Tower among ruins, Gaur (Bengal)
Artist: Colebrooke, Robert Hyde (1762-1808)
Water-colour drawing of the Firuz Minar by Robert Hyde Colebrooke (1762-1808) in 1794. Inscribed on the front in ink is: 'R.H.C. delt. 1794. The City of Gour in Bengal possesses within its walls and neighbourhood a series of ruins, principally mosques etc'.; on the back in pencil: ' View of an Ancient Tower in the Ruins of Gour, 1794.' From 1794 until 1797 Colebrooke was engaged in surveying various parts of the River Ganges and in recording the river's channels. This drawing was made at this time.
The deserted city of Gaur is situated on a channel of the River Ganges in West Bengal. The Victory Tower or Pir Asa Minar was built c.1487-8 by the Abyssinian ruler Saif al-Din Firuz. It is 25.6m (84ft) high and comprises five storeys, the first three of which are decorated with chain motifs, while the upper two are covered with parallel borders. On each floor there is a door which faces west and an internal staircase of 73 steps leads to the top. The minar was built to accompany a now-destroyed mosque.