as Khirki Masjid or Kalan Mosque of Delhi. Influenced by this structure, some other mosques were built in Dhaka and Murshidabad.
Architectural Properties: The western half of the 3.05 meter high vaulted platform (28.65 meter from north to south and 24.38 meter from east to west) is occupied by the original three-domed mosque. It measures, inclusive of the four octagonal towers on the exterior angles, 16.15 meter by 7.92 meter. There are three four-centered archways in the east, all opening out under half-domed vaults. The half-domed vault of the central archway still contains beautiful Muqarnas works in stucco.
Corresponding to the three eastern entrances, there are three Mihrabs inside the west wall, all now redesigned. The central mihrab still has a semi-octagonal aperture, while its flanking counterparts are rectangular in design. The mihrabs are now all studded with lustrous pieces of enamel. The rectangular frames enclosing the mihrabs are now topped by rows of painted cresting. The floor of the mosque is now laid with marble.
Three bays divides interior view of this Mosque- the central one square shaped and the side ones are rectangular. All these bays were covered with domes, the central one being bigger than its flanking counterparts. This can be deduced from the newly built three-domed prayer chamber exactly above the original one, where the central dome has been kept larger than the side ones.
The vaulted rooms, all round underneath the platform, are either square or rectangular in shape. Many of them are now let out to shopkeepers and others are still being used as accommodation. The under ceilings of these rooms are flat on the top and barrel-shaped at the sides.
Very uniquely designed and Space utilized Madrasa & Mosque: The promenade around the three domed prayer chamber, since there was no separate structure for study purpose, might have been used for open-air classes and the vaulted room with book-shelves on their walls underneath the platform may have been designed to provide residential accommodation for those who used to teach and study here. In that perspective, Chawk Mosque may be regarded as the first known example of Residential Madrasa Mosque.
It is an ingenious way of accommodating two structures-a madrasa and a mosque in a single building which not only saved space but also a considerable amount of money.
From Gulistan Bus stop it is near about 3 Km south-west. You can ride on Rickshaw or auto-rickshaw to reach there. If your first destination is Lalbagh Fort, then it is just 1.3 km south-east ward from the Fort.
You can reach Old Dhaka by taking local transport from any part of Dhaka city.
As soon as you get there in the Mosque, try to figure out the real picture of this old Mosque and Madrasa. Experience the artistic beauty of Mughol architecture. If you are kind of food lover, then there are so many options awaiting for you.
Referred to where to eat in Dhaka, click here
Mahajampur was an ancient Muslim ruled region. This region is situated few miles north to Sonargaon town area. There is a Mosque found here, named Mahajampur Ahamad Shah Mosque, which was built around in 16th C.E. The style of bricks engraving and placement of dome charms the visitors. There are so many Scholars who had described the location and beauty of this mosque at different time in various writing. Among them, ‘Parvin Hasan & A.K.M. Zakaria’ described its beauty in their writing.
Many ancient evidences of human settlement has been found along with this Mosque & Mazar structure. Archaeologist found a big quantity of ancient bricks wherever they conducted excavation in that region. Two inscriptions being discovered from this Mosque. From one of those inscriptions we came to know about Sultan Shams Uddin Ahmad Shah (1432-1436 AD), which make it named after by his name. But, it has been said that someone named Firoz khan built that Mosque.
This is a six domed Mosque, which is built following the stylistic beauty of Baba Adam Shahid Mosque. Domes over the roof are bearing the evidences of Sultani Architecture of Bengal. It contains various design and decorations which is certainly something needs to be observed meticulously.)  => Array ( [name] => Walipur Alamgiri Mosque [post_id] => 5153 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/walipur-alamgiri-mosque/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/WalipurAlamgiriMosque-300x214.jpg [post_content] =>
Walipur Alamgiri Mosque is situated in Walipur village under Hajiganj Upazila of Chandpur district. There are two mosques in the same locality - one known as Shahi Alamgiri Mosque and the other as Shah Shuja Mosque. The Alamgiri mosque has suffered much due to subsequent restoration works. Nevertheless, enough still survives to give an idea of its original plan and design. A Persian inscription in fine nastaliq character, fixed over the central doorway, records the construction of the mosque by one Abdullah in 1692 AD in the reign of Alamgir Aurangzeb.
In the middle of the eastern facade of the oblong mosque (15.24 m by 8.23 m) there is a projected fronton bordered with octagonal turrets through which opens out the main doorway. This has a higher arch with a half-dome within a rectangular frame. There are two more doorways in the eastern facade, one on either side of the central opening, having an outer arch with a half-dome below. Each of the north and south walls is pierced with a pair of arched doorways. The mosque has therefore seven archways in total -three in the east and two on each of the north and south walls. The four exterior angles of the building are strengthened by octagonal towers, which are carried beyond the horizontal parapets and topped over with kalasa finials, but have now been renovated.
Two massive octagonal brick pillars divide the interior of the mosque into five square bays - a large one in the middle (5.87m a side) and two smaller ones on its either side which are arranged in the east-west axis. Archways interconnect the bays; the arches are placed directly on two free standing octagonal pillars and engaged semi-octagonal pillars. It is worth noting that these arches are continued upwards as walls to make the bays above. This special device has given the mosque a two-storied appearance internally. All the five bays are roofed over with domes crowned with lotus and kalasa finials on cylindrical drums. The domes are carried on half-domed squinches on the upper corners and the blocked arches in between the square inches in the middle of the walls.
