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Panduah. Nur Qutb Alam Gateway.

Panduah. Nur Qutb Alam Gateway.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(27)

Item number: 97827

Genre: Photograph

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. Nur Qutub Alam was a 15th century Sufi saint (d.1415) in whose honour the famous Qutub Shahi mosque was erected in Pandua in 1582. The early 15th century dargah (mausoleum) complex of the saint called the Choti Dargah comprises a mosque, a tank or reservoir, tombs, a resthouse and various other structures. It was known as the 'shash hazari dargah' (a dargah endowed with a property worth six thousand rupees) of Pandua. Ravenshaw wrote of this image, 'Proceeding northward from the Baishazari, we arrive at another smaller endowment, called the Chhye Hazari (or 6000 bighas), which was founded to commemorate the saint Nur Qutb Alam. A handsome gateway on the left was the entrance to the saint's dwelling...South of the house is a large square enclosed space, about 1000 yards in measurement each way, within which are some interesting tombs in good preservation, though not kept up to the full extent of the means of the endowment. These tombs fill the western part of the enclosure, while the eastern part is occupied by a brick tank.'

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