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Panduah. Lower Pillars of Badshah Ka Takht. Adinah Mosque.

Panduah. Lower Pillars of Badshah Ka Takht. Adinah Mosque.

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(42)

Item number: 97842

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. 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, with a continuous facade of arches and numerous domes (over 300). The main entrance of the mosque consists of three arches that open on the southeastern corner. Today it can only be accessed from the east through a small arched opening. Three other small entrances are in the northwestern wall, two of which lead to the Badshah-ka-takht, a private hall of worship for the sultans and the ladies. Ravenshaw wrote, 'The only part of the mosque still covered by domes is that portion of the north-west cloister containing the Badshah ka Takht or King's Throne. This consists of a stone platform eight feet from the ground, supported by three rows of massive hornblende pillars, twenty-one in number...'

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