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Darasbari Madrasa


Darasbari Madrasa is situated about a kilometre to the southwest of kotwali darwaza, and about half a kilometre from the Chhota Sona - Kotwali Road in Ghoshpur mauza of the Bangladesh side of Gaur-Lakhnawti. It has been erected between two tanks, one on its east and the other on its west; the latter is longer and separates the madrasa from the darasbari mosque.

Darasbari Madrasa, Gaur

The madrasa, according to the inscription, was erected in 909 AH (1504 AD) by Alauddin husain shah. However, its existence was revealed only in the seventies of the 20th century when the site was excavated and the plan fully exposed. Its discovery has removed the confusion between the location of the madrasa and that of the belbari madrasa, erected two years earlier.

The madrasa is square in plan, each side measuring 55.50m. It consists of forty rooms, each measuring 3m a side, constructed around an open courtyard measuring 41.5 m square. The mosque attached to this madrasa is in the middle of the west-side rooms which are a little larger than the others, measuring 4.9m a side.

The identification has been made by the existence of three mihrabs on the west wall. The mosque had three gateways, one each on the middle of the east, north and south sides. There are the ruins of a structure in the middle of the courtyard. Its identity is uncertain but it could be a library-cum-lecture hall or a large ornamental pool with a spouting jet inside. The decoration of the madrasa building was carried out structurally in offsets and insets of the walls, and facially entirely in terracotta and in brace-mouldings.

A huge collection of terracotta plaques found during excavation (1973-75) is now preserved in a room of the Guest House, Directorate of Archaeology, near the chhota sona mosque.

The discovery of the madrasa is significant. It is the lone example of this architectural form from medieval Bengal and demonstrates the development of the present dormitory style through the earlier Buddhist Viharas discovered in mainamati, paharpur, and elsewhere. [ABM Husain]