|Name:||Dr. SAJID BIN DOZA|
Central stupa temple of Sompur Bihar, Paharpur, Naogaon, Rajshahi (central part of the division)
Establishment: 781-821 CE, by Sree Dharma Pala, Pala Dynasty
Location: Naogaon, Rajshahi.
The central stupa temple of Sompur Mahavihara is a gem of the entire architecture. Since the dawn Buddhist populace contributed a new architecture with the terracotta bricks to the common people of this land. Moreover making of this giant stupa temple at the off centre in the grand courtyard is an attempt of installing meaning of spiritual essence during the contemporaries. The four-sided sutpa temple is placed on successive three tiers of pradakshina or ambulatory circulation. Cruciform shaped plan allows having entry from four sides. Through the physical research and from historic literature reviews the temple was having a shakers engaging north Indian Rekha style and other roofing pattern of the temple was constructed with chala pattern. Wooden members were adjoining terracotta tails (built in the site) became the popular pitch roofing pattern or chala style. Split system in the roofing pattern helped to evolve clearstory for allowing light in a controlled environment. Light used to come in the vestibules and prayer hall through the clearstory by creating drama. The section of the temple explains the situation of the offering halls; on the other hand through the sectional research the marvel of the structure of central shrine is exposed. Considering climatic situation and topographical terrain this kind of staggering structure is authentic for this hinterland. Splendid construction process was carried out with brick mason. Composite phenomenon of structural combination used to adopt in building this huge shrine.
Darasbari Mosque (1479 CE)
Establishment: Shamsuddin Abul Muzaffar Yusuf Shah built the mosque in 1479 AD.
Location: near Sonamasjid Landport, Chapai nawabgonj.
The Darasbari mosque is the largest mosque in the Bangladesh part of Gaur-Lakhnauti, now in ruins. It is situated in the Darasbari quarter of the mediaeval city on the west side of the Chhota Sona-Kotwali Darwaza Road, at present a desolated area near the Indian border. The name Darasbari is derived from its being located within a darsbari (place of lesson or learning).
The Darasbari Mosque Plan consists of all kind of characteristics, stating from the fore room, extended turrets, central prayer hall with member, mezzanine floor for the Zenanah (women)., west wall elaborately decorated, the extensive terracotta craftsmanship, the roofing style both for the fore room and prayer hall, stone floor (extinct) and lastly the outer shaan (courtyard). These all components comply to form a complete planning organization, and Darasbari mosque is no exception from them. The planning organization of the mosque is containing the proper characteristics of the Sultanate mosque architecture including the fore-room, turrets, member, the central prayer hall or the nave and the other prayer hall along the two sides. The mosque’s planning organization has the mezzanine floor for the musullih, zenanah or for the Sultans, which is called the Badshahi-Ki-Taqth. Adina mosque, Borosona mosque, Chotosona mosque and Kushumba mosque are contented with this element. The mehrab wall of the mosque is luxuriantly ornate with composite and individual terracotta. Most of the Sultanate mosque in Gaur is patterned with this phenomenon. Meanwhile, Mehrab façade is rich crafted with different materials, the mehrab was elaborately decorated with composite terracotta panel. The Darasbari mosque qualifies the richest terracotta decoration in the country as well as brilliant terracotta craftsmanship in the Sultanate Bengal. The motif of the terracotta was combined with ‘palm and parasite’. Bells, floral decoration, diamond cut form and lastly the some famous fruits or agricultural seed. The floral and geometric patterns carved in relief on the terracotta of the mihrabs are very similar to those found in the Adina mosque. There is also a ‘palm and parasite’ motif which portrays a vine rooted into the bowl of a palm tree and spreads itself out to completely cover the mihrab space with its foliage. This motif finds a close parallel in the famous Sidi Sayyid mosque in Ahmadabad, which was built around the same period. Curve cornice is the signature element for all different unit mosques. Tunnel Vault system roof mosque shows the structural brilliance and it was repeated on few mosques like Gunmant mosque, and Adina mosque of Pandua. The use of stone in the Sultanate mosque found in the unique shape of installation. The monolithic were used for the column and the dressed stones were used for the lintels which mostly protected the compressive load of the thicker walls. Individually when the stones gives the pattern on the bricks details terracotta a relief. Process of the course of action and the core brick wall construction were the same for all Sultanate structure construction. Spatial environment and the proportion of the scale is scientific, sense of enclosure is present here. Dome construction was different and the mosque adapted the construction by the sultanate rulers with the help of the local people and craftsmanship.
The justifications of the mosques are well fit with the examples. There are some different values have been added in different mosque, though then Sultanate Bengal mosque of Darasbari is a solely and unique form of architecture that share the characteristics of the Gaur mosques.
Khalaram Datar Badi Temple
Establishment: late 19th century. By Khelaram datta (possibly)
Location: Nawabgonj, Dohar
There are a few temples in Bengal were combined with two distinguished temple style elements, one is Bengal style and the other one is sikhara. Brilliantly blended with dochala, chouchala and conical spire central roofing and lower part is added with curved cornice. The temple is combination with complex substances. Bengal brick temple style is unique for it’s certain parameters; such as planning organisation of the temple, form of art, ornamentation and obviously for the inherent quality of the roofing pattern. To focus on the planning organisation – Bengal’s brick temple was consisted with only a GARVAGRIHA. Very few of them were seen with small portico or porch, where basically devotees used to gather. Still today people of this region build only MANDAPA, which is a temporary pavilion before the main temple. Evidently seen from time immemorial and even since Gupta period temple of delta land was contained with a single chamber, house of God.
