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. Here Ravenshaw offers a close view of a mihrab in the Badshah-ka-takht, showing its ornate carved geometric and calligraphic decoration. He wrote, 'On the western wall are four prayer niches of black polished stone, round which are inscribed passages from the Qoran, delicately carved in Arabic character...'