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Panduah. Transept - Adinah Mosque.

Panduah. Transept - Adinah Mosque.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(39)

Item number: 97839

Genre: Photograph

Photograph taken in the 1860s by John Henry Ravenshaw, one of 45 prints in the album 'Gaur: Its Ruins and Inscriptions'. The Adina Mosque, one of the largest in India, is in Pandua near the ruined city of Gaur in the Malda district of Bengal, and 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, 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 vast central transept was one of the most imposing parts of the building. Ravenshaw wrote, 'That part of the mosque which has been designated as the transept is in a very dilapidated state. The roof has fallen in, but its height must have been eighty feet, and a large tree which has sprung up on one side spreads its branches far above the building, showing the length of time that must have elapsed since the place became a ruin. The transept measures sixty-four feet from east to west, and thirty-two from north to south. In one of its corners stands a beautifully carved pulpit, below the steps of which a large slab of stone, now fallen, bears the features of a Hindu god on its reverse side. There are two prayer niches elaborately chiselled; the larger one, occupying the centre of the west wall, has an inscription in the Tughra character...'

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