Nayabad Masjid : Vestige of Mughal Architecture

Nayabad Masjid : Vestige of Mughal Architecture
Ramchandrapur: Kaharole: Dinajpur: Bangladesh
Introduction
Nayabad Masjid is an architectural vestige. which was built just after the  erection of  Kantanagar Temple. According to local traditions, the mosque was built by Muslim architectural workers who had come to this place from the west to build Kantanagar Temple sometime in mid-18th century. They had settled in Nayabad, a village near the temple, and had built the masjid for their own use.


Before Renovation From Banglapedia 
Location
The masjid is situated on the bank of the Dhepa river in village Nayabad in Ramchandrapur Union under Kaharol Thana of Dinajpur district, about 20 km to the north-west of the district town. The mosque, built on about 1.15 bighas of land, has been renovated by the Department of Archaeology, Bangladesh.




Construction Period
An inscription on the central doorway records the date of its construction as 2 Jyaistha, 1200 (Bangla Calender) (1793 AD) in the reign of Mughal Emperor shah alam II. According to local traditions, the mosque was built by Muslim architectural workers who had come to this place from the west to build Kantanagar Temple sometime in mid-18th century. They had settled in Nayabad, a village near the temple, and had built the mosque for their own use.


Photo by Tanzirian
Architect
It is an oblong three-domed mosque with octagonal towers at the four corners and measures 12.45m ´ 5.5m externally. The walls are 1.10m thick. Of the three arched entrances the central one is bigger than the flanking ones. These are equal in height and width. The central arch is 1.95m high and 1.15m wide. There is an arched window each on the south and north sides. Multi-cusped arches have been used in the doorways and windows. There are three mihrabs inside in the western wall in line with the three entrances. The central mihrab (2,30m high and 1.08m wide) 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. 


Of the four corner towers in the four outer corners of the mosque two (northeastern and northwestern) still possess the cupolas on their top. The top of the other two is now bare. The corner towers are plastered and gradually tapering; each had a lantern-like chhatri on the top crowned with a cupola. Four bands at regular intervals decorate the surface of each tower.


Terra cotta
The terracotta plaques used in the decoration of the mosque have become loose and most of them have been damaged. At present there are about 104 terracotta plaques (rectangular in shape, 0.40m ´ 0.30m) used in the surface decoration of the mosque walls. Though damaged some of them show floral and creeper motifs. It is noteworthy that one contains a depiction of a pair of peacocks.


Interesting findings
There is a grave of a person in the premises of the Masjid. There is no proper information about this grave. There is a common rumor that this is the grave of Kalu Khan,the master architect  of Kantanagar Temple. Local people also believe that the masjid was build from the extra materials left after completing the temple.  A madrasa has recently been built in front of the Masjid. Another rumor about the builder is supported by the Daily Star, that this masjid belonging to the second phase development of Islamic period of Bengal was built by Skeikh Mujib Allah who lived in Parganah Nurour during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II in 1785 AD (A.H.1200). During that period the Zaminder was Raja Baidyanath, the last of the Dinajpur Raj family.


How to Reach There
One can start his journey for the monument from Dinajpur town or Sayedpur Airport by any kind of motorized vehicle. If he is a biker, than there is no problem. I suggest travelers to hire a rickshaw van of take a ride by 'Nosimon' from the place called 'Das Mile*, which means 10 miles' upto 'Baro Mile*, which means 12 miles' boat point.It may take 10-20 Taka person for ride. 


Travel route from Dasmile to Masjid in Google Map[CLICK FOR LARGE VIEW]
After Reaching Baro Mile point cross the Dhepa River. Travelers will find boatman waiting for crossing the silty river to Kantanagar hamlet. Than just little walk will lead the travelers to the premises of the temple. There is a road to the North Wast side of the temple, which lead the travelers to the Nayabad village, just a 15 minutes walk. Enjoy.
*These places are named base on the distance from Dinajpur Town.
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Mainly compiled from Banglapedia | The Daily Star |  Google Earth KMZ
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