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Bagha Mosque
The small town of Bagha (45 km from Rajshahi) is renowned for a sultanate-period mosque, built in the mid-16th century by Sultan Nusrat Shah. It is built in a style that combines Persian, Tughlak and indigenous Bengali elements and is characterized by curved cornice, octagonal corner turrets and profuse terracotta ornamentation. The mosque compound is entered through an arched gateway on the south, a rectangular structure with a turret on either side. The mosque itself has five arched entrances leading to a rectangular prayer chamber divided into two aisles by a row of four granite pillars. These bays are roofed by ten hemispherical domes (restored after they collapsed in an earthquake in 1897). The gently sloping cornice and its slightly projecting eave wraps around the massive corner turrets with domed copulas.

Terracotta Decoration
There are impressive examples of Islamic terracotta ornamentation on interior and exterior surfaces. The entrance arches are within decorated rectangular frames, while the spaces around them are enriched with ornate rectangular panels. Recessed panels on the east wall are encircled by a frame of tendrils and contain exuberant engrailed and floreate arch from the apex which hangs a chain motif, which becomes a fantastic grape-cluster. The composition is framed within jali-work and lotus medallions.

Photos and Text © Amit Guha