The date of the mosque can be traced back to 1704-05 AD based
on the Persian inscriptions on the central archway and over the central mihrab.
It was built by a noble, Khan Muhammad
Mirza, during the rule of Farrukh Siyar, the Deputy Governor of Dhaka. The
mosque was probably constructed by the order of Qazi Ibadullah, the chief Qazi
The mosque is located approximately 500 meters west of the
Lalbagh Fort. The mosque is situated at the western part of the complex which
also includes a graveyard and a garden. During its inception the mosque was
probably the center of a robust neighborhood.
The Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque represents a typical Bengali
platform mosque; that is, a three-domed mosque sits on a rectangular raised
platform. The platform is 16'-6" above the ground level. The tahkhana comprises of vaulted rooms for living purposes. Area wise, the mosque occupies only a small portion of the platform. In this structure the platform is square with parapets adorned with
betel leaf motifs. Probably intended to be a madrasa, the large arched
cells underneath the 5.8 meter- high platform were used for living purposes. The space underneath the platform were 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 of 25 steps on the east leading to a double arched gateway
aligned with the central bay of the mosque. Two large engaged octagonal turrets
were positioned symmetrically on each side of the stair. On the platform, along
with the mosque an ancillary structure is positioned on the north, probably
used for multiple purposes.
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
49'10" x 23'5" while internally it has an oblong plan of 39'8" x
12'8". 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 four corner
octagonal turrets, capped by plastered cupolas. These turrets are rise slightly
above the parapet walls and ribbed in typical Bengali fashion. Parapets are
straight instead of the curvilinear cornice of pre-Mughal 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 mosque's north and south interior walls are divided into
a series of horizontal panels, reflecting the motifs on the exterior. The
interior mihrabs have floriated engaged colonettes and cusped arches as well as
elegantly moulded kanjuras. The mosque's
north and south interior walls are divided into a series of horizontal panels,
reflecting the motifs on the exterior.
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.