Bagha Mosque - Decoration & Contruction

Decoration & Contruction

The boundary wall with two entrances and the evidence of the ruler gallery shows that the brick-built mosque, now a protected monument of the Department of Archaeology, is an oblong structure measuring externally about 26.35m by 12.86m.The prayer hall is divided into five aisles and two longitudinal bays by a row of four freestanding black basalt pillars. The shafts of those pillars are monolithic like the conventional stone pillars in Gaur whereas the capital and the base are also from two different pieces of stones. The external brick wall is 2.23-meter thick and has two stone layers. One stone layer is placed at the plinth level and the other at the lintel level. The prayer hall can be accessed from the east by five identical arched openings, and the side walls contain two openings sealed at present.Stone pillars divide the prayer hall into two aisles and five bays. And there seems to have been a women's gallery in the northwestern corner of the mosque. A stone lintel proves the existence of perforated bricks in the side openings for ventilation and lighting. The kibla wall contains four richly ornate mihrab (niches) and three southern aisles have one mihrab each. The fourth aisle has no mihrab. It is believed to be used as a mimbar. The fifth or the northernmost aisle has a small mihrab placed at the upper level. This small mihrab proves that there was a raised gallery covering the northwestern part of the prayer hall. Similar to the gallery of Kushumba Mosque in Rajshahi, this raised gallery was probably accessed from the interior of the hall, while the adjacent side in the northern wall has no entrance at the gallery level.The four exterior angles of the building are emphasised with octagonal towers, divided into sections by moulded bands and topped over with polygonal solid cupolas. The cornice of the building is gently curved in the Bengali fashion.There are five arched openings in the east and two on either of the south and north sides. Inside the mosque there are three mihrabs at the western end of the three southern bays, a panelled design in the fourth and a smaller mihrab in the raised gallery in the northwestern corner. The interior of the mosque is divided into two longitudinal aisles and five bays by a row of four stone pillars. The mosque has therefore ten independent square divisions, each being covered by an inverted cup-shaped dome. The Department of Archaeology has reconstructed the present domed roof, as the original roof had collapsed in the earthquake of 1897. The domes are carried on intersecting arches springing from stone pillars and engaged stone pilasters. It is important to note that the stone blocks in the form of a lintel at the springing point of the doorway arches run all round the building, which gives the mosque a two-storied appearance from outside.

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