Thursday, October 7, 2010
Curzon Hall – Architectural Masterpiece of University of Dhaka
It’s just two blocks from Shaheed Minar. My rickshaw turned to a grass-covered lawn, until I saw an elegantly designed brick building with Mughal-style arches, adorned with minarets. It was the Curzon Hall, University of Dhaka’s architectural masterpiece. The hall is the campus’ science faculty, sitting at the heart of the main campus. It was erected after the first partition of Bengal in 1905.
I roamed around the hall and saw no other tourists. There were few students sitting down the floor of an almost empty hallway. The arches inspired visions of rajbaris (zamindar’s raj-style palaces) and conveniently transported me back in time. I wistfully walked along the deserted veranda while waiting for Mafuz who headed to the loo. I relished on the calm and silence, as well as the spacious and carefully maintained garden right outside the building.
It’s easy to daydream of those exciting times when Lord Curzon (George Curzon), British Viceroy of India (1899-1905), used to walk these grounds. He laid the foundation of the building in 1904. It was then meant to be a town hall. Dacca College came in 1911. With the establishment of the University of Dacca in 1921, Curzon Hall was integrated as part of the science faculty.
The architecture has a projecting façade with horse-shoe and cusped arches, combining European and Mughal elements that harmoniously blend. Instead of the usual red sandstone, red bricks substituted to render its form. The chhatris (those elevated dome-shaped pavilions at the corners of the building) blend red and white colors. I sometimes wish those grandiose designs lived to this day. But it’s all wishful thinking. Man has conveniently settled with easy-to-make, mediocre designs.
This is the Eye in the Sky.
Up next: Memorial of 3 Heroes
Check out our other Bangladesh Posts:
Overview on Bangladesh: http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/bangladesh-fortuitous-jolt-of-surprise.html
Arriving at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and Hotel Pacific:http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/dhaka-bound-anxious-plus-hazrat.html
Rowing down Buriganga River and my Sadarghat visit - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/buriganga-river-ride-and-trip-to.html
Ahsan Manzil - Dhaka's Pink Palace - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/ahsan-manzil-pink-palaces-rich-history.html
Armenian Church of the Holy Resurrection – http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/armenian-church-of-holy-resurrection.html
Sitara Mosque - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/09/sitara-mosque-very-curious-imam-in.html
Shaheed Minar - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/10/shaheed-minar-symbolizes-birth-of.html