Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nusrat Shah's Mosque and Tank

Nusrat Shah's Mosque and Tank On the southeastern corner of a big tank popularly known both as 'Nasrat Badshar Dighi' and 'Bara Dighi' at mouja Chikandandi in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong district, a modern mosque was built in 1988 AD on the site of a medieval mosque. While the foundation of the new mosque was being laid some sand stone architectural members like pier, wall-pier, base stone, lintel, capital, turret, inscription and terracotta embellishment were unearthed. These building materials, except the inscription, illustrate the style of the Bengal Sultanate. The defaced inscription on shale might be an addition of a later date.

The medieval mosque was in use even in or before 1896 AD and looked after by the local Muslims. The design of the capitals and shafts of this mosque resemble those of CHHUTI KHAN'S MOSQUE and GUNMANT MOSQUE. The piece of terracotta window grill found in the debris is also similar in mould to that of BAGHA MOSQUE, another work of NUSRAT SHAH. The mosque was also profusely decorated with terracotta embellishments. The ruin depicts a six-domed mosque of the Husain Shahi style at the site with three arched entrances on the faE7ade, parallel to three mihrabs on the qibla wall. The interior of the mosque had three bays and two aisles.
The tank situated beside this mosque is the biggest one dug during the Sultanate in Chittagong. It is 523.04m in length and 352.04m in breadth over about 45.88 acres of land.
According to local tradition Prince Nusrat Shah, son of Alauddin HUSAIN SHAH, dug this tank and constructed the mosque. Prince Nusrat was sent from GAUR on a campaign to drive away the marauding Arakanese from Chittagong. To commemorate the conquest the prince renamed Chittagong as FATHABAD. The adjoining village Fathabad of the Chikandandi mouja still bears the legacy. [Shamsul Hossain]

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