The mosque is situated in the Talukder Bari area of Chotoshundar village and became fully visible on Wednesday after the vegetation surrounding it was finally cleared
A 500-year-old Sultanate period mosque has been uncovered among the dense jungle of Chandpur Sadar upazila around 100km southeast of Dhaka.
The mosque is situated in the Talukder Bari area of Chotoshundar village and became fully visible on Wednesday after the vegetation surrounding it was finally cleared.
Union Parishad chairman, Al Mamun, said the ancient structure measures around 16 feet by 15 feet and has a dome and four minarets.
“We are assuming the mosque was built almost 500 years ago using burnt bricks, sand, lime and stone chips,” he said. “The walls are almost 33 inches thick.”
According to locals, there had been talk among the older generation about an old mosque existing on the site, but no one before went there as the place was deeply covered in bushes.
Around ten years ago, Aziz Talukder, a resident of Talukder Bari, took the initiative to clear the thick bushes to find out what lay underneath.
“The jungle was so deep that it was not possible for Aziz alone to clean it,” UP chairman Al Mamun said. “He always asked other people to help but they were scared to go over the archaeological site.”
Aziz gave up his search after a few attempts. Around five years later, the story of the mosque resurfaced again when the former Bangladesh foreign minister, Dr Dipu Moni, read about it in a book.
Although she is native to the area, Dr Moni could not identify the exact location of the mosque.
“She gave orders to take necessary action to make the mosque visible,” Mamun said.
Dr Moni also said she would tell the Department of Archaeology to restore the structure.
Rakhi Rai, regional director at the Department of Archaeology, said she visited the place and assumed that the mosque dates from the Sultanate period.
Acting deputy commissioner of Chandpur, Shawkat Osman, was still to visit the mosque but said he was aware of its discovery.
“We will do whatever necessary to restore the ancient structure,” he said.