The Ruins of Darasbari Mosque: A rare historical account on architecture of medieval Bengal
Atik Ishrak Chowdhury | CONTEXT
After rigorous field research, a book titled “The Ruins of Darasbari Mosque- A Visual Diary ” has been published by art historian and architect Sajid Bin Doza. Darsbari is a magnificent historic mosque of the medieval period of Bengal.
The mosque Darsbari belonged to a typical Muslim educational complex located in the southern suburb of the old capital Gaur, presently known as Chapainawabganj District of Bangladesh. This historic site is situated about half kilometre to the west of the Choto Sona mosque. The mosque was built in 1479 AD during the era of Shamsuddin Yusuf Shah and is considered as the largest mosque in the Bangladesh part of Gaur-Lakhnauti.
Dr. Doza who is an architect and art historian has been working on the Darasbari mosque project for the last 11 years. Being fascinated by antiquity, he started to look out this historic beauty after his first visit to the mosque in 2008. He managed to publish a book by gathering his own sketches and paintings done on the site, analytical justifications based on his research and collective observations of the scholars and students. The book carries illustrations and short writings so that the target group of readers would stand from all disciplines.
Once a vibrant ‘place of learning’, the Darsbari mosque is now lying abandoned and locally known as the ‘mosque of silence’. The roof of the mosque was heavily damaged by the earthquake of 1897. The Western wall renovation was executed in 1924; another partial renovation was performed during the 1990s. The author argued, “If Choto Sona mosque would be the ‘Gem of Gaur’, Darasbari Mosque must have that much significance to justify the glorious medieval structure of entire Bengal“. This rare evidence of medieval Bengal is on the verge of total extinction. The author commented, “I wanted the book to be for common people, to let them know about glorious antiquity, a medieval mosque with golden memories dies without maintenance.”
This book, having the quality of visual and illustrative elaboration, is an attempt to showcase the glory and the magnificent craftsmanship of the medieval architecture of Bengal. As well known to the world that Bengal established an authentic style of Sultanate architecture in making mosques and tombs, ‘The Ruins of the Darasbari Mosque’ will remain as an important contribution in the documented history of Bengal and continue to inspire the learners and researchers of all ages.