Border designs on the Adina Mosque, Pandua (Bengal)
Artist: Francklin, William (1763-1839)
Medium: Ink on paper
Indian ink drawing of designs on the Adina Mosque by William Francklin (1763-1839) in 1810. Inscribed on the back in ink is: 'Peroura. Inscription from W. Francklin. Recd 1816. Jany 6'; in pencil: '13.15.16'.
The Adina Mosque at Pandua was built around 1370 by Sultan Sikander Shah, the second sultan of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty, in his capital at Pandua in the modern-day Malda District of West Bengal. It is an excellent example of sultanate architecture and was the largest mosque on the subcontinent at the time of its construction, a reflection of the power and wealth of the sultan. The mosque comprises a rectangular sanctuary with a large enclosed courtyard to the east and a further tomb attached to the back of the sanctuary to the west, thought to be that of Sikander Shah himself. The mosque is decorated with magnificent intricate carvings of calligraphic inscriptions and non-calligraphic surface ornamentation. The complex designs included geometrical patterns, vegetation motifs, rosettes and abstract arabesque designs. The mosque is built of brick with black basalt finishings. This drawing shows a design carved into a section of this basalt decorative facing.