Baitul Mukarram, also spelled as Baytul Mukarrom (Arabic: بيت المكرّم; Bengali: বায়তুল মোকাররম; The Holy House) is the national mosque of Bangladesh. Located at the center of Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, the mosque was completed in 1968. The mosque has a capacity of 30,000, giving it the respectable position of being the 10th biggest mosque in the world. However the mosque is constantly getting overcrowded. This especially occurs during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which has resulted in the Bangladeshi government having to add extensions to the mosque, thus increasing the capacity to at least 40,000.
The mosque complex was designed by architect, Abdulhusein M. Thariani. In 1959, owner of then Bawany Jute Mills, Haji Abdul Latif Bawany proposed to Major General Omrao Khan, then military administrator of East Pakistan, of building a grande mosque in Dhaka. Omrao Khan agreed to help on building such mosque. Same year, ‘Baitul Mukarram mosque committee’ had been established and 8.30 acre of land between new Dhaka and old Dhaka had been chosen. At that time, there was a large pond in present mosque’s location. It was known as ‘Paltan pond. The pond was filled up and on 27 January 1960 then president of Pakistan Ayub Khan commenced the work. Pray for first time took place on Friday, 25 January 1963.
The plan included shops, offices, libraries and parking areas within the complex. Though there has been a tradition of dome mosque for Muslim, this building did not maintain the rule of traditional mosque in that time. A Mosque without a dome over the roof of its main prayer hall must have been a unique experiment. The mosque was built when the country was the Part of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.