Baitul Mukarram National Mosque
Baitul Mukarram is the National Mosque of Bangladesh and was completed in 1968. It is situated in the centre of Dhaka and has a capacity of 40,000. The original complex was designed by Abdulhusein M. Thariani (1905-72), the Indian-born architect who moved to Karachi in 1947. This grand mosque was built on land where formerly there was a large pond called Paltan Pond. This was filled and in 1960 President Ayub Khan authorised the work to begin. The first prayers were said there on 25 February 1963.
The mosque preserves the traditional principles of Mughal architecture, with the addition of modern features. The large cube shape was modelled after that of the Ka’abah at Mecca making it unlike any other mosque in Bangladesh. The mosque has eight storeys. There is no dome, but two domed entrance porticoes. There are two patios ensuring enough light and air to enter the prayer hall. The plan includes shops, offices, libraries and parking areas within the complex. In 2008 the mosque was extended, with finance from the Saudi government.
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