|Architectural style||Islamic architecture|
Star Mosque (Bengali: তারা মসজিদ; also known as Tara Masjid), is a mosque located in Armanitola area, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The mosque has ornate designs and is decorated with motifs of blue stars. It was built in the first half of the 19th century by Mirza Golam Pir (Mirza Ahmed Jan).
Built in the Mughal style by Mirza Ghulam in the late 18th century, this mosque was originally a simple rectangular mosque, measuring 33' x 11' with three doorways on the east façade (main façade) and one on the north wall and another on the south wall. Three domes crowned the mosque, the central one being the larger. Towers accented the corners and the façades displayed plastered panel decoration.
In early 20th century, Ali Jan Bepari, a local businessman, financed the renovation of the mosque and added a new eastern verandah. The surface was redecorated with Chinitikri work (mosaic work of broken China porcelain pieces), a decorative style that was popular during the 1930s. The mosque, which previously lacked any historical significance, is one of the few remaining architectural example of the Chinitikri (Chinese pieces) method of mosaic decoration. This decorative technique is found in the striking star motif that is in part the reason for the mosque's current acclaim and popular name, Star Mosque or Sitara Masjid. In 1987, the Ministry of Religious Affairs commissioned Giasul Huque and Zahiruddin Zahiruddin to make additions to the prayer hall, which was extended to include two more domes.
The mosque is decorated with Japanese and English china clay tiles and utilized both methods of the Chinitikri application. One approach uses solid color, cut clay tiles and form patterns through the placement of these colored tiles in white plaster. The domes and the exterior surface are covered with different colored star shaped China clay tiles. The upper portion of the eastern façade also incorporates a crescent motif.
Chinitikri tile work assumes another texture by using assorted pieces of different designs of glazed tiles on the interior surfaces of the mosque. The three mihrabs and the doorways are decorated with mosaic floral pattern. A plant and vase motif is repeated as a decorative element on the pendentives as well as on the interior of the verandah wall. As a decorative element, the Japanese Fujiyama motif, is found on the surface between the doors.
- Haque, Enamul. 1983. Islamic Art Heritage of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Bangladesh National Museum, 98.
- Ahmed, Nazimuddin. 1984. Discover the Monuments of Bangladesh. Dhaka: University Press Limited, 181.
- Hasan, Syed Mahmudul. 1981. Dacca: The City of Mosques. Dhaka: Islamic Foundation, 46.
- A photo blog post on Tara Mosjid /Star Mosque in Kothay