'The small Golden Mosque at Gaur.' From 'Views at Gaur', six aquatints by James Moffat after Henry Creighton, published by Moffat in Calcutta 1808.
Artist: Moffat, James (1775-1815), after Creighton, Henry (c.1767-18
Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured
The ruined city of Gaur is located on the India-Bangladesh border in the Malda district of West Bengal. Bengal was conquered by the invading Muslim armies in the early 13th century. Gaur later became the capital of the Sultans of Bengal and a centre of provincial Islamic culture until its abandonment in the late 16th century. The Chota Sona or Small Golden Mosque, as it is known by the local people because of the now-lost gilded decoration of its domes, was built by a noble at the court of Sultan Husain Shah (ruled 1494-1518). The mosque displays typical regional features in the Bengal style. It is rectangular in plan with an engaged octagonal tower at each of the corners. The richly decorated stone facade has five openings with pointed arches profusely decorated with floral and epigraphic motifs. The sides have three entrances similarly decorated. The roof is covered with twelve small hemispheric domes and three 'char chala', Bengali roof forms with crossed curved ridges and curved eaves.