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Maldah. Outer Wall of Golden Mosque.

Maldah. Outer Wall of Golden Mosque.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(26)

Item number: 97826

Genre: Photograph

Photograph taken in the 1860s by John Henry Ravenshaw, one of 45 prints in the album 'Gaur: Its Ruins and Inscriptions'. Malda town, in Malda district in Bengal, is today well-known for its mango harvest, and is the nearest point providing access to the historic ruins of Gaur and Pandua. Through the centuries, the region has been the stage for the various rulers who had their impact on Bengal: Buddhist, Hindu, Afghan, Mughal, British. Sited at the confluence of two rivers (the Mahananda and Kalindi) a little away from the modern town, the natural port of Old Malda was once a flourishing centre for trade, particularly cotton and silk, and the Dutch, French and English had trading posts here in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the late 17th century the English set up a market town here and by 1771 English Bazar (now a suburb of Malda and the district headquarters) was well-established and fortified. Ravenshaw wrote of this photograph, 'The Fauti of 'Burial Mosque', and several others, lie scattered about in ruins. The finest of these remains are those of the Sona Masjid or Golden Mosque, which has an inscription over the door, giving the year A.H. 974 (A.D. 1566) as the date of its erection. It was built by a merchant named M'asum, whose brother built the caravanserai close by.'

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