Katra Mosque is in Murshidabad in West Bengal.
This well-maintained tourist spot is not to be missed on your travels to the region. Built in 1724 by Murad Farash Khan, a devoted follower of Murshid Quli Khan, the mosque also serves as the tomb of Quli Khan himself. Legend has it that Quli Khan expressed his desire to be buried in a mosque, and so it was built accordingly.
But don’t just take my word for it – you’ll definitely want to bring a guide man to fully appreciate the history and architecture of this magnificent structure.
It seems, Nawab Murshid Quli Khan was a ruler in Bengal who eventually realized the error of his ways after oppressing his subjects for so long. He wanted his body buried at the entrance of the mosque so that the feet of devotees who come to visit would be freed from his sins. The construction of the mosque was entrusted to Murad Farash Khan, who unfortunately also had a penchant for persecuting the Hindu community and destroying their temples. He even used materials from these temples to build the mosque!
But let’s move on to the architecture of this impressive structure. The Katra Bazar Mosque is a two-storied domed mosque built of burnt bricks, featuring six arched doors, 70 domes, and two minars. The courtyard is octagonal and can accommodate up to 2,000 Namaz readers at a time. There were even small dwellings within the domes where 700 Quran readers could stay! The two minars at the front of the mosque are 70 feet high and 25 feet in diameter, with a staircase that leads to a breathtaking view of Murshidabad from above.
Unfortunately, an earthquake in 1897 damaged some of the mosque’s minars and Meerut domes. However, the government of West Bengal has done a fantastic job in maintaining this piece of history for visitors to enjoy. The mosque is open all day from 09:00am to 05:00pm, and the best time to visit is from October to February when the weather is milder.