Bajra Shahi Mosque is an elegant historic mosque (18th-century mosque) located in the village of Bazra under Sonaimuri Upazila of Noakhali District, Bangladesh. It has been described as the “most notable historical monument” in the area around Maijdee. Perhaps the most graceful mosque complex in Bangladesh is the Bajra Shahi mosque, popularly known by the local people as the Tajmahal of Bengal.
The mosque was built by Aman Allah in 1741-42 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah. Between 1911 and 1928 it was extensively repaired and decorated with mosaics made from colored shards of ceramic. It is a fairly good state of preservation, and now it is in the government Department of Archaeology’s list of protected sites. The interior is divided into three bays by multi-cusped arches. The mosque is rectangular in plan. It has three domes at the top; the middle dome is slight larger. This mosque has similar complexion of the mosques during that era. The main difference is the stylish outer walls.
The mosque proper stands on the western side of a raised platform, which is enclosed by a low boundary wall with a majestic gate in the east. This impressive gateway structure is approached by a splendid staircase from the ground level. During the British rule wealthy Muslim zamindars and merchants renovated a large numbers of Mughal mosques. Instead of developing a style, surface treatment was the main focus of the builders. Chini-tikri or the broken ceramics, from China, were used for surface cladding despite a rich tradition of early Islamic terracotta or Mughal plaster works.
Bajra mosque is the best known examples of chini-tikri decoration from the period. Chini-tikri is a unique craft and was very popular technique of surface decoration in the region in the 19th and 20th century. The present ornamentation of the mosque with a mosaic of shards of China was also done at that time. The mosque is now in a fairly good state of preservation. It is a wonderful place to visit.
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