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     Volume 2 Issue 26| June 27, 2010|


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The Glory of Chunakhola Mosque

Emtiaz Morshed

“CHUNAKHOLA Mosque”. Haven't you ever heard the name? It is quite natural. Because this mosque is not as famous as the “Sixty Domed Mosque” of Bagerhat. Chunakhola mosque is also situated in Bagerhat and it has a historical importance. Chunakhola mosque is a part of UNESCO's world heritage. They are called “The Ruins of Bagerhat”. All those medieval structures are the part of the UNESCO's world heritage.

Recently some students, namely, Raihan, Emtiaz, Niamat and Hasan of the department of Archaeology from Jahangirnagar University went on an archaeological exploration research activity in Bagerhat under the guidance of our teacher Prof. Masood Imran. In our research work we tried to find out the old channel of the Bhairav River and also tried to locate the old historical structures of Bagerhat. At one stage of our exploration we saw the mosque.

The mosque was named after a village where it was situated. That is 'The Chunakhola village'. The Chunakhola mosque is located approximately one-mile north-west from the “Sixty Domed Mosque”. It is square shaped in size. The length of the mosque is 41 ft. This is a single domed structure with 7 ft thick walls. There are three doorways in the east wall, in the north and south walls. In total there are five arched doorways in the mosque. The large dome of the mosque covers almost all the portion of the roof. Inside the mosque there are some terracotta ornamentation. From the local hearsay we have come to know that this mosque was built by one of the officers of the famous ruler Khan Jahan Ali.

This is one of the architectural features of Sultani Bengal which is still existing. It's also a part of the medieval mint (takshal) city Khalifatabad (At present Bagerhat). If it falls to ruins because of the salt water and shrimp hatcheries around it then it'll be a shame for us as a nation. In the past the Archaeological Bureau of Bangladesh undertook a renovation work of the Chunakhola mosque. So we expect, this time they will take steps to save the historic mosque. We hope that the Chunakhola mosque will exist for a long time in future as a part of our heritage.

(The writer is a student of Jahangirnagar University)

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