Choto Shona Mashjid – The Small Golden Mosque

Choto Shona mosque is another most significant archaeological embodiment of Sultanate period in Bangladesh. ‘Choto’ means small and ‘Shona’ means gold, thus the meaning in Bengali is Small Golden Mosque. The supreme mosque is located in Shahbazpur Union of Shivganj Upazila in Chapainawabganj District under Rajshahi Division. By road the majestic place is about 3 kilometers from Kotwali Gate and almost 324 kilometers from the capital city Dhaka.

As the mosque is very old, there are very few inscriptions available about its construction. But as per historic data it is clear that during the rule of Sultan Hussain Shah in between 1493-1519, the mosque was erected by someone named Wali Ahmed. When built, all the domes of the mosque were glittered as they were thoroughly wrapped with thin layer of gold or something of similar kind. That’s why the mosque was called Shona Mashjid (Mosque) but since as there is another mosque of similar kind in India which is a bit larger in size, the holy religious edifice entitled as ‘Choto Shona Mashjid’.

The mosque is square shaped and brick built. There are 15 domes in three rows where the domes in the middle row are hut shaped. Later on the mosque wall was wrapped with black stone to increase its appeal. There are four pillars available at each corner of the mosque. There is extreme terracotta works of vines, flowers, leaves and many more on the wall of the mosque. The entire mosque premise is surrounded by an outer wall with a supporting gateway which separates the mosque area from outside.

The holy edifice is enlisted as preserved place by the Department of Archaeology. Some of their renovation works successfully recovered the lost beauty of this historical mosque to some extent but many more still to be upgraded.