Nayabad Mosque is located on the bank of the river Dhepa, just 1.5km southwest of the infamous Kantaji Temple at Dinajpur in Bangladesh. The mosque is named after the village “Nayabad” which stands in the Police Station of Kaharole. According to an inscription found on the central doorway, it was constructed in 1793 AD in the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. During that period, Raja Baidyanath, the last of the Dinajpur Royal family, was the Zamindar (feudal landowner).
Nayabad Mosque was erected at a time when the soil of Dinajpur had already been enriched with one of the most remarkable navaratna temples, the Kantajew Temple in 1752 AD. The founding Royal family of Dinajpur was still prominent. According to local traditions, the mosque was built by Muslim architectural workers who had come to this place from the west to build Kantaji Temple. They had settled in Nayabad, a village near the temple, and had built the mosque for their own use. There is a grave of an unknown person on the premises of the mosque. Local people believe, this is the grave of Kalu Khan, the master architect of Kantaji Temple.
Nayabad Mosque is an oblong three-domed mosque with octagonal towers at the four corners. There are three arched entrances to enter the mosque. Among them, the central one is bigger than the flanking ones. These are equal in height and width. There is an arched window each on the south and north sides. Inside the western wall, there are three mihrabs in line with the three entrances. The central mihrab is bigger than the flanking ones which are of equal size. Three hemispherical domes cover the mosque, of which the central one is bigger than the side ones. Pendentives have been used in their phase of transition. The parapet and cornice are straight.
Terracotta plaques have been used in the decoration of Nayabad Mosque. At present, there are about 104 terracotta plaques rectangular in shape, used in the surface decoration of the mosque walls. The platform of the mosque is enclosed by a low brick wall with only one access from the east. On either side of the mosque are to be seen a number of tombs each found fixed over the central doorway of the mosque.
Further reading on Nayabad Mosque
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- Kantajew Temple—The most beautiful terracotta temple in Bangladesh
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