The Majesty of Mud: A Look at the Banda Nkwanta Mosque
To get a grip on the Islamic heritage and rites of the Ghanaians, Banda Nkwanta Mosque is then a must-visit. Located in the small town of Banda Nkwanta, in the heart of the Savannah region of Ghana.
Brief History of the Banda Nkwanta Mosque
The mosque's history began in the 18th century when it was built by Sudanese Muslim traders and migrants. It serves as a historic testament to the spread of Islam across Africa in the 10th century AD. Islam expanded across the continent through the gold trade and trans-Saharan slave routes.
Exploring the Banda Nkwanta Mosque
The town itself lies at the intersection of the Bui Dam road and the Wa-Techiman highway. Ancient mosques were built in Sudanic-Sahelian styles, which are also common in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire. The hallmark of this style is the fusion of vernacular construction techniques and strict architectural rules that need to be followed throughout the building process. In fact, there were two major styles used in the construction of mosques at the time – the Sudanic style and the Djenne style. Banda Nkwanta Mosque follows the Sudanic style that was popular across West Africa during the Sahelian empires in the 13th to 17th centuries. This mosque stands tall among other mud mosques. Its eastern tower alone reaches an impressive 12,8 metres (42 feet). Timber frame structures and pillars support the roof. Two distinctive pyramidal towers (the minaret and the mihrab), several buttresses, and the visible pinnacles add to its aesthetic appeal.
A few years back, this tower underwent a transformative reconstruction after its destruction. Now it features concrete breeze blocks and perfectly vertical faces, contrasting its original slightly conical shape.
While the Banda Nkwanta Mosque is a must-visit, you can also explore other attractions in the area like the Bui National Park, which is known for its diverse wildlife, and the Bui Dam, a significant hydroelectric project.
Planning Your Trip: Tips and Advice for Visiting
When planning your visit, it's best to check local weather as the Savannah region can get hot. Make sure you have enough water supplies and other essentials to have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.