Arches of Inner Court, Adinah Mosque, Panduah.
Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken in the 1860s by John Henry Ravenshaw, one of 45 prints in the album 'Gaur: Its Ruins and Inscriptions'. The Adina Mosque, one of the largest in India, is in Pandua near the ruined city of Gaur in the Malda district of Bengal, and was built in c.1375 by Sikandar Shah I (ruled 1358–90). It is of stone up to the imposts of the arches with the upper part of the building composed of brick, a method of construction which became widespread in Bengal. The basalt stone used was taken from earlier Hindu structures and the brickwork was carved and moulded into diverse patterns. Although the mosque is largely in ruins, it is one of the best surviving examples of early Indo-Islamic architecture. It is well-proportioned and with an austere simplicity despite its immensity, and has been compared to the great 8th century mosque at Damascus. It has 88 arches forming a continuous facade of its inner courtyard, and the roof is made up of over 300 small domes. The tomb of Sikander Shah adjoins its west wall. Pandua 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.