Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Kusumba Mosque

Kusumba Mosque  is named after the village of Kusumba.The Kusumba mosque is one such example in Bengal, which may be termed as Black Gem of Bengal. Stones used in this mosque are dark black-basalt that was transported from Rajmahal hill of Bihar through waterways. This stone mosque is situated in the village Kusumba in the district of Naogaon. According to an inscription, it was erected by a patron, Sulayman in 1558 during the reign of Ghiyath al din Bahadur Shah.

It is located on the west bank of a big tank measuring 381m x 274 m. The mosque, presently protected by the Department of Archaeology of Bangladesh, was badly damaged during the earthquake of 1897. Although the main fabric of the building is of brick, all of the exterior walls, and the interior up to the arches of the pendentives, have stone facing. The columns, platform, floor, and perforated side screens are of stone. The mosque has a rectangular plan with three bays and two aisles, three entrances on the east, and two each on the north and south sides.

The central mihrab is projected in the west. The interior west (qibla) wall has two mihrabs on the floor level opposite the central and southeastern entrances, but the one in the northwestern bay is above a raised platform ascended by a staircase on the east. The presence of such a platform in a non-imperial mosque indicates that not only royalty, but nobility and high-ranking officials were also separated from the general public during prayers.

The mihrabs have elaborate stone carving. They have cusped arches crowned with kalasa (water pot) motifs, supported on intricately carved stone pillars which have projections and tasselled decorations hanging from chains. Bunches of grapes and vines curve in an almost serpentine manner on the mihrab frames, and kalasas, tendrils, and rosettes are reduced to dots. The platform edge has grape vine decoration, and there are rosettes on the spandrels of the arches supporting the platform, as well as on the mihrab wall.

 Kusumba Mosque plan

The stone used in the exterior facing is of coarse quality and is carved in shallow relief. Mouldings are the most prominent decorative feature on the outside. They divide the walls into upper and lower sections, run all along the curved cornice, around the corner towers, and frame the rectangular panels in the east, south, and north walls. The spandrels of the central entrance arch are filled with small kalasa and rosette motifs. The north and south sides have screened windows.

The Muslim rulers were not only introduced to the Bengali architecture specifically Islamic features such as the dome and the pointed arch, but also to crystallised certain local tendencies in a new tradition that was as much Bengali as Islamic.

How to go?

Firstly you need to go Naogaon from anywhere of Bangladesh. From Naogaon town, ride into a bus to 
Rajshahi (approximately 32 km). From Naogaon central bus stand, buses leave regularly after few minutes for Rajshahi. Just get off from bus at Kusumba Bazaar and walk for the Kusumba Mosque. It's near from bus stop. That means walking distance.

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