Friday, July 21, 2006

Bara Katra, Chhota Katra (Photos)

Bara Katra is one of Dhaka's oldest buildings, built in 1644 by Mir Abdul Qasem. It was originally an enclosed quadrangle on the Buri Ganga, with a marvellous entrance/gate with four wings and 22 rooms. The remains include the entrance and the tower. In a sad an delapidated state, one needs to use one's imagination to visualize the grandeur that this place must have held.

Here is the front of the entrance:



and the rear:



The tower:



Back side of the edifice:



Underside of the archway with decorations:



Living quarters under the archway. The archway also contained a few stores.



Inside Bara Katra is a Madrasa now. A kind man showed me around. Interior views:





Stairs inside Bara Katra:



Chhota Katra was built by Shaista Khan in 1663. D'Oyly mentions it in his "Antiquities of Dhaka." It is similar to Bara Katra, but even less remains.

Entrance of Chhota Katra:



Inside Chhota Katra was an umbrella-making shop with these walls:



View from top of Chhota Katra looking to the river:



Having recently visited Italy and seen the amount of tourist revenue they must get out of old monuments, I am convinced that if we take steps to save/restore these monuments, our investment will be paid back many times. Why is it that we so easily let our irreplaceable buildings slide to destruction?

I got the historical facts from "Discover the Monuments of Bangladesh" by Dr. Nazimuddin Ahmed, published by UPL.

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rama said...

Hullo! Delighted to have discovered this blog. How dearly you love your city, as she is, is so transparent. Every city must have such people! Best, rama

AstoMeye said...

Nice pictures, but you should heed
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Hi Rama, Thanks very much for your kind words. Indeed Dhaka has rich layers underneath the sometimes dismal patina.

Hi Astomeye, Thanks for admiring the pictures. Bangla Wikipedia is a terrific effort and I mentioned it in my Daily Star article on Web 2.0 on June 19th. However, there is a huge difference between my blog and wikipedia. The blog is very subjective, personal opinions and Bangladesh as I see it. If I started writing for wikipedia, I would have to be a lot more objective. I am not sure if I am ready for it.

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