The Great Kuttra
Artist: D'Oyly, Sir Charles (1781-1845)
This etching is derived from plate 6 of Charles D'Oyly's 'Antiquities of Dacca'.
The Bara Katra (Great Quadrangle Building) is situated on the eastern bank of the River Buriganga near the centre of Dhaka city. It was built by Abul Qasim in 1664 as a caravanserai or resting-place for merchants and their camel trains.
The word katra is probably derived from the Arabic for cupola, but similar words in Persian (meaning tent or pavilion) and Sanskrit (meaning umbrella) also exist. In front of it lay a large cannon, half-buried in the sand, which became submerged by water during the rainy season. Historian James Atkinson described the building, with its high, octagonal turrets as "a stupendous pile of grand and beautiful architecture".