The mosque prominently displayed on the Bangladesh Bank's current Tk 100 printed note is the historic Tara mosque. Located in Armanitola, Dhaka, it is a beautiful and ancient mosque that has stood for centuries. It is known for its architectural beauty and has undergone several renovations and restorations to maintain its beauty and historical value.
The mosque was built in the 17th century by a wealthy merchant named Mirza Golam Pir during the Mughal Empire. It is considered one of the oldest surviving examples of Mughal architecture in Bangladesh.
The mosque is a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage, as it reflects the fusion of Mughal and Bengali styles.
A single dome and three entry gates make up the mosque, which is constructed on a land of around two bighas and three katha.
Captivating carvings and geometric designs adorn the main prayer hall, while calligraphic inscriptions are inscribed on the dome and minarets. The mosque is much more stunning due to its four minarets on each corner. With its complex calligraphic inscriptions and vibrant tilework, the mosque's dome is undoubtedly a sight to see.
The themes of countless blue stars are engraved on the dome. The main reason it earned the name 'Tara mosque' is its magnificent design. The mosque's current dimensions are 26 feet in width and 70 feet in length, with five domes.
The mosque also features a large courtyard where worshippers can gather and perform their prayers. The courtyard is surrounded by arched verandahs, providing shade and a place to rest. The courtyard is also beautifully landscaped, with lush greenery and a central fountain.
Tara mosque is also significant for its historical value as it was a centre of religious and cultural activities during the Mughal period. The mosque was also an important centre for Islamic education, and many famous Islamic scholars and leaders used to gather here for religious discourse.
Over the centuries, the mosque has undergone many renovations and restorations, which have helped to preserve its original beauty and historical value.
The original mosque's renovation and enlargement were officially opened on March 8, 1985, by Lt. Gen. J. Hussain Muhammad Ershad, the president at the time. The nationalisation order covered the mosque as of December 4, 1987.
The most recent restoration was done in the late 2000s, which included the repair and restoration of the dome, minarets, and other architectural elements. The mosque was repainted, and the courtyard was also landscaped to enhance its beauty.
In addition to the physical restoration, the mosque is also equipped with modern facilities like toilets, electricity and water supply, CCTV cameras, and security systems to ensure the comfort and safety of the visitors.
Tara mosque is currently in good condition and is well-maintained by the government's Department of Archaeology. The mosque is open to visitors, and the government organises cultural programs and events on the mosque's premises.
To experience this spectacular blend of art and history, visitors should first travel to the Chankharpul neighbourhood in Old Dhaka. From there, they may take a rickshaw to the Armanitola-based Tara mosque. Or they can use the CNG or rickshaws available at the Gulistan and Babubazar bridges.
Visitors to Tara Mosque can also explore the surrounding area, which is home to many other historic sites and monuments. The mosque is located in the old part of the city, known for its narrow streets and colourful markets. It is a perfect place to explore Bangladesh's local culture and history.
Tara Mosque is a stunning example of Mughal architecture that has stood the test of time. Its beauty and history make it an important part of Dhaka's cultural heritage and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the city's history and architecture.
The mosque's infrastructural development and preservation efforts have ensured the preservation of its historical value and provided a comfortable and safe environment for visitors.
Overall, Tara Mosque is a stunning example of Mughal architecture that should not be missed. Its beauty and history make it an important part of Dhaka's cultural heritage and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the city's history and architecture.