Tomb and Mosque of Haji Khwaja Shahbaz and Grave of Sher-e-Bangla
These are situated in the south-eastern corner of the Ramna Race Course, just behind the [old] High Court [building]. Haji Khwaja Shahbaz is stated to have been a merchant prince of Dhaka. He built the mosque as well as his own tomb during his life time. An inscription set up over the central doorway of the mosque informs that it was constructed by him in 1089 A.H. (AD. 1679.)
Both of them stand on a raised plot of land, the tomb lying on the east and the mosque on the west. Other remains beyond the tomb probably appertain to the care-taker’s quarters. The buildings fully illustrate the Shaista Khani style of architecture.
The mosque (pl. 2.1&2.2) is an oblong building, measuring 68’ by 26’ externally, with four corner towers, octagonal up to the parapet and circular above it, terminating in a ribbed cupola. The main facade shows, in the middle, a projected fronton, bordered with slender minarets, through which opens out the main doorway, having multiple cusped arch slightly pointed. On both sides of the doorway along the vertical are five rows of triple niches. There are two more arched entrances, one on each side. The corner towers have other minarets by their sides while the parapet is decorated with blind merlons. The roof is covered with three shouldered domes.
The interior (pl. 2.3&2.4) presents a graceful appearance with its three domed bays. The squinches at the corners and arched panels along side, and below them a row of decorative merlons have been suitably arranged in the bays, which are separated from each other by gracefully cusped lateral arches supported on twin responds. A number of other wall arches elegantly relieve the plain surface, while on the west we have very attractive, mihrabs. The outer arch of the central, mihrabs springs from beautifully tapering pillars, and has foliaged design at the spandrels. All the architectural parts as well as the decorations have been so appropriately arranged that the whole produces a very pleasing effect.
The tomb (pl. 3&3.1) is a single-domed square structure, measuring 26’ each side, with octagonal domed corner towers and a verandah, 11’ 2” wide, attached to it on the south. Each side has an arched entrance opening under a semi-dome which itself is set in a slight projection. Numerous panels relieve the plain surface while the merlons which usually decorate the parapet have not been restored in recent repairs. The roof is covered with a shouldered dome having basal leaf ornament, and lotus finial on the top. The additional verandah on the south is in ruins. Its roof and the front screen of arches have disappeared and thus left an open gap for the interior to be seen. This side of the tomb has three arched openings, two of which have been closed. The arches are cusped, and they spring from beautifully tapering shafts. The interior has squinches at the corners, and arched panels along side, while the dome is decorated with merlons and arabesque designs. On the floor lies the masonry cenotaph of the Haji.
To the west of the mosque now lies the grave of A.K. Fazlul Huq, Sher-e-Bangla, who died on 27 April 1962. [The grave of Sher-e-Bangla now forms the nucleus of a modern tomb complex. popularly known as Teen Netar Mazar, in which lies buried along with Sher—e—Bangla two other leaders, Husain Shahid Suhrawardy and Khwaja Nazimuddin.]