(Author) Prof. Abu Sayeed M. Ahmed, Ph.D and Shaila Joarder
A few number of mosques, built in the outlying areas of Mughal Capital Dhaka during the early Mughal Period, reveal a happy blending of the Sultanate features with the new Imperial Mughal features, which characterise a transitional phase in the development of the mosque architecture in Bangladesh. This Atiya mosque is an illustrious example of […]
A few number of mosques, built in the outlying areas of Mughal Capital Dhaka during the early Mughal Period, reveal a happy blending of the Sultanate features with the new Imperial Mughal features, which characterise a transitional phase in the development of the mosque architecture in Bangladesh. This Atiya mosque is an illustrious example of this transitional phase. It is located, about six kilometers south of Atiya Union under Sadar Upazilla in the District Tangail. According to the original date-plaque inscription, which is now preserved in the Bangladesh National Museum, the mosque was erected between 1019/1610-11 by Sayid Khan Panni.
The mosque belongs to the group of square shaped plans with a foreroom that developed during the Sultanate period. The mosque measures externally 16.51m by 10.52m with a 3.55m wide foreroom. There are three arched openings in the east facade and one on each side of the foreroom. The main hall is accessed by three openings from the foreroom and has one opening on each of the north and south sides. Corresponding to the eastern openings there are three mihrab niches in the kibla wall. Introducing typical Mughal octagonal turret, four instead of six in each corner, is the most inquisitive feature of this mosque. The large central dome on the square prayer hall is supported on sequences at each corner and the three domes over the foreroom are carried on pendentives. The entire eastern façade is adorned with several rectangular recessed paneled niches and divided by a string course in the middle. The area of each recessed niches is faced with extensive terracotta ornamentation of geometrical and floral nature. Eastern façade has gentle curved cornice embedded with merlon shaped battlements, whereas the southern and western façade has straight parapet.
The mosque brings together harmoniously both the Sultanate and Mughal features of Bengal. Square shaped room with a verandah, flat façade, curved cornice, exquisite terracotta ornamentation, horizontal string-course are typical sultanate features, whereas, plastered turrets embellished with niched paneling, blind kiosk on the corner turrets, plastered surface paneling, dome with octagonal shoulder embellished with merlon, kalasa typed finial on a lotus base recall Mughal architecture in Bangladesh.
Author: Prof. Abu Sayeed M. Ahmed, Ph.D and Shaila Joarder
Photography: Syed Zakir Hossain
Drawings: Elevation: Pundranagar to Sherebanglanagar, Chetana, Dhaka; Plan: Mosque Architecture of Bangladesh, UNESCO, Dhaka