Architecture of Bengal
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Architecture of Bengal
Baitul Mukarram in Dhaka is the National Mosque ofBangladesh.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple inKolkata, West Bengal.
The Vidyasagar Setu over the Hooghly River in West Bengal, India
Shaheed Minar, or the Martyr's monument, in Dhaka, commemorates the struggle for the Bengali language.
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The Bengal region, which includes the Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, has many architectural relics and monuments dating back thousands of years. Contents
1 Pala Empire
2 Tomb architecture of Bengal
2.1 Sultanate or pre-Mughal tombs
2.2 Mughal tombs
3 West Bengal terra cotta temple architecture
4 See also
6 Further reading
7 External links
The Pala Empire was a Buddhist dynasty in control of Bengal from the 8th to the 12th century. Palas created a distinctive form of Buddhist art known as the "Pala School of Sculptural Art." The gigantic structures of Vikramshila Vihar, Odantpuri Vihar, and Jagaddal Vihar were masterpieces of the Palas. These mammoth structures were destroyed by the forces of Bakhtiar Khilji. The Somapura Mahavihara, a creation of Dharmapala, at Paharpur, Bangladesh, is the largest Buddhist Vihara in the Indian subcontinent, and has been described as a "pleasure to the eyes of the world." UNESCO made it a World Heritage Site in 1985. The Pala architectural style was followed throughout south-eastern Asia and China, Japan, and Tibet. Bengal rightfully earned the name "Mistress of the East". Dr. Stella Kramrisch says: "The art of Bihar and Bengal exercised a lasting influence on that of Nepal, Burma, Ceylonand Java." Dhiman and Vittpala were two celebrated Pala sculptors. About Somapura Mahavihara, Mr. J.C. French says with grief: "For the research of the Pyramids of Egypt we spend millions of dollars every year. But had we spent only one percent of that money for the excavation of Somapura Mahavihara, who knows what extraordinary discoveries could have been made". Tomb architecture of Bengal
Tomb architecture is a type of building erected over the graves. The extant tombs in Bengal are small in number but show significant variety and interesting adaptation of the conventional Islamic form to regional tastes and requirements. As in other Muslim countries,hadith injunctions to practise taswiyat al-qubur, that is, to make the tomb level with the surrounding earth, did not prevent the raising of a grave above the ground level, erection of brick or stone cenotaphs, or the building of monumental mausoleums in Bengal. Architectural and epigraphic remains of the pre-Mughal and Mughal periods point to the burial places of three groups of people- conquerors and nobility, saints, and ghazis (victors in religious wars). The Arabic word qabr is used for a grave; the Bengali wordsamadhi for a tomb; and the Persian term mazar is an honorific appellation for the tomb of a person of high rank. Tombs of saints and ghazis, when attached to dargah complexes, are called by the comprehensive term dargah; the Persian term astana for a holy tomb is not uncommon in Bengal. Funerary inscriptions contain such terms as maqbara, turba, qabr, gunbad, rawza. Tombs in Bengal may be classified under two chronological periods: Sultanate or pre-Mughal, and Mughal. Sultanate or pre-Mughal tombs
Dhakeshwari Temple with its curved roof
As in other Muslim buildings in Bengal, local Bengali tastes and techniques are more pronounced in pre-Mughal tombs, while preference for cosmopolitan Mughal style dominates Mughal funerary structures. Notwithstanding the survival of a number of detached...
References: Representing the first type are two examples of note at Dhaka. The first tomb believed to be of Khwaja Shahbaz who, on the evidence of the inscription on the adjacent mosque, built the mosque in 1089 AH (1679 AD), is located at Ramna, Dhaka.
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