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Ground Plan of Adinah Mosque, Panduah.

Ground Plan of Adinah Mosque, Panduah.

Artist: Unknown

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(36)

Item number: 97836

Genre: Drawing

.Photograph taken in the 1860s by John Henry Ravenshaw, one of 45 prints in the album 'Gaur: Its Ruins and Inscriptions'. Pandua, near Gaur in the Malda district of Bengal, 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. The Adina Mosque in Pandua, one of the largest in India which could hold thousands of worshippers, 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 following earthquake damage, 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. Its plan reveals it to be a rectangular, hypostyle structure, with an open central courtyard. Externally it measures 154.3 x 87ms with the longer side running north-south, while the courtyard measures 130 x 45ms. The prayer hall is located to the west, and is divided into two symmetrical wings by a central nave that was originally covered by a pointed barrel vault. The prayer hall is five aisles deep, while the north, south and east cloisters around the courtyard consist of triple aisles. In total, these aisles had 260 pillars and 387 domed bays. The interior of the courtyard is a continuous façade of arches surmounted by a parapet, beyond which the domes of the bays can be seen.

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