Dara Begam’s Tomb Dhaka

About half a mile away from Guru Nanak’s well close to Muhammadpur Colony is the dilapidated tomb of Dara Begam (pl. 42.1&42.2). It is about 2 furlongs north of the main road, and a foot—path leads up to it. The tomb stands on an elevated spot, which affords a splendid view of the landscape around.
Dara Begam’s Tomb Dhaka

Dara Begam’s Tomb Dhaka

Dara Begam’s Tomb Dhaka

Dara Begam’s Tomb Dhaka

The tomb is a unique building of its kind in Dhaka, having the largest dome, 25’ in diameter, covering a square room, 27’7” each side, to which a vaulted verandah, 13’ wide, is attached on the south. The southern facade, with its three cusped arched openings and sparsely panelled walls appears quite simple. The parapet has completely vanished. At the corners of the building there are six slender minarets. The verandah has niches in the walls and, on the top, flat vaulted roof. The interior of the hall is reached through three double engrailed arch-ways, one each on the north, east and south, the northern one having been closed. On the west is a semi- octagonal mihrab, near which a pulpit has been erected recently. The dome is carried on squinches, and has n1erlons as basal ornament.
The date of this building is not definitely known; but the use of simple arched openings with no attempt to emphasise the central doorway and sparse decoration place it in the pre-Shaista Khani period. It is also difficult to state the object of the building. No grave now exists inside, but the people in the locality speak on its destruction. The existence of a mihrab raises doubt on its being a tomb, because in Bengal we never see a mihrab inside a tomb as we get in Northern India. Who Dara Begam was, cannot be definitely stated.
The building is now repaired, and some new features have been added in the interior. As there was no grave inside, the local people have taken it for a mosque and it is now used for prayer.

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