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3

INVENTORY OF STRUCTURE-TYPES


3.1 Secular Buildings

Like ancient Bengal we have very little remains of secular buildings of the mediaeval period still extant. The reason is the same– their profane character and the greed of the brick and treasure hunters. The influence of the climatic condition– the wear and tear of time after desertion, and their non-care due to lack of ownership played it’s role equally to all types of monuments. But the religious buildings because of their sacred character and in many cases the continuation of their use with restoration and reconstruction had it’s impact on the survivance of a large number of them. Of the little surviving or known examples of secular buildings, fort and fortifications come out first in serial because of a large number of their being constructed due to defensive and administrative requirements. A proper evaluation of these structures type-wise except some generalisations on past knowledge, however, is not possible because of the lack of sufficient information either from literary or archaeology sources. Some miscellaneous individual buildings of different kinds known mainly from Gaur stand today to give an idea of the type they represented. The fort and the miscellaneous buildings have been treated below in separate sections.

3.1.1. Fort and fortifications

The fort and fortifications of the Sultanate period are no different from those seen in Ancient Bengal. The general character follows Kautilya’s theory of crecting two enclosures one within the other, the inner and the stronger for the protection of the sultan, his family and his close associates, and the outer for security personnel and other inmates, each having scparate quarters in separate sections marked for them. It is probably from these sections that the names of different quarters have been appellated or are generally known eg, the Tanti Para, the Dhunichawk Para, the Chamkatti Para etc in Gaur-Lakhnauti. Most of the mediaeval cities of Bengal had these sorts of profession-bearing quarters still known by these names. The outer enclosure of the city was generally of high mud walls and occasionally also consisted of river bends on particular sides. Where there were no river protection, moats as an additional protection were dug. The inner enclosure as will be noticed in Gaur was


heavily built with high brick walls, needless to say with arrow-slits and other defensive devices such as rampart walks, fortified gateways and towers. The gateways had further defensive arrangements in the guard system. Besides there were provisions for other security guards within. The ladies quarters (generally known as harem) were guarded by eunuchs.

From 1204 to 1342 CE

The Damdama of Ikhtiaruddin Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khalji. The earliest of the references of a fort during the Sultanate period appears to be of a damdama at Devikot mentioned in the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri of Minhaj. It’s identity and character is however, unclear. It has been explained by professor Dani as a ‘raised platform’ from where probably some sort of military exercise was performed. Since Ikhtiaruddin after his conquest of Nudia advanced towards north and halted at Devikot making it his headquarter it is likely that he built a fort there of which the damdama was a part. Damdama in the present context might also mean the entire fort built in a raised ground or platform which conforms to the principle of fort making. Whatever may however be the meaning the fact is that this damdama must have served the purpose of both a residence of the conqueror and his military barrack. Later on when he came to Laksmanavati (Lakhnauti of the Muslims) it is probable that he took up his residence there leaving Devikot as a military outpost and an administrative quarter in the north. Of Laksmanavati we do not have any description left, but the name so much pronounced in history must have had a fortified area with camps in and around it. It should perhaps be mentioned here as has been hinted earlier that many of the earlier cities of Bengal started as a victory camp (jayaskandavara) first developing later as a capital-city. Ikhtiaruddin’s attempts were also probably of this nature: camp first and capital-city later.

The exact location of the fort and the damdama of Ikhtiaruddin has not yet been identified but it is considered to have been built on the eastern bank of the Punarbhava,

55.11 km to the north-east of Pandua, 28.97 km to the south-west of Dinajpur and

112.65 km. to the north-east of the citadel of Gaur. The fortified area of the later developed city consisted of three distinct parts separated by wide moats, and surrounded by heavy mud walls. The enclosure of the citadel was about 304.8m square, and to the north of the area there was a second fortified enclosure of about the same size. Both the enclosures were encircled by heavy earthen walls and wide ditches. Hisr Basankot. The next ruler who has been linked up with the construction of a fort is Ghiyasuddin Iwaz Khalji (1211-1227 CE) who ‘transferred his capital from Deokot

to Lakhnauti’, on the consideration of the suitability of the place for the building up of a navy making him thus the pioneer in this field of warfare. He strengthened the defense of the capital by erecting a fort nearby known a Hisr Basankot in which he built up his own residence. The new fort was designed as a lock (Ar. bus) or a cover


(Per. basn meaning body) of the city of Lakhnauti. The location of Basankot remains unidentified. There are some mounds in the region of Gaur supposed to have been the remains of some medieval mud forts, but it is difficult to distinguish one from the other, and the structural remains are too fragmentary to allow a coherent account of their plan and general character.

