Hussaini Dalan – The House of the Imam’s of Shia Community

screenshot_396Hussaini Dalan stands still as one of the most splendid Mughal period arcitectures of Old Dhaka. It is situated at the northern side of the Dhaka Central Jail in Old Dhaka. ‘Hussaini’ remembers about Hazrat Imam Hussain Ibn Ali (A.S.), the grandson of Holy prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.) and ‘Dalan’ indicates building.

The holy building was built at the later half of Mughal period (17th century) concerning about nothing but religious belief. According to the founded historic datas, it was Mir Murad who was the superintendent of Nawarah Mahal and had the charge of the public buildings built the Hussaini Dalan at 1642 as ImamBargah (house for the Imam’s of Shia community). Hussaini Dalan was built during the ruling period of Shah Suja, the son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Though Shah Suja was a Sunni muslim but he also emphasized the practice of the Shia muslims. One night Mir Murad dreamt that Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) is building a house for mourning and want him (Mir Murad) also building same house in memory of martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.). On the very next day Mir Murad takes initiatives for building Hussaini Dalan. During the British ruling period East India company repaired the Hussaini Dalan from 1807-1810. But the present structure of Hussaini Dalan is the contribution of Nasrat Jung who built it at 1823. After the devastating earthquake of 1897 Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah rebuilt the collapsed roof and add an verandah at the southern of Hussaini Dalan.

The main building is situated at the middle of the complex. There is a pond at the southern portion of the building that touches the wall of the building. The elegant rectangular building has four simple but large cabins. The northern portion covers an arched gateway which gives direct entry to the main building whereas the whole southern side covered by the water tank. The long verandah at the south of the building gives an amplified view of deep water in the tank. The main floor of the building is raised on high platform that has rooms containing graves. There are two back to back large hall rooms and either sides of the hall rooms contains subordinate rooms most probably for gathering of ladies. East and west side each contains a series of three rooms. The room at the north side of the building has gallery at its second floor.

The Hussaini Dalan becomes a venue of congregation of Shia muslims through the first ten days of the holy Islamic month Muharram. The architecture of this building is a great combination of Mughal and British traditions. Though the complex is in a better condition due to several renovation and repair works comparing to other historic building but the government should pay more heed to protect Hussaini Dalan for eras.