_Bajra Shahi Mosque is an eighteenth century mosque located in Bajra village of Bajra union under Begumganj police station of Sonaimuri upazila of Noakhali district of Bangladesh. It is considered as the 'most significant historical monument' in Noakhali and its surrounding areas.
The mosque is named after the village of Bajra, its location on the northern side of a large dry pond. The western bank of the pond is currently used as a paddy field, with a masonry ghat attached to it.
Considered to be the most beautiful mosque complex in Bangladesh, the Bajra Shahi mosque is known as the Taj Mahal of Bengal to local people. The aesthetic design and architecture of the main complex is very rare and interesting. An inscription above the cetral door reveals that the mosque was built by someone Aman-ullah in 1741-42 AD during the reign of Mughal Emperor Muhammed Shah. The builder Aman-ullah, his brother Sana-ullah, and their mother were buried in the southeast corner of the mosque enclosure.
According to Bengali and Persian inscriptions on the outer wall entrance and on the inner wall of the mosque, it was throughly renovated between 1318 and 1335 AD under the supervision of Khan Bahadur Ali Ahmed, the zamindar of Bajra, and Khan Bahadur Mujir Uddin Ahmed. The name of the chief masons were inscribed in Bengali, placed on the outside of the south wall.
The walled mosque was built on the western half of the total area of a high platform, with a magnificant gateway in the eastern middle. The brick made mosque is rectangular in architecture (16 m x 7.32 m), with simple octagonal towers at the outer corners, and 1.22 m thick walls.
The central bay is square, while the side bays are rectangular. Above the roof are three circular domes on octagonal drums, topped with lotus and pitcher-shaped crowns.
The ends of the mihrabs are pointed behind the wall by rectangular projections cintaining turrets. The four octangular towers in the quadrangle flank the doorway with turrets and mihrab projections rising upwards beyond the horizontal parapet. To reveal the main mihrab niche from the outside, the Qibla wall projects towards the west in the center, the inner hall of the mosque is divided into three bays by two beautiful multi-pointed transverse arches.
A single staircase leads to the north side to reach the upper floor or pillared pavilion, which was used for Azaan, the space covered by a dome. In 1920, two slender minarets were built at either corner of the facade boundary wall.
There are standing and resting places for the guards on the south and north sides. The building has three arched doorways on the east side and one each on the north and south sides, all of which project outwards, but the projection and size of the central doorway on the east side is larger and more prominent.
On the axis of these doors on the eastern side are three semi-octagonal mihrabs within the qibla wall, the central one being the large one. A Bengal inscription on the south wall of the mosque records that Benazir Ostagor of Dhaka carried out the repairs and decorated it with mosaics made of colorful pieces of ceramics.
During the last renovation of the mosque, only the front facade with three domes was decorated with chinni-tikri (Chinese ceramic), a popular repair material during the colonial period. The mosque is also decorated with mosaics of Chinese shards.
The mosque is currently the property of the Directorate of Archeology of the Government of Bangladesh and is in a partially preserved state.