Early Gaur-Lakhnauti. When Ghiyasuddin Iwaz Khalji constructed the Basankot it is not known exactly what was the structural position of the main city of Lakhnauti. When Ikhtiaruddin transferred his seat of Government from Devikot to the present city it is likely that he accommodated himself with his retinue to the old city of Laksmanavati, the southern part of the original city of Gauda re-named after the last Sena ruler. Before Laksmanavati Ballalbari at a distance of about 11km to the north was probably the earlier city of the Senas, built by Vallalsena (1179-1204 CE), and later extended towards the south by Laksmanasena (1179-1205 CE). The extension of the city is thus towards the south from the north along the east side of the river Kalindi which defended the city from the west. On all other three sides there were defensive walls with ramparts within. The whole area is reported to have been further protected by a deep ditch of 45.72m in breadth.

From the death of Ghiyasuddin Iwaz Khalji to the accession of Sultan Shamsuddin Firuz Shah (1301-22 CE), who also declared himself independent very little is known about the building of Gauda-Laksmanavati, thence Muslim Gaur-Lakhnauti city. The reason must have been political instability, which accounts for coups and counter coups of the last one hundred years, certainly most unfavourable for building activities. Sultan Firuz Shah is famous in history for ‘Firucising’ Bengal cities, meaning building and naming of cities after his own name, eg, Tribeni in Hughli, and Pandua in present day Maldah about 32 kilometres from Gaur-Lakhnauti in north­ easterly direction.

We know very little about what he did in Lakhnauti as a builder, but it is well known that he transferred the seat of government from Lakhnauti to Pandua, henceforth Pandua-Firuzabad. Firuz Shah transferred the capital because the latter was regarded strategically more important and was a healthier site, and also because it was a safer place of refuge against any Khalji invasion of Bengal. Pandua, like Gauda, was probably an old historical site, and he built the new city alongside the old one to make it his future capital.

After Firuz Shah Pandua remained the capital of the kingdom for a short period of time. The capital was brought back again to Lakhnauti during the period of the Tughlaq governors (c. 1324-42 CE), to be re-transferred again by Shamsuddin Iliyas Shah (1342-59 CE) the Shah-i-Bangala. Pandua-Firuzabad was the capital of the Iliyas Shahi Sultanate (1342-1415 CE), and also that of the first and second rulers of the house of Ganesa (1415-32 CE) for about ninety years, after which it was brought back again to Lakhnauti by Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah (1418-32 CE), the son of Raja Ganesa. The transfer must have been effected during the last years of the reign of the Sultan as he is more credited with the embellishment of the city of Pandua­


Firuzabad with many splendid buildings. After the return Jalaluddin had time to construct at Lakhnauti only ‘one mosque, two tanks, and one sarai.’

Qila-i-Tughril. A fort built within the period at a distant place in Sonargaon to the south-eastern part of the kingdom has, however, found some mention in the contemporary sources. It is the Qila-i-Tughril (1266) constructed in the neighborhood of Sonargaon by Tughril Tugan Khan, the deputy governor (naib) of Ghiyasuddin Balban in Delhi. Tughril made an extension of the Muslim power towards south-east Bengal and after making ‘several enterprises’ built this fort, sometime also known as Narqila, and declared himself independent. Although suppressed by Balban the fort continued as an important defensive outpost for the subsequent Sultanate history. The Qila was so peculiarly protected by rivers, jungles and swamps that when Balban advanced to pursue Tughril, he was not able to reach the impregnable fort. The position of Qila-i-Tughril was on the north bank of Buriganga near it’s confluence with Sitalakhya and was protected by the jungle of Bhawal on the northern side and a tract of marshy land of the Areal Beel on the southern side with an artificial water reservoir in the middle. It was one of the earliest mud forts of early Muslim rule in Bengal. The famous fort of Tughril in subsequent periods was used against the advancement of the Mughals by the local Bhuiyas. The fort was most probably destroyed by the Mughals at sometime, and was reconstructed by Mir Jumla for the defence against the Portuguese pirates in later times. It should perhaps be noted here that Rennell’s (1776 CE) identification of the place with the important Firingi stronghold of ‘Lorical’ situated about 40.23 km due south of Dhaka and about 16.09 km south west of Rajbari is not identical with Qila-i-Tughril or Narqila because their topographical situations are completely different from each other.