In the mid 19th century temple style had been amalgamated with European influences. One of the influences is KHELARAM DATAR BARI Temple. The planning organisation of the temple is uncommon. Ground floor is consisted of orthogonal thick brick walls, which appears as a pavilion environ at the ground strata. The ground floor is contained with a central compartment which is complementing the upper floor GARVAGRIHA and furthers the conical spire. Ground floor eventually is designed for separate offering chambers; however an axial direction is prominent in the plan. Two stairs are settled on the corners for vertical circulation.
Upper floor is arranged with small huts of Bengals, combination of dochala and charchar chala kiosks arranged on the edges where central conical spire temple is lofted. Precisely a proportionate base is containing a village along with a temple; an allegory would have been an authentic theme of this very temple. Rationally the ground floor acts as the mandap for the devotees and rest area for the travellers, upper floor is more in to with the religious emblems.
Course of action of the structure is associated with bricks and lime mortar paste. Where the flat roofing usually done by the small series vaulting system.
Remarks and end words
The sectional perspective depicts hierarchy in spatial relationship. The reed hut shape kiosks roofs are crafted with bended bricks and thick lime mortar plaster. On the other hand the giant conical spire is constructed intelligently with cobelling brick works and remains hollow inside corresponding a false dome from the GARVAGRIHA chamber. Marvellously accommodated chala kiosks seats around and narrow passages creates ambiance of compactness of temples on the roof deck.
Three examples from different eras reflect divers’ architectural meaning. besides three structures are containing themes by analyzing the sectional perspectives. The halls of central shrine at the Sompur Buddhist monastery used to remain retain with controlled natural light to generate spiritual quintessence. Buddhist builders are the pioneer of building; huge structure in this hinterland, the central shrine of the Shompur monastery is an abstract representation of ethos of Buddhists. Darasbari mosque purposefully built for the educational matter. This is the only mosque which is fully occupied with all sultanate mosque characteristics, having said that the mosque is ornate with unique embellishment; terracotta is highly precious and it is chiselled on the mehrab panels. Sectional perspective is contained with central prayer hall (nave), hit towards a grand curved and terracotta mehrab panel works. A missing pulpit or raised minber is still evident on the west wall. This is supposed to be the unique feature of all Sultanate mosques in Bangladesh. On the northern gallery an elaborated mezzanine floor used to be the Zehahah floor (ladies gallery). Four stumpy columns are visible at the compartment. The outer west facade (external mehrab facade) is decorated in a bottom up process. And lastly the Khelaram Datar Bari temple is a combination of Bengal-European style, stating a story of theme which enrols as the dramatic situation for the structure. Structural significance is highly advanced to secure a high-rise mass form during those days. Interior of the temple is accommodative for the congregation, which is uncommon in subject of other temple style in Bangladesh. Housing several compartments in one ground floor is the mesmerizing till dates.
So, in this hinterland Bengal experienced vivid architectural solutions, this research is anticipated to focus on the diversity in ancient architecture that has been a profound phenomenon from time immemorial, Notable in planning organisation, art of the form (building mass), construction process and lastly in celebrating the ritual conceptions; these three unique historical architectures proves and provide strong statements in the field of art and architectural combat.
Ahmed, Nazimuddin. Discover the Monuments of Bangladesh. Dhaka: U Limited, 1984. Print.
Ahmed, Nazimuddin. Islamic Heritage of Bangladesh. Dacca: Dept. of Films and Publications, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 1980. Print.
Ahmed, Nazimuddin. MAHASTHAN, MAINAMATI, PAHARPUR (মহাস্থান, ময়নামতি, পাহাড়পুর). 3rd ed. Dhaka: Department of Archaeology Bangladesh, 1997. Print.
AHMED, NAZIMUDDIN. THE BUILDINGS OF KHAN JAHAN: In and Around Bagerhat. Dhaka: U Limited, 1989. Print.
Ahmed, Nizamuddin. Epic Stories in Terracotta: Depicted on Kantanagar Temple Bangladesh. Dhaka: U Limited, 1990. Print.
Alam, A.K.M.Shamsul. An Albam of Archaeological Relics in Bangladesh. Dhaka: Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, 1984. Print.
Alam, A.K.M.Shamsul. MAINAMATI (ময়নামতি). Dacca: Department of Archaeology and Museum, Bangladesh, 1976. Print.
Alam, Md Shafiqul., and Jean-François Salles. France-Bangladesh Joint Venture Excavations at Mahasthangarh: First Interim Report, 1993-1999. Dhaka: Dept. of Archaeology, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Govt. of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, 2001. Print.
Alam, Md. Shafiqul, Md. Abdul Hashem Miah, and Md. Abdul Khaleque. Excavations at BAHIRDHAP (বাহিরধাপ), Bogra (বগুড়া). Ed. Nizamuddin Ahmed, Mohammed ALI, and Md. Shafiqul Alam. Dhaka (ঢাকা): Department of Archaeology, Bangladesh, 2000. Print.
Ali, A K M Yaqub. “PUNDRANAGARA: AN EMPORIUM OF NORTH BENGAL.” The Bengal Muslim Research Institute UK (n.d.): n. pag. Web.
Asher, Catherine B. “Inventory of Key Monuments. Art and Archaeology Research Papers.” The Islamic Heritage of Bengal (1984): 71. P