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

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

Photographer: Ravenshaw, John Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 978/(43)

Item number: 97843

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 stones forming the platform [of the Badshah-ka-takht] are in the shape of long beams, with their ends resting on the pillars, but the accumulated rubbish on the ground below is all that remains of the masonry that must have once filled in and covered these beams. On the platform are built light pillars and arches, which are surmounted by eighteen domes, similar to those over the rest of the cloister...'

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