From 1342 to 1576 CE

Pandua-Firuzabad. Like the period of the dependent governors of Delhi, we have still little information about the building of fort and their fortifications during the rule of the independent Bengal Sultans before the ascendancy of the restored Iliyas Shahi dynasty in 1433 CE. Although Sultan Firuz Shah, an independent ruler during the period of the dependency, is known to have founded the city of Pandua, at a distance of about 30 km north-east of the old grand capital no structural details are available about the nature of construction he undertook. The reasons of the transfer however have been surmised as Pandua’s being situated at a greater protected area at the junction of the Mahananda and a former bed of the Ganges, the over politicised activities of Gaur-Lakhnauti resulting in insecurity of the new power-taking rulers, and the traditional desire of the ascending rulers to erect new cities including mosques to proclaim power and authority and to derive benefit in this and the next world. Sultan Shamsuddin Iliyas Shah who transferred his headquarters from Lakhnauti to Pandua to declare himself independent and Shah-i-Bangla had possibly a further reason in the sanctity of the place due to the living of Shah Jalal who developed an


affection for Shamsuddin against Alauddin Ali Shah who lost confidence of the saint. Pandua, and also known as Pandua-Firuzabad after the name of it’s founder, was the permanent residence of the first Iliyas Shahi rulers and also for sometime their successors, the members of the House of Raja Ganesh. Only at one pint in 1354-55 CE. Iliyas Shah shifted his abode from Pandua to Ekdala, now identified to a place in Dinajpur District near the border of Maldah, due to the attack of the capital by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq of Delhi. But with him gone Sultan Iliyas retuned to the capital to live uninterrupted by his dynasty till the second ruler of the House of Ganesh, Jalaluddin Mahmud Shah. The latter transferred his capital to Gaur due to unknown reasons although it seems that Pandua was his favorite residence being proved by the existence of his tomb known as the Eklakhi Mausoleum. It is likely that he re- transferred his capital to Pandua from where finally the capital was brought back again to Gaur by Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, the restorer of the Iliyas Shahi dynasty.

The ruins of Pandua city are now scattered on both the sides of the Indian National Highway leading from Gaur-Lakhnauti to Shiliguri, with the Sataisghara citadel on the east and the great Adina Jami on the West. The Sataisghara (of twenty-seven houses) was an enclosed fortified area of 14 km in circumference, the measurement being a little more than seven and a half-kilometers north and south, and a little more than six kilometers east-west. The earthen wall was traced by an air photograph in 1930 and drawn by Pemberton a cartographer of the Archaeological Survey and raised by H.E. Stapleton, the Director of Bengal Public Instruction. From the photograph the citadel of the city could be traced along with the surviving important monuments and tanks. Two gates of the city are known to have existed— one on the south known as the Makhdum Shah’s Gate dedicated to the memory of Makhdum Shah Jalal the saint, and the other on the north known as the Garh Duar or Fort Gate. Buchanan Hamilton in his survey of Dinajpur in 1808 CE. noticed ruins of scattered buildings on either side of the gates. From the midst of the paddy and other corn fields what can be located now are three groups of surviving monuments– one centering round the Bari Dargah, the second round the Chhoti Dargah. Both the dargahs are now on the west of the National Highway, the Bari Dargah being just adjacent to it. The centre of the city being represented by the Adina Masjid and the Palace marked by an earthen rampart and an outer ditch in between, are to the north of these Dargahs. The Adina Masjid was outside the citadel to it’s north-west corner and must have been approached by the Sultan and his entourage through the main street with a right turn to the east and then to the royal gallery through the platform-structure facing north with an ascending ramp from the west.

Within the palace area nothing now remains for accurate identification except parts of

walls and remains of some structures with remnants of pipes and visible traces of glazed tile ornamentation around and hence surmised as baths, the prominent of which is now known as ‘Pandap Rajar Dalan’. A broken round tower of several metres height known as ‘Minar’ seen from the Highway is considered to have been a burj (tower) of


an entrance gateway to the palace. A large number of tanks are, however, seen around the area and some of which are very large such as Dhanush Dighi, Sataisghara Dighi, At-Bagh Dighi, Nasir Shah Dighi and the dried up Sukan Dighi. The origin of the names in most cases cannot be ascertained, but by themselves are an added attraction to the historic city, and in combination with the vast ruins of the Adina make it of one of the most frequented places of tourist interests.

Ek-Dala. Ek-dala meaning one-leafed fort, was an impregnable fort between Pandua and Gaur to their north-west. It was built by Iliyas Shah as a second line of defence to protect his capital Pandua from the expected attack by Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlag of Delhi. Contemporary chroniclers of Delhi emphasize it’s impregnability. According to Shams-i-Siraj Afif Ek-dala was an island, and was encirded by an arm of the Ganges. According to Ziauddin Barani it had jungle on one side and water on the other. Beside Ek-dala was fortified with massive ramparts made of adhesive clay peculiar to the locality and by a 18.3 meter wide moat running round it. The characteristic feature of it’s being built behind double enclosures of water presented the fort with the spectacle of an island, the Jajair-i-Ekdala as it was called. Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlag of Upper India was not familiar with this type of fort, and it was a curious sight for him. Firuