Unplanned city swallows Mughal relic
A 16th century gem of Mughal architecture--the Satgambud mosque at Mohamamdpur in the city-- is in peril, dwarfed and encroached upon by high rises, factories and slums. These emerged over the years in defiance of laws forbidding such structures around archaeological sites.
A six storeyed madrassah building constructed in 1986 overshadows the front side of the seven domed mosque built by Mughal governor Shaista Khan.
Once a major attraction of Dhaka and prayer site of the Mughal elite, the mosque dominated the Buriganga's eastern bank with its exquisite but simple architectural beauty, still evident despite the scars of time and ill maintenance.
Centuries later, the river has retreated and encroachers went for grabbing its vacant bed, raising multi-storeyed structures and setting up factories etc.
These now dwarf the mosque which has been left with a small courtyard, narrowed by the buildings on its northern side and slums, factories and a brick kiln on the southern and eastern sides.
An ill maintained small lawn survives somehow with an iron fencing. But no one seems to take care of the surrounding lands, especially that in front the mosque, taken over by powerful people who set up the madrassah allegedly without authorisation from RAJUK.
Unless the authorities move fast to save the historic site from encroachers, the mosque would virtually disappear, local people fear.