Journey Through Bangladesh
Chandamari mosque in Kurigram losing its splendour
Abdul wahed brings us the story about the dilapidated state of the oldest mosque in kurigram.
THE Chandamari mosque in Kurigram is an ancient Mughal mosque that has been around for centuries. However, the mosque is falling inexorably into ruin due to acid rain and lack of proper maintenance.
The mosque is situated in the village of Chandamari in Chakirpasha union under the Rajarhat upazila in the district of Kurigram. No one knows the exact year the mosque was built or who built it. The locals consider it the oldest mosque in the area, at approximately five hundred years old. The architecture of the mosque is very similar to that of other buildings dating back to the Mughal times. It should be mentioned that there is no department of archaeology in the district. Should archaeologists visit the mosque and perform carbon dating experiments, its year of foundation may be pinpointed.
During a visit to the site, local man Abdul Zalil Sarker and President of the Mosque Committee Jakir Hossen Chawdhury told Star Insight that perhaps future generations will know the exact age of the mosque. "It was built in the 16th or 17th century. It bears some similarities to the structure of the Atia mosque (1609 AD) in Tangail," a local historian said.
Local sources say that though there are 52 decimals of land in the mosque's name, whilst it is established on only five decimals. The height of the mosque is 45”. There are three large, four medium and twenty-four small domes on top, the four corners and around the mosque respectively. Nine of smaller domes have been damaged.
This mosque, however, is not one of a kind. Hundreds of old buildings with ample antique value and rich heritage are crumbling due to lack of care while others are even being deconstructed. The issue seems to be ignored completely by authorities despite plenty of public interest and protest.
The mosque was made with flat tally bricks, which were cemented together with a kind of paste called Bhishkas. The thickness of walls, roof and domes are 4”.
From a long period of continued carelessness, a crack had formed in the center of the 3 large domes. Being unfit, the middle dome was reduced by ½ feet and repaired by the mosque committee, who also built a tin-shed porch in front of the mosque.
The local people demand that the ancient mosque be handed over to the Department of Archaeology and steps be taken to preserve it. Despite its condition, prayers are held 5 times a day at the mosque, which also draws the random tourist
(R) thedailystar.net 2009