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Gaur. Janjan Miyan Mosque.

Gaur. Janjan Miyan Mosque.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(3)

Item number: 9783

Genre: Photograph

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 in 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. Together with neighbouring Pandua it was a centre of provincial Islamic culture until it was deserted in the late 16th century. This is a view of the fa├žade of the Jhanjhaniya Mosque, decorated with relief panels in stucco over brick, with three arched entrances. Ravenshaw described it as 'a very elegant mosque of embossed brick, known as the Jan Jan Miyan mosque, so called after a lady of that name. It is supported inside by fine stone pillars. This pillar is in excellent repair, and, though much overgrown with trees projecting from all quarters of the roof, the domes are still standing...' The mosque is a six-domed building with octagonal towers at its corners, built in 1535 by Bibi Malti (perhaps a lady of the court). The interior is divided into two aisles, each with three square bays surmounted by domes. Its name is believed to be a corruption of a saint's name: Jahaniyan Jahangasht.

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