Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Destination India

West Bengal (PART-IX)


Pandua or Adina

Pandua is a ruined city in the Malda district. Pandua is now almost synonymously known as Adina, a small town located about 18 km North of Malda Town. The city was probably founded by Sams-ud-Din Firuz Shah. In 1339, Ala-ud-Din Ali Shah transferred his capital from the nearby (and now ruined) town of Lakhnauti or Gaur (32 km from Pandua) to Pandua. Later, Haji Shamsuddin Iliyas Shah, the first independent Sultan of Bengal, made the city the capital of his (unified) Bengal Sultanate. However, Pandua's glory was short-lived. In 1453, the capital was transferred back to Gaur by Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud Shah, perhaps necessitated by a change in the course of the river on which Pandua stood.

Places to visit in Pandua or Adina:

Adina Masjid

Adina Masjid built in 1369 by Sultan Sikander Shah; the second sultan of the Ilyas dynasty.  It was one of the largest mosques in India. The Adina mosque is one of the largest mosques to be built in the subcontinent and the only hypostyle mosque in Bengal. Located twenty kilometers North of the town of Malda and along a major road leading to north Bengal, the sultan probably built it as a visual proclamation of his victory over the Delhi ruler, Firuz Shah Tughluq. The mosque is mostly in ruins today following the damages sustained during the earthquakes in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The prayer hall

Similar in plan to the Great Mosque of Damascus, it is a rectangular, hypostyle structure, with an open central courtyard. Externally it measures 524' x 322' (154.3 x 87m) with the longer side running north-south, while the courtyard measures 426'-6"x147'-7"(130 x 45m). The prayer hall is located to the west, and is divided into two symmetrical wings by a central nave (78'x 34' and 64' high) that was originally covered by a pointed barrel vault. The high central vaulted nave may be traced to Persian antecedents, Taq-i-Kisra, a pre-Muslim monument at Ctesiphon. The prayer hall is five aisles deep, while the north, south and east cloisters around the courtyard consist of triple aisles. In total, these aisles had 260 pillars and 387 domed bays. The interior of the courtyard is a continuous fa├žade of 92 arches surmounted by a parapet, beyond which the domes of the bays can be seen.

Eklakhi Mausoleum

The Eklakhi Mausoleum one of the best preserved brick-built monuments is situated in Pandua area near the Adina Mosque and was probably built in c. 1412-1415 A.D. by Raja Ganesh or Kans whose son Jadu converted to Islam faith and became the Sultan of Bengal under the name of Jalaluddin Mohammed Shah. This is a brick building, with a single lofty dome. Its interior is an octagon which is only lighted through the four small doors.
There are three graves inside. One tomb is that of Jalaluddin, and the others belong to his wife and son.

The Eklakhi Tomb at that time is known to have cost Rupees One Lakh, and hence the name "Eklakhi". 

Qutb Shahi Masjid (Mosque)


Qutub Shahi Masjid is situated in Pandua about 25 Kms. from malda Town in Malda District of West Bengal, India. It was erected in 1582 A.D. in the honor of Sufi Saint Nur- Qutub-Alam by Makhdoom Shaikh who was both a descendant and a follower of the Sufi Saint.The Masjid (Mosque) is also known locally as "Sona Masjid"(Golden Mosque) probably due to the fact that gold gilding was used in the carvings on the wall as well as on the crown of the turrets, but no evidence is visible now. It has been built using red bricks and stone slabs. Intricate carvings are still seen on the stone slabs in the walls and pillars.

More places to see in Malda:




Lord Krishna and Radha


Lord Chaitanya Temple is situated in a small village of Ramkeli about 14 Km south from Malda on the way to Gour. Ramkeli is famous for being the temporary home of Lord Sri Chaitanya, the great religious reformer of Bengal, where he had stayed for a few days on his way to Brindaban.The place still features two Kadamba and two Tamal trees, which is believed to be the meditation site of Sri Chaitanya. 

The temple where is housing the footprints of Sri Chaitanya on stone

A temple has been constructed beneath these trees, housing the footprints of Sri Chaitanya on stone. Celebrations are held at the site on every Jaishthya Sankranti (in the month of May-June) to commemorate the arrival of Sri Chaitanya. A week-long fair also starts on this day when devotees from far off places arrive to participate in the various programmes.



Maa Johura Temple

Maa Johura Temple is situated on the outskirts of Malda Town, West Bengal, India. It is surrounded by lush green fields on one side and Mango Orchards on the other side, and is very near to Bangladesh border. The original temple is stated to have been built in c1500A.D.(?),however, there is another view that the original temple was built by Raja Ballal Sen in 1159-1179 A.D. who was the third ruler of Sena Dynasty of the then Bengal .

Maa Johura

It is a renowned temple of Adishakti in Malda and the deity is represented by three faces of Goddess Kali .It is said that the three faces represent the three goddesses Maha Kali, Maha Laxmi and Maha Saraswati. The unique feature of this temple is that it opens only on Tuesdays and Saturdays when thousands of people come to offer their prayers, rest of the days the temple remains closed.

Farakka Barrage



Completed in 1974-75, the Farakkah Barrage is a dam on the Ganges River located in the Indian state of West Bengal. The dam was built to divert the Ganges River water into the Hooghly River during the dry season, from January to June, in order to flush out the accumulating silt which in the 1950s and 1960s was a problem at the major port of Kolkata on the Hooghly River. Bangladesh and India have had many debates about how the Farakka Barrage cuts off Bangladesh’s water supply. This is the longest barrage in the world and has recently been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. The barrage was constructed by the Hindustan Construction Company Limited.

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