For some reason, Sitara mosque seemed difficult to find, and I was cruising the streets in the neighbourhood for some time before I finally realized I had to look in a side street. Also, I realized I did not have to look for a huge building with tall, slender minarets. Sitara mosque is not big, and it does not have minarest. Still, it is considered one of the foremost mosques of the capital city. The main entrance, through the far side of the star-shaped fountain, was closed, but fortunately, I could enter through a side entrance. I took off my shoes, and walked to the fountain anyway, as I loved the view from this side. The giant star in the blue, but empty, pool, dwarfing the fine building of Sitara (star) mosque, with its two larger and three smaller domes, the white marble floor were just a special combination.
I left my shoes in one of the containers for the purpose, and entered the balcony like area. This is not your standard mosque. Apart from the missing minarets, the mosque actually has a very long rectangular shape. After being built in the early 18th century, the mosque was drastically altered in the mid 20th century. The minarets, which had been standing at the corners of the building, were taken down, and Sitara mosque was enlarged by making it even much longer. Especially when you are in the area outside the mosque itself, it is easy to see where the original wall stood, and which area has been added. A yellow tiled wall, curiously decorated with tiles representing Mount Fuji in Japan, is flanked by a white wall without special decorations.
I was summoned to come inside the mosque, and was again struck by its shape. It appeared like a narrow alley. The mihrab was there, of course, the domes visible from the outside showed in the cupolas inside, and they also counted with decorative tiles. After making a donation to this peaceful place, I continued marveling at the outside of the mosque. The white pillars of the mosque, with its tiled decorations, the wall with the curious embellishments, the corner with a few men dressed in white studying holy books: this could have been a place to just sit down and soak up the quietness, had it not been my very last day in the country with a whole list of other places I still wanted to see. So it was I took my shoes with reluctance, and, with a glimpse back on the star-studded Sitara mosque, walked back into the chaos of the city.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sitara mosque (Bangladesh). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sitara mosque. Read more about this site.