Sonargaon, 27 km east of Dhaka, was the capital of muslim Sultanates of Bengal from the 13th century until Mughal emperor Akbar conqured this region. It was the center of power and commerce of this region during that time. Goaldi Mosque was built in 1519 A.D. in a village named Goaldi at Sonargaon by Mulla Hizabar Akbar Khan during the reign of Sultan Hussain Shah. It is located just half a mile northeast of the abandoned city of wealthy Hindu merchants – Panam Nagar. Goaldi Mosque is the only remaining of the old capital Sonargaon from the Sultanate period.
Architecture of Goaldi Mosque
This beautiful single domed mosque is more elegant and ornate in comparison to the earlier Sultanate mosques at Bagerhat. Each wall has three arched entrances, the central arch slightly higher than the others. The base of the dome rests on squinch arches at the four corners which support the dome on pendentives. There are some ornamental black stone pillars inside the prayer hall for the support of the roof.
Corresponding to the three arched doorways on the east, there are three richly decorated mihrabs on the west wall, of which the central one is bigger and beautifully embellished with curved floral and arabesque relief on dark black stone. But the flanking side mihrabs are ornamented with delicate terracotta floral and geometric patterns. The central stone mihrab is framed within an arched panel with an expanded sunflower motif in the centre. Below that the spandrels of the multi-cusped arch of the mihrab are decorated within a rectangular frame.
The engrailed arched recess is carried on stunted octagonal pillars faceted at stages. Four round banded turrets at the outer corners rise up to the curvilinear cornice. Miniature arches with teracotta designs are placed below the cornice and above the entrance arches. Round corner turrets that rise upto the cornice and have two moldings at the center and triple moldings at the base, just above which are more terracotta arches. This elegant little pre-Mughal mosque was in utter ruins when declared ‘protected’ by the Department of Archaeology, but subsequently the monument was carefully restored in 1975 AD.
How to visit Goaldi Mosque
To visit Goaldi Mosque, take the road west from the 2nd gate of the Folk Arts Museum, go half a mile till Goaldi Bazar More and turn right. It is better if you take a ricksaw. It will take you directly to the mosque.
Further reading on Goaldi Mosque in Sonargaon
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