This three-domed, post-Mughal mosque is locally considered to be built
during 18th century. The mosque is situated east of a local pond, at Uttar
Karapur village of Barisal town. The Karapur Miah Bari Mosque represents a
typical Bengali platform mosque; that is, a three-domed mosque sits on a
rectangular raised platform.
In this structure the platform is square with parapets. The
large arched cells underneath the high platform were probably used for living
purposes. The space underneath the
platform is arranged with a single bay of vaulted rooms accessed from a vaulted
passageway on the periphery of all sides except east. The platform is accessed
by a straight flight of stair on the east aligned with the central bay of the
mosque. The space underneath the platform is arranged in a nine grid layout,
where the cells can be accessed from all sides.
The mosque is a typical Bengali Mughal type where the
central dome is larger than the other two. Externally the mosque is a rectangle
of 44'9" x 21'5" while internally it has an oblong plan of 36'9"
x 12'10". The structure is divided into three equal interior bays, roofed
over by three fluted, bulbous domes, resting on drums. The proportionately
smaller lateral domes are placed on the equal size bays by splitting each dome
into a half-dome and placing it on a pendentive.
The rectangular structure is buttressed by six corner
octagonal turrets, capped by plastered three tiered cupolas. These turrets are
rise above the parapet walls and ribbed in post-Mughal fashion. Parapets are
straight instead of the curvilinear cornice of pre-Mogul types. The eastern or
main facade is visually divided into three sections. Each section contains an
entrance doorway, flanked by its own pair of slender engaged columns. The
entrances correspond to the three domes above and adorned by cusped arches. The
western wall is internally recessed with three semi-octagonal mihrab niches,
which are all arched. The larger central mihrab is projected outside having
usual ornamental turrets.
The mosque was restored and repaired by the Department of Archaeology, Bangladesh and is now a protected monument.
Asher, C. B. Inventory of Key Monuments. In The Islamic Heritage of Bengal, George Michell, editor. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1984.
Hasan, P. Sultans and Mosques: The Early Muslim Architecture of Bangladesh. London: I. B. Tauris, 2007.
Islam, I., and Noblea, A. Mosque Architecture in Bangladesh: The Archetype and Its Changing Morphology. Journal of Cultural Geography, 17(2), 5-25, 1998.