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POST TIME: 2 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
‘500-year-old mosque’ found in Chandpur
Delwar Ahmed

‘500-year-old mosque’ found in Chandpur

An ancient single-domed mosque from the Mughal era has been discovered in a dense jungle at Chhoto Sundar village, a sleepy hamlet in Rampur union of Chandpur Sadar. Believed to be around 500 years old, the mosque is said to have been built during Mughal emperor Aurangazeb’s reign. It has 33-inch-thick walls and a few small-sized niches meant for putting candles as well as copies of the Holy Quran, Hadiths and other religious books. There are four small minarets in the west, east, south and north of the mosque, of considerable archaeological and aesthetic value. Large charred bricks, sand, lime and pickets were used to build the walls of the mosque.

Some 12 years ago, an elderly local, Aziz Talukder, did his best to bring the mosque to light by cutting down a big ‘jir’ (or ‘jinn’) tree which covered most of the mosque but did not proceed further. Before he passed away, he informed the local elderly people about the ancient mosque.

The local UP chairman, Al Mamun, said the mosque was rediscovered last Thursday in Talukderbari jungle at Chhoto Sundar village when day labourers were clearing the area and felling old trees inside the jungle.  He quoted Dr Dipu Moni, MP, who hails from the village, as saying she had known about the existence of the ancient mosque in a book on this village, but neither she nor the UP chairman could pinpoint its location.

However, the UP chairman engaged a group of day labourers to cut down the trees and clear the dense jungle near Talukderbari to identify the possible site of the mosque. The local MP, who was in Chandpur in connection with her electoral campaign, visited the spot. She contacted the archaeological department in Dhaka and urged it to take proper steps soon.

After examining pictures of the building, a director of the archaeological department (Dhaka zone, Rakhi Roy, who also hails from the same village, said it was a building of the Sultani regime. “It is about five hundred years old, built during emperor Aurangazeb’s reign.” On hearing about the discovery of the ancient mosque in the remote village, people of all ages and various walks of life have been visiting the mosque.

Acting deputy commissioner Md Shaokat Osman on Friday visited the mosque site and then told media-persons that the administration would soon take proper steps in this respect by communicating with the archaeological department to ensure its proper care and preservation.