Star Mosque


Located at Armanitola in old Dhaka, decorated with engraved floral and star patterns, Star mosque or Tara Masjid is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bangladesh. It has ornate designs and it is decorated with motifs of blue stars. This beautiful building was built in the first half of the 19th century by Mirza Golam Pir. Unlike other Mughal architectures, there is no inscription found in the mosque mentioning its founding year.
According to some people, this mosque was built in 1711. Tara Mosque is one of the few edifices in this subcontinent which has such expanded special type of china clay mosaic works, traditionally called Chini Tikri. At first, it was a small three domed mosque. Its walls were not decorated. In 1926, Ali Jaan Bepari, a wealthy merchant at Armanitola residential area wanted to renovate the mosque. He imported china clay tiles from Japan and England and decorated the entire mosque walls and even domes with nice floral and star-shaped patterns of China clay tiles.
In the white marble background, the glistening engraved stars and floral patterns create an enchanting and serene environment of light and shade in the mosque as they mirror sunlight in different angles. During this renovation work, the artisans carefully preserved the original design of the mosque and only ornamented the existing structure. All over the mosque, the motif of stars is decorated and so the mosque got its name, the Star Mosque. In 1987, in the name of beautification of this archaeological site, the then government’s archaeological department extended the prayer hall and included two more domes, damaging its original historic structure. After all these the Star Mosque is a magnificent piece of work. Even the local residents of the area often stop for a while to have a look and be amazed at its perpetual beauty.