Octagonal turrets rising high above the horizontal parapets border the outside projection of the central mihrab, like that of the central archway. Inside, there are three mihrabs in the qibla wall. The central mihrab is semi-octagonal in design, but the flanking mihrabs are of the shallow rectangular type.
The original plastering of the building has been replaced by modern cement plaster. The horizontal parapet is now plain. The facade of the central archway projection is marked with shallow rectangular panels, each being further enriched with such motifs as plants and small trees with flowers in stucco. The central mihrab arch springs from beautifully decorated pilasters and has foliaged designs at its spandrels. The rectangular frame of the central mihrab, though now barely plain, is topped over with a frieze of blind merlons. A fine specimen of Mughal stucco ornamentation is still preserved in the squinches and blocked arches in between, which support the domes above. The extrados of the squinch arches and blocked arches are ornamented with interlocking scrolls, while the tympanums of the blocked arches are minutely embellished with floral scrolls with intertwining rosettes in the centers. Above them all round the interior base of the cylindrical drum runs a slightly sunken frieze decorated with floral scrolls.
Five-domed type mosque, one of the important varieties of Bengal mosques, shows two sub-types: (a) a mosque with a large central dome and a pair of small domes on each side in the same line and (b) a mosque with a large central dome and four small domes on the corners. The present mosque is the culminating example of the second variety. Both in planning and in the execution of elevation details of the building, the architect and the artisans have left behind a clear mark of their skills and perfection of ideas. The division of the interior of the mosque into five squares has been very scientifically effected by the disposition of two octagonal short massive freestanding pillars instead of the two east-west wide arches of the previous examples of the series. Mosques on this model were not built in Bengal for a long time, but almost two centuries later the type reappeared in the Becharam Dewri Mosque (1872) in the city of Dhaka. In plan Becharam Dewri Mosque is an exact copy of the Alamgiri Mosque but inferior in quality and elevation details.
Such mosque design in Bengal started with austagram mosque and evolved through the sarail mosque and the Walipur Alamgiri Mosque. The design is really unique. Question may now arise as to the origin of this particular kind of Bengal mosques. In Turkey under the early Ottomans the mosque of Rustam Celebi (c first half of the 15th century) at Tokat provides perhaps the earliest known example of its kind with five domes - the large central one and a small one on four corners. Similar plan is also found in such other Ottoman mosques as the Guzelce Hasan Bey Mosque (1406) in Hayrabolu and the Uc Serefeli Cam (1437-47) at Edirne. These mosques are generally regarded as the precursors of the great Ottoman mosques at Istambul - Bayezid mosque (1501-06), Sulaymaniya Mosque (1550-59), and the beautiful Selimya Mosque (1569-75) at Edirne. The five-roomed or five-domed planning of the Ottoman mosques may perhaps be said to have been dictated by those of some early Muslim buildings of Syria.
In India the Jamat Khana Mosque (1310-16) at Delhi is a lone example of its kind. This mosque design continued to have been practiced in Northern India in an elaborated form in Humayun's Mosque (1530) at Agra, where four small domed-rooms, instead of two, are attached on either side of the large central domed chamber. It may, therefore, be said that the plan of the second variety of the five-domed type mosques in Bengal was not innovated by Bengal architects, and its idea is very likely to have been borrowed from the sources stated above, particularly perhaps from those of Turkey or Upper India.
Written by: MA Bari)  => Array ( [name] => Mosque of Kartalab Khan [post_id] => 7301 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/mosque-of-kartalab-khan/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Mosque-of-Kartalab-Khan1-300x225.jpg [post_content] =>
Kartalab Khan Mashjid or Mosque of Kartalab Khan (কর্তালাব খান মসজিদ) is located at the Begum Bazar of Old Dhaka. It was built by the Dewan Murshid Quli Khan, also known as Kartalab Khan during 1701-1704, and the mosque named after him. For its location, people used to call this as Begum Bazar Mosque. Hardly very few people know this mosque as Kartalab Khan's Mosque now a days. The Google Map coordinate of the mosque is (23°43'2.03"N, 90°23'54.59"E), near to the Dhaka Central Jail.
Like any other mosques of that period, this one was built over a plinth like high vault. This mosque has five domes at the top of it, and an extended do-chala (দো চালা) like room at northern side. Though it was built around 300 years back, but now a days none of its antiquities are available.
Old Dhaka is already a congested area and there is hardly any space around the mosque for you to observe. Busy trading is going on around the mosque area. In fact it will be hard for you to stand beside the road and watch the top of the mosque.
There are buildings around the mosque those are using as market. So you can easily use any of those. This mosque could have been used as a token of our glorious past if it were handled with great care.)  => Array ( [name] => Khanjan Dighi Mosque [post_id] => 3604 [post_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/places/khanjan-dighi-mosque/ [thumb_link] => http://offroadbangladesh.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Khanjan-dighi-mosque-1-300x225.jpg [post_content] => Khanjan Dighi Mosque is located at the south of Dasbari mosque, where Ballal Sen excavated a Dighi. Against the southern fringe by going a bit north we can see remnants of Khanjan Dighi mosque. It is also known as Khoniya Dighi mosque to many. Many also know it as Rajbibi Mosque. The mosque has been inside the jungle for a long time. The loss of forest makes the mosque visible to human eye. By seeing its architecture it is assumed that it was built in the 15th century. ) )
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