Watch: The sparkling mosque of Old Dhaka | The Daily Star
12:11 PM, June 26, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:19 PM, June 26, 2016

Watch: The sparkling mosque of Old Dhaka

Situated in one of the alleys of Armanitola, the Star Mosque (Tara Masjid in Bengali) is one of the most beautiful Mughal era mosques in Bangladesh.

The mosque was built by a Mughal landlord named Mirza Gulam Pir around 1711. At that time it was a tiny 3 domed mosque made with marble imported from Rajmahal of India.

In 1926 a wealthy merchant named Ali Jaan Bepari who was a resident of Armanitola took the initiative to renovate and redecorate the entire mosque. An enthusiastic Ali imported exquisite, precious china clay tiles from Japan and England. Then with skilled local artisans he decorated the entire mosque walls even the domes with beautiful floral and star shaped patterns made of those precious china clay tiles.

In the white marble background, the glistening engraved stars and floral patterns create a magical and serene environment of light and shade in the mosque as they reflect sunlight in different angles. There are also verses from the holy Quran engraved in the interior walls. A courtyard and the star shaped fountain were built at that time in the eastern side of the mosque.

The Tara Mosque is one of the few architectural structures in Bangladesh in fact even in our sub-continent which has such an elaborate china clay mosaic works traditionally called Chini Tikri. Unfortunately this art and its specialist artisans are now extinct from our country. The mosque is still open for prayers and one can visit this beautiful ancient mosque anytime and any day.

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