Sunday, November 18, 2007

3 ancient Mosques of Old Dhaka

Churihatta Masjid:
Churihatta (bangles bazaar), the area west of Chawkbazar was once famous for making colourful bangles throughout the subcontinent. The industry survived there till the middle of ‘50s. A historical mosque was built there during the period of Mughal Subahder Shah Shuja, second son of Emperor Shahjahan. It is said that for construction of this Mosque, Shah Shuja assigned the job to a Hindu official of Mughal court. Instead of building a mosque he built a temple-like structure and kept many deities inside. Once the matter became known Shah Shuja asked him remove the deities to clean the mosque. The mosque 20’ x 13’ in size had fa├žade similar to a temple. The stone inscription of the Mosque, written in Arabic, was placed on the outside wall. Much later, during repair and expansion of the mosque, a stone with figure of Hindu God Basudev inscribed on it was found below the ground. The then British Magistrate JP.Rankin brought it to place near Collectorate building. The area is now too overcrowded and congested.

Saat Rauja:
During the period of Nawab Nushrat Jung, the west portion (Muhalla) of the old fort (now Dhaka central Jail) was known as 'Purab Darwaja' (east gate). There lived a saint named Shah Martuza popularly known as 'Shah Taj'. He wore only a loin cloth (lenguthi), but when Nawab Nushrat Jung came to visit him he would wrap himself with a ‘chaddar’. The people revered him. After his death, a mausoleum was built on his grave there and the area is known as ‘Saat Rouja’.

Babubazar Ghat Mosque:
The person behind this well built 3-domed mosque of 19th century was a wealthy Zaminder Amiruddin. It is said he came from Comilla and bought zamindary in Tripura. People knew him by the name Amiruddin Daroga, probably because he worked earlier in the police department and became wealthy and rich. The mosque he constructed is located adjacent to Buriganga second bridge, east of Sir Salimullah Medical College and Mitford Hospital. It is better known as Ghat Masjid.

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