The Zinda Peer Mosque is locally considered to be contemporary
with Khan Jahan Ali style mosques of Khalifatabad, present date Bagerhat,
Bangladesh. Based on architectural style the date of construction can be estimated
to be late-fifteenth century.
The Zinda Peer Mosque is a Sultanate
mosque that is, square structure crowned with a single dome. Zinda Pir's
real name is said to be Ahmad Ali. This mosque is a part of a complex (112'6"
square) also consisting a single-domed tomb of the saint himself and a number
of brick-built graves ascribed to the family members of the Zinda Pir. The
mosque is situated less than half a kilometer to the west of Khan Jahan Ali’s Tomb Complex.
The mosque is a square of 27'7" x 26'5" externally
while internally it has a square plan of 16'0" x 16'0". The structure
is a single chamber, roofed over by a hemispherical dome. The eastern façade has
three arched openings to the prayer hall. The dome is internally carried on by
four intersecting arches springing from stone pillars and brick pilasters
attached to the side walls. There are three mihrabs, each aligned with the
three entrances at east and the central portion of the qibla wall is projected
westward from the ground to the roof. Stylistically this kind is known as Khan
Jahan Ali architecture, commonly found in and around south-western part of
The square structure is buttressed by four corner octagonal turrets.
These turrets end at the level of parapet walls and ribbed in typical Bengali Sultanate
fashion. The façades are capped by curvilinear cornices of pre-Mughal type. Exterior
façades are of plain brick texture with framed arched opening with terracotta
design of jali motif. The central entrance is larger than the side ones which
are slightly narrower and dwarfish. There are three terracotta multi cusped
arched mihrabs in the qibla wall; the central one is larger and the flanking
ones narrower and dwarfish similar to the front façade. The central mihrab is
flanked by small pillars with terracotta at the base and at the capital.
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.