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Majlis Aulia Mosque


Majlis Aulia Mosque situated in the village of Pathrail under Bhanga upazila in Faridpur district. In this village there are remains of an ancient building complex on the western bank of a large tank. Enclosed by a low brick wall the complex, consisting of a mosque and a mazar, is locally ascribed to a great saint Majlis Abdullah Khan, widely known as Majlis Auliya.

Majlis Aulia Mosque, Faridpur

The mosque, now in utter ruins, is oblong in plan having an outside measurement of 25.60m from north to south and 12.65m from east to west. The four exterior angles of the building are emphasised with octagonal towers, now in a very bad state of preservation. All the towers, rising upto the roof level, are divided into sections by mouldings, traces of which are still clearly noticed here and there. The eastern facade of the mosque is pierced with five arched-doorways, while there are two more similar doorways on each of the north and south walls. Inside the mosque the western wall has five semi-circular mihrab niches facing cardinally the five entrances in the eastern facade. All the mihrab sare arched, of which the central one is bigger and shows a rectangular projection towards the back. The battlements and the cornices are curved.

The interior of the building is divided into two longitudinal aisles by a row of four brick-built pillars. The cross-wise bays, which correspond to the five eastern entrances and five mihrabs, are five in number. Inside there were ten equal square units, each covered with a dome. The entire domed-roof has completely fallen down. The domes were carried on intersecting arches rising from the pillars and the corners were filled with Bengali pendentives, traces of that are still intact. The mosque was originally embellished with profuse terracotta ornamentation like those in the Tantipada and the bagha mosque. Varieties of decorative designs such as floral scrolls, rosettes, cusped arch motifs, diaper including hanging patterns are now visible in decaying condition in the doorways and mihrabs.

In plan and richness of its ornamentation the mosque is well compared to the Bagha Mosque (1523) in Rajshahi. It is on this stylistic ground the building may be suggested to have been built sometime in the early 16th century during the Husain Shahi period. [MA Bari]