Hussaini Dalan : Oldest Shiite Shrine of Dhaka

Hussaini Dalan : Oldest Shiite Shrine of Dhaka
Dhaka : Bangladesh

Hussaini Dalan(sometimes reffered as Husaini) is an imambara -center for Shiite(the followers off Shia Islam) in the old part of the city of Dhaka, attributed to the Mughal Period.  The building seems to have been originally erected (in 1642 AD) by one Sayyid Murad during the governorship of shah Shuja, who, although himself a Sunni, was eager to preserve and patronise Shiite institutions. Traditions relate that Sayyid Murad, having seen al-Husain in a vision erecting a tazia khana (house of mourning), was inspired to raise the building, which he named Husaini Dalan. The original building may have been a small structure, expanded to its present form in later times. The east india company repaired it in 1807 and 1810, and a portion of the building was reconstructed after the earthquake of 1897.

1990's ; Taken by Md Johir Uddin for Banglapedia
The building stands on a high platform ascended by a flight of steps on the east and consists of two main halls placed back to back. The shirni hall, facing south, is coloured black to indicate sorrow and mourning for the death of al-Husain, and the khutba hall, facing north, has a mimbar with seven wooden steps. In the latter hall are hung several religious symbols. To these halls have been added subsidiary halls in two storeys on the right and left, probably meant for women. The southern facade of the building is flanked by two three-storey polygonal hollow towers, crowned by domes. The parapet of the building consists of coloured merlons, and over its four corners are four kiosks. The building as a whole gives a modern appearance with remnants of older architecture here and there.

2010-05-09 ; Prothom Alo

 The main building “Hussaini Dalan” is situated in the middle of complex, built on an area of about  (9,380 Sq. ft/ 88.05 Sq. Meters). In the south touching the building there is a “Pond” having an area of 1.01 Bighas (14,544 Sq. ft/ 1376.95 Sq Meters). This pond is the main attraction of this building which touches the walls of Hussaini Dalan.
1904; from the British Library by Fritz Kapp
Official web of this ancient monument provide the following description of this architecture, which may be interesting for knowing about an interior of a Tazia Khana(house of mourning):

The main building is two storied. The ground floor is hollow having graves in the northern portion beneath the 1st floor. The 1st floor has two big Verandahs one in the south with four pillars (Round Shape) and another in the north with four pillars (Square Shape). The two big hall rooms and between the two verandahs each measuring (1,430 Sq. ft/ 13.54 Sq. Meters and 935 Sq. ft/ 88.5 Sq. Meters) are utilized as “Prayer Room” and “Zari Khana” (Where the memory of Imam Hasan & Hossain (A.S.) Zari with Alam are kept). The prayer room is utilized for “Namaz-e-Panjgana, Namaz-e-Jumma and Majlises” (Large Mourning Gatherings). Majlises (Gathering) on the Shahadat Dates (The Dates of Martydom of Imams (A.S.) Rasul Akram (S.M.) and Hazrat Fatema Zehra (Salawatullah Alaiha) etc.) are held in the “Zari Khana”.

There are three more rooms in the first floor. One is called “Huqqa Khana” (289 Sq.ft/ 27.4 Sq. Meters) adjacent to prayer room is used for keeping precious items of Imambara. The room adjacent to the southern verandah is called “Nishist Gah” (340 Sq. ft/ 32.15 Sq. Meters) or sitting room where officials of Hussaini Dalan Imambara used sit and hold their meetings. The Naib Nazims also held their meetings. The Naib Nazims also used to sit in this very room in the olden days.

The main building has two stair cases one quite large in the east which is utilized as the main entrance to the Dalan and the other in the back (West) which is small and used by the Khadams etc. Recently a new small staircase in the north-west has been built for ladies.

Just above the “Huqqa Khana” there is a small room which is called “Bala Khana” (The place of the ladies) about (360 Sq. ft/ 34 Sq. Meters) from where the ladies used to hear   watch majlises from the holes in the wall just above the “Zari Khana”.



Compiled from Banglapedia | Official Web | Wikipedia
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