The Bais Hazari shrine of Nur Qutb 'Alam to the south of Pandua, seen from across a tank.
Artist: Sita Ram (fl. c.1810-1822)
Watercolour of Nur Qutb 'Alam shrine near Pandua from 'Views by Seeta Ram from Malda to Gunga Pursaad Vol. II' produced for Lord Moira, afterwards the Marquess of Hastings, by Sita Ram between 1814-15. Marquess of Hastings, the Governor-General of Bengal and the Commander-in-Chief (r. 1813-23), was accompanied by artist Sita Ram (flourished c.1810-22) to illustrate his journey from Calcutta to Delhi between 1814-15.
Idealised view of the 'Bais Hazari' shrine of Nur Qutb 'Alam to the south of Pandua, seen from across a tank. Pandua, near Gaur in the Malda district of Bengal, was a centre of provincial Islamic culture, reaching its apogee when it supplanted Gaur as capital of Bengal from 1342 till the beginning of the 15th century. Nur Qutub Alam was a 15th century Sufi saint (d.1415) in whose honour the famous Qutub Shahi mosque was erected in Pandua in 1582. The early 15th century dargah (mausoleum) complex of the saint, called the Choti Dargah, comprises a mosque, a tank or reservoir, tombs, a resthouse and various other structures. It was known as the 'shash hazari dargah' (a dargah endowed with a property worth six thousand rupees) of Pandua. Inscribed below: 'Cuttub Shah a Musselmaun Peer's Tomb 4 Coss from Malda.'