Among the greater Hindu temples are the Kodla Math near Bagerhat, the Kantaji Mandir
in Dinajpur (1700s), and the more local Dhakeswari Temple in Dhaka (1600s). Among
the great early mosques were the Sura Mosque (1493) in Dinajpur and the Bagha Mosque
(1523) in Rajshahi.
The Muslim influence grew stronger in the late 1500s with the Mughal takeover. The
people converted to Islam in greater numbers and mosque construction continued as
the Mughals are considered master architects and builders (they built the Taj Mahal
in Agra, India). Despite these great builders, most mosques in Bangladesh remained
simple; this includes the Atiya Mosque (1609) in Tangail, the Jami Mosque (1700s)
in Rajmahal, and numerous others, most of which can be found in the capital of Dhaka.
The next great architectural influence arrived with the British
in the mid-1700s. The British brought in European styles,
including the Neo-Classical style, which reached its peak in the 1800s. The Dhaka
Old State Bank is in the style as is the Nawab of Murshidabad Palace (1820s), although
both are heavily Bengali influenced as well. During much of British rule Dhaka grew
in some ways, but the rest of the country seemed to slowly sink as much of the region's
power and money was shifted to nearby Calcutta, India, the
British capital during their rule. This led to a substantial decrease in the amount
of architecture being built in Bangladesh.
After gaining independence from Britain and joining
Pakistan in 1947 the region began to try to modernize.
This involved adding new building techniques and materials, but they progress was
slow as the new capital shifted to modern day Pakistan as Bangladesh
became a forgotten region in their own country. Despite this, major improvements
were made and structures were built, although few are of particular interest; most
of the buildings constructed at this time were solely functional such as schools,
factories, office buildings, etc. Despite most buildings being only functional,
some gained great acceptance in the architectural world, most notably the Dhaka
University Library and the College of Arts and Crafts, both built by Muzharul Islam.
Through the 1960s and to the present the country has slowly found its own style
as it broke free from Pakistan and is investing in growth,
which has been in the form of construction on many occasions. This has led to a
number of high rise apartments in the capital as well as numerous skyscrapers in
Dhaka as well.