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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Archaeological Site in Bangladesh: Kherua Mosque in Sherpur, Bogra

Kherua Mosque, Sherpur, Bogra
Photo taken from: 

This is an old mosque situated in the village, Khandakartola, under Sherpur Upazila in the district of Bogra. Locally it is known as “Kherua mosjid” (Kherua mosque). The mosque had been built more than 400 years ago, in the year of 1582 A.D. by some Mirza Murad Khan Qaqshal, son of Jauhar Ali Khan Qaqshal. The Qaqshal was an Afghan tribe that, along with other Afgfhan groups who followed Masum Khan Kabuli, who declared himself as “Sultan” and sought to oust the Mughals from Bengal. At a time Sherpur, where the mosque has been situated, had served as the headquarters of the rebels.

According to the Mughal architecture, their mosques consist of only a prayer hall, which is now single-aisled with three or five bays. The exterior surfaces are plastered and paneled, the cornices are straight, and the buildings look less ponderous than Sultanate ones because of the higher domes.

Kherua Mosque Plan: Sketch been taken from

The Kherua mosque is a single-aisled, three domed (bayed) mosque which represents the North Indian and Mughol era architectures in Bangladesh. But it also carries the Bengali features, such as the brick construction, curved cornice and engaged ribbed corner turrets, the plan is whole divergence from that of traditional Bengali mosques.

However, ironical fact is that, this mosque has been represented the symbolic type of the standard of Mughal and post-Mughal era in Bengal.

Kherua Mosque
Photo taken from: 

It resembled the fact that the ruler, Masum Khan Kabuli, and many of his rebel followers who had served earlier in Bihar under the Mughals, were familiar with north Indian forms (like the forms of Delhi and Agra), as well as with mosques in the great stronghold of Rohtas in Bihar. The older Hindu sculptures (like which found in Kantaji’s Temple in Dinajpur) were known to have been imbedded in the east façade, but it was already damaged. The only visible part of Kherua mosque is of its back side, that part is carved with a Persian inscription. Re-usage of Hindu materials in such a prominent fashion is rare in Bengal after 14th century. The Qaqshal rebels were probably cut-off from sources of freshly quarried stone, which would have been used for an inscription on a brick monument, and so had to rely on available materials.

Kherua Mosque
Photo taken from: 

This historical mosque has been situated just around 14 km away from the upazila town of Sherpur.

This beautiful archaeological site is now falling into ruin due to the lack of proper maintenance. The salinity of this area is high and its’ 2 meter width walls are now under threat of that salinity.

To read detailed history on this archaeological site, please visit: Indianetzone.

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