Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque
Situated in the southwest of Dhaka, in the area of Atish Khana, visitors will discover the Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque nearby the famous Lalbagh Fort. An inscription dates the mosque back to about 1704 to 1705 CE, during the time when Farrukh Siyar served as Deputy Governor of Dhaka. It is likely that the architect behind the structure was Khan Muhammad Mridha, after whom the mosque was named.
What sets the Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque apart is the fact that it stands detached from all other buildings, allowing travelers sufficient space to view the mosque from all sides. The mosque stands on a large platform with vaulted rooms used as accommodation. This is known as the tahkhana, which are usually underground rooms. The platform extends 38,10 meters by 28,96 meters, with a height of approximately 5,18 meters from the ground up. On the eastern side of the tahkhana are stairs leading to the gateway of the main mosque, which itself only takes up a small space on top of the large platform.
An open area for prayer is located before the mosque, allowing for cool air flow. The prayer hall of the mosque has three domes. Above the central archway and the central Mihrab are Persian inscriptions that describe the details of the construction of the mosque. The prayer hall entrances feature multi-cusped arches and detailed columns. To the north of the structure is a madrasa (religious school) with a hujra (arcaded hall) where visitors are permitted to stand or sit.
The garden is well-maintained and filled with resplendent flowers. A disused well stands in the northern section of the garden, while the south is home to an ancient palm tree – a testimony to the many years the mosque has remained standing.
The Khan Mohammad Mridha Mosque was named a historic monument in 1913. Since then it has undergone a number of restorations, some of which have been controversial in nature. However, it remains a fascinating historic and religious site that visitors can view when touring the better-known Lalbagh Fort in Dhaka just down the road.