Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque

Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque Dhaka

The mosque (pl. 16.1&16.2) is situated on the Begambazar Road, and can be approached from the Jail, or from the Chauk side. Kar Talab Khan was the title of Murshid Quli Khan, who removed the seat of government from Dhaka to Murshidabad. During his residence in Dhaka between A.D. 1700 and 1704, he built this mosque. It displays the elaborate style developed in the post-Shaista Khani period.
Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque Dhaka

Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque Dhaka

Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque Dhaka

Kar Talab Khan’s Mosque Dhaka


 The mosque stands on a raised platform, underneath which are vaulted rooms, now used as shops. A flight of steps, on the east, leads up to the mosque. A modern entrance with a hollow minar for azan (call to prayer) has now been built. The mosque is interesting in many respects. Firstly, the earlier type of the three-domed mosque has here been elaborated into a five-domed building. Secondly, to its north side is attached a Bangla roofed room, the pent eves of which are pronouncedly curved and drooping – a shape which resembles tile Bengali type of dochala hut roof. This room is not a tomb, as R.D. Banerji thought, but is meant for the Imam’s residence. Thirdly, to the east of the mosque is an old stepped well (baoli) built about the same time. It is the only well of its kind in Bengal, but in North India it was quite common in Muslim period.
The mosque proper has five elaborate arched doorways on the east, each under a half-dome and flanked by slender pilaster- minarets, the pinnacle of which rises above the ornamented parapet. On the back side of the west wall the mihrab projections are also bordered by minarets. The domes, which rest on ornamented octagonal drums, are crowned with lotus finials. The interior hail is divided into five bays, each having a decorated mihrab on the west and an ornamented domed ceiling. This over-emphasis on decoration as well as elaboration of the architectural elements does not add at all to the beauty of the mosque. They only make for richness in detail. Very recently an ugly verandah has been added on the eastern side.

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