Gaur. Dakhil Gate. North-East view.
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 ruined city of Gaur is located on the India-Bangladesh border in the Malda district of Bengal. Previously known as Lakshmanavati or Lakhnauti, the city was an ancient capital of Bengal, a seat of the Budddhist Pala dynasty from the 8th century and later the Hindu Sena dynasty from the 12th century. The Hindu kings were overcome by the Delhi Sultanate in the early 13th century and Gaur became the capital of the Sultans of Bengal, and together with neighbouring Pandua a centre of provincial Islamic culture until its abandonment in the late 16th century. Gaur's decline began when it was sacked in 1539 by the Afghan ruler of Delhi, Sher Shah Suri, and the Kirrani sultans who were his successors in the region shifted the capital to Tanda. The Ganga and Mahananda rivers between which Gaur was located changed course away from the city and it was finally forsaken. Part of the 15th century citadel of Gaur remains along with its principal entrance on the northern side, called the Dakhil Darwaza. This view looks across a tank or reservoir towards the ruined gateway, overgrown with vegetation. The imposing gateway with its huge flanking towers was built of small red bricks and embellished with terracotta ornament.