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Hussaini Dalan

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An old photo from Hussaini Dalan taken in 1904

Hussainī Dālān (Bengali:হোসেনী দালান) is a Shiite visiting place and Imambara in the old city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. It dates back to the late period of the Gurkani dynasty (17 centuries). The general structure of the building is modeled after Imam al-Husayn's (a) mausoleum and Ta'ziya. Every year in the first ten days of the Muharram month, it turns into the most hectic place in the city.


Hussaini Dalan in 1900

The building was apparently constructed in the middle of the 11th/17th century by a person called "Mir Murad" who was the sheriff of the town and in charge of constructing public buildings in the strip of the area. However, according to Radawi, in the 10th/16th and 11th/17th centuries the Shi'as held mourning ceremonies of Muharram secretly in their houses, and the title, "Hussaini Dalan" was given to the building early in the 12th/18th century during the reign of Murshid Quli Khan and the building turned into a center for the ceremonies of the Muharram month in Bengal. The present building of Hussaini Dalan was constructed over the previous smaller house of ta'ziya. The building was reconstructed by Nawab Nusrat Jung in the middle of the 12th/18th century. The East India Company made renovations in the building once in 1222/1807 and once again in 1225/1810. After the 1315/1897 earthquake as a result of which part of the building, including its ceiling, was damaged, Nawab Ihsan Allah Bahadur reconstructed and repaired the building.

Features of the Building

Hussaini Dalan in 2016

The building was modeled after Imam al-Husayn's (a) mausoleum and "Ta'ziya." In the Indian Subcontinent, "Ta'ziya" re