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Hitampur Shahi Mosque


Hitampur Shahi Mosque a single-dome mosque located in Hitampur mouza one kilometre east of the headquarter of Shailakupa upazila in Jhenaidah district. It was built perhaps in 1530 during the rule of Sultan Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah. From outside, the length of each of the wall of this square-shaped mosque measured 27 feet and from inside it measured 18 feet. Each wall measured four feet six inches in thickness. At the four corners there were four octagonal turrets having terracotta designs. The eastern wall had the 4.6ft main entrance with two 3.6ft entrances on either side. The north and south walls had one entrance each. These entrances were made with sharp double-edged concave arches. Directly opposite to the three entrances in the eastern wall there were three mihrabs or concave niches on the western wall. The mihrabs were built with the help of concave recesses. The larger middle mihrab was extended westward beyond the wall. The mihrabs had floral decorations all along. The rectangular frames of the mihrabs of the western wall and the spandrels of their concaves were decorated with terracotta designs.

The dome of the mosque disappeared long ago. For the dome, round inward support foundation was erected with the help of squinches jutting out of the columns hidden inside the walls. Like other domes of the sultan period, it was devoid of casks and was hemispherical in shape. Because of collapse of its dome and upper parts of the walls, the mosque remained for a long time like a mound of earth covered with bushes. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century the local people excavated it and carried on some repair work but not expertly. For lack of planned excavation the lower part of the mosque remains under 3 to 4 feet of earth even today. The pond on the south meant for ablution and bath has recently been excavated. The mosque is a valuable specimen of superb architecture of Muslim Bengal of the middle Ages. [Mohammad Alamgir]