A Visit To A Historical Place/Building (Bibi Maryam Mosque)

Bibi Maryam Mosque (Bengali: বিবি মরিয়ম মসজিদ) also called ‘Hajiganj Mosque’, is located in the Killarpul area of Narayanganj district in Bangladesh which was built under the period of Mughal intervention in around 1860. The mosque is said to have been built by Nawab Shaista Khan, Mughal subadar of Bengal (1664-1688), and ascribed to one Bibi Mariam, presumably his daughter, who is said to have laid buried close by in a tomb. This masjid has been renamed in the 21st century as “Killarpul Shahi Jame Masjid”. This mosque is most remembered in the country as a protruding persistent structure despite the fact that it has inadequate space. There are, in theory, two big assumptions by the historians about the individual who approved the building of the Masjid (mosque) and its evolutionary past. The first was that Nawab Shahista Khan ordered its construction in the 1680s in a reinvigorated compound when he was Subahdar in Bengal during the period 1664 to 1688. The second assumption tried to prove that Bibi Maryam was the life partner of IshaKha Masnad-E-Ala, who had built the masjid and her tomb after her demise proving that he really loved her. The historians who have studied the used building materials and applied construction methods also justify discovering that both were practiced during the period of the life of Nawab Shaista Khan.

The mosque is three-dome type, with the central dome wider than the side ones. It was a single-storied building with greater stress on the perpendicular potentials of the three mihrabs built up in the western walls from the base. The basal leaf dome decoration and the battlemented merlons speak about the theme. The panel leaf decoration on the top of the roof is seen only on the front side. However, this mosque has been acknowledged united of the prominent surviving Mughal buildings in Bangladesh despite its limited accommodation. The eastern facade of the mosque has the standard three arched entrances, each opening under a half dome, and also the central one being wider than the side entrances. In 2001 the first floor of the mosque was added which endangered the beauty which was evident from the cupola and the Mihrab. After construction of the first floor, the attractiveness of the domes and the mihrabs could not be clear because the domes were invisible and the mihrabs were greatly changed. Two windows, one each on the south and north sides, seem to be of later innovation. The four engaged corner towers, almost merged within the wall, are extended beyond the parapet. the inside hall shows the easy lateral arches. The side bays are made square by thickening the side walls. The architecture of the Bibi Maryam Masjid is defined by a mixture of embellishments and proportional adjustment among elements like arches, domes, mihrabs, etc., all of which are employed in a series of three members. The minaret which has been standing on the eastern corner of the mosque was constructed in 1971 has lost its original design thanks to repairs. The mosque even though is rectangular in shape but looked more of a square where the 50 feet width are marginally bigger than its 45 feet breadth. The mosque has been repaired and renovated several times. Through renovations it has lost many of its original features; particularly the corner towers are being fully modernized. Although the plaques and motifs which adorned the Bibi Maryam Masjid disappeared way back, still the themes will be deduced by analyzing those still preserved within the shrine and other buildings of the complex. A veranda on masonry pillars on the eastern side has completely overshadowed the front view. It’s now being used as a jami mosque.