Bara Katra

Bara Katra
বড় কাটরা
Boro Katra 4 by Ashif Siddique.jpg
Ruins of Bara Katra in 2008
TypePalatial building
Beginning date1644
Completion date1646

Bara Katra (Bengali: বড় কাটরা; Great Caravanserai), a historical and architectural monument, is one of the oldest buildings in Dhaka.[1] The word Katra may have originated from Arabic word Katara which means colonnaded building. 'Katra/ katara' in Arabic and Persian means 'Caravan (Karwan) Sarai' or simply a 'Sarai'. It is a palatial building dating to the reign of the Mughal dynasty in the Bengal region. It is situated to the south of Chowk Bazaar close to the north bank of the river Buriganga.


1823 etching of Bara Katra by Sir Charles D'Oyly
1870 photograph of Bara Katra

Bara Katra was built between 1644 and 1646 CE by Mir Abul Qasim, the diwan (chief revenue official)[2] of Mughal prince Shah Shuja. It was intended to be Shah Shuja's residence, but Shah Shuja endowed it to Mir Abul Qasem.[3]

Less than half of the structure remains, and is in disrepair. The Department of Archaeology has been unable to take charge of the monument owing to litigation and resistance from its owners. The owners have altered the original building and encroached upon it with new construction.[4]

Other Languages
বাংলা: বড় কাটরা
Esperanto: Bara Katra
हिन्दी: बड़ा कटरा
lietuvių: Bara Katra
Nederlands: Bara Katra