Gaur. Golden Mosque. North 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'. View looking along the façade of the Bara Sona Mosque in Gaur, a derelict city in the Malda district of Bengal. Once known as Lakshmanavati or Lakhnauti, Gaur was an ancient capital of the rulers of Bengal. It came to prominence under the Buddhist Palas from the 8th century, and then prospered under the Hindu Senas from the 12th century. It fell to the Delhi Sultanate in the 13th century and later served as the capital for the independent Sultans of Bengal from the mid-14th to the 16th century, except for an interval between 1354 to 1442 when neighbouring Pandua was made capital. Gaur was relinquished to ruin and decay by the end of the 16th century. With its history as a provincial centre of Islamic culture, Gaur has the remnants of many monuments. Built in 1526 by Sultan Nusrat Shah, the Bara Sona Masjid (Large Golden Mosque) is the largest building still standing in Gaur. The interior was covered with 44 small gilded domes supported on stone pillars; however only the 11 which formed a verandah to the front of the building survive. It is commonly referred to as the Baradwari Mosque (Mosque of 12 Doors).