In a city well known for its numerous mosques, the Star Mosque (Tara Masjid) stands out as a sparkling jewel in the Armanitola area in the older part of the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The mosque has ornate designs and is decorated with motifs if blue stars. Although the mosque has no inscription relating to the date of construction, it is known that the mosque was erected by the son of a prominent landowner (Zamindar), Mirza Golam Pir who died in 1860. Therefore, it is generally agreed that the beautiful Star Mosque, which at that time was known as the Mosque of Mirza Shaheb, was built in the first half of the 19th century.
When the star mosque (or Tara Masjid in Bengali) in Dhaka was first built in the first half of the 19th century, the original Mughal design included a large dome in the center and two smaller once on each side. Through the years, additions were built and the interior was decorated-changes that were met with criticism, as they subverted the architectural sensitivities of the Mughal style. Even the local residents of the area often stop for a while to have a look and be amazed with its perpetual beauty.
History Star Mosque:
Star Mosque was first built by Ghulam Pir, as a three doomed oblong edifice. But an over-enthusiastic and zealous merchant named Ali Jan Bepari completely remodeled and reconstructed it with extremely delicate and richly. Colored tiles of variegated patterns. Ali Jan has added the new verandah, which is mentioned in the introduction, on the East and spend lavishly on importing Japanese and English decorated China clay tiles to improve the inner and outer show of the mosque. It is now a five-domed structure. In 1987, two domes have been raised on an extension to the northern side without any respect for its antiquity.
Today is the old design all but gone, the main appeal of the mosque is the sticking mosaics decorating it. The artisans who created these patterns used a technique called Chinitikri which uses broken shards of China porcelain as mosaic pieces. (Pieces of broken bottles were also used at times because colored ceramics were costly). The size of the pieces varied from half an inch to 2.5 inches, and the preferred shapes were rhomboid and triangular.
In 1926, a wealthy merchant named Ali Jan Beary, who was a residence of Armanitola, took the initiative to renovate and redecorate the entire mosque. Enthusiastic Ali imported exquisite, precious China clay tiles from Japan and England. Then, with skilled local artisans, he decorated the entire mosque walls, even the domes, with beautiful floral and star-shaped patterns made of the China clay tiles.
Ticket Price Star Mosque:
Star Mosque is a sacred prayer hall. So there’s no entry fee. Open for all.
Star Mosque is open for 24 hours.
There’s no off day at all.
Phone: +088 1515-605027
Address, Location (How to Go):
Abul Khairat Road, Armanitola-1100, Old Dhaka,
Dhaka city of Bangladesh.
As with most places in Dhaka, ask a CNG driver to take you there. The mosque is located in the Armanitola area of old Dhaka.
Most Attractive Things (What You Can See There):
Star Mosque is one of the few pieces of architecture in this subcontinent which has such elaborate special type China clay mosaic works, traditionally called chini Sikri. Currently, this art and its specialist artisans have gone extinct from our country. Still local resident offers prayers regularly in this beautiful mosque. However local residents apprehend that this mosque may face further destruction, in the name of renovation and modernization. The concerned authority must take proper steps to preserve this historic and beautiful archeological site. It is famous for its architectural beauty.
The star mosque gets its name from the fact that it is predominantly decorated with stars. The white marble domes are decorated with hundreds of blue stars that shine in the sunlight. Throughout the mosque, the wall column, floors, ceilings are decorated with mosaics in flower of vases, crescents, Arabic calligraphic writing and hundreds of stars, mostly made from small chips of chinaware crockery and pieces of glass. This unusual and beautiful form of mosaic work is known as “chini Sikri”.