The town of Goaldi has been described as a “sequestered hamlet” and “precariously surviving”. It’s a nondescript village hidden amidst thick bamboos groves, mango canopies and jackfruit trees, some 6 kilometers northwest of Painam Nagar in Sonargaon. But in its cloisters, we found a mosque – the oldest known structure in Sonargaon; an illustrious relic from the medieval past.
A pre-mughal structure known as Goalde Mosque rises in this sleepy village. This was a single-domed mosque built by Mulla Hizabar Akbar Khan in the early 16th century, during the reign of Alauddin Husain Shah, an independent late medieval Sultan of Bengal who rose to power after assassinating his sultan - Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah of Abyssinia (a Habeshan tribe whose origins hail from Ethiopia and Eritrea in Africa). Alauddin was the deposed sultan's wazir (a high ranking political adviser of a muslim dynasty). Alauddin eventually founded a dynasty that ruled Bengal for years. This snippet of historical fact we're mentioning to place this story capsule in contextual perspective. Unfortunately, not much is written about Akbar Khan, the person responsible for the construction of the mosque.
On fast gaze, the mosque looks small; a single structure with rich thematic pertinence and an even richer past. Its colors have been dramatically washed up with the passing of time, seemingly departing its whispery grandeur in footnotes of tourist books. Except for the backside of the mosque, each side has 3 arched entrances, the central arch slightly higher than the others. The interior of the mosque is gated, thus a visit inside is not allowed.
For decades, Goaldi Mosque was in utter ruins until its restoration in 1975.
Goaldi interiors. This photo and the one directly above only are courtesy of Ershad Ahmed's blog - http://dhakadailyphoto.blogspot.com/2009/06/historical-masjid-at-goaldi-and.html
Cylindrical turrets characterize the four corners that rise up from the ground to the cornice (ornamental molding around the wall of a room just below the ceiling) .