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. The five-storey high (about 84 ft) victory tower called the Firuz Minar was built in the late 15th century. It originally terminated in a domed pavilion. It rises from an embankment which on the west side has steps leading to the entrance. The tower has an internal spiral staircase from the base to the top and was once decorated with glazed tiles which have mostly disappeared.