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Panduah. Eklakhi Mosque.

Panduah. Eklakhi Mosque.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(34)

Item number: 97834

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 the Sultans of Bengal from 1342 till the beginning of the 15th century. This view looks towards the decorative brick fa├žade of the Eklakhi Mausoleum in Pandua, its dome largely concealed by vegetation. Ravenshaw wrote, 'Proceeding a short distance further on the road, we come upon the tomb of Sultan Ghiyasuddin, known as the Eklakhi Mosque, and built of embossed bricks and hornblende combined. The building is eighty feet square, and covered by one dome. It is believed to contain the remains of Sultan Ghiyasuddin, his wife, and his daughter-in-law. The tomb is a remarkable instance of the use of Hindu materials in the erection of a Muhammadan mausoleum, for both doorposts and lintels are covered with Hindu carvings. There is no inscription to show the date of erection.' The early 15th century mausoleum is thought to be that of Sultan Jalal al-din Muhammad Shah (ruled 1414-1432) and is the first building to reveal some of the characteristic features of later Sultanate architecture in Bengal. The exterior walls are slightly bowed and it displays the curved cornices of the roof derived from Bengali bamboo dwellings. It provided a model for much of the architecture that followed. The square brick tomb is massive, surmounted by a plain dome and decorated with carved brick. Each of its four sides is pierced with a stone portal derived from Hindu forms. The interior is octagonal and crowned with a ribbed dome carried on eight squinches. There are three tombs within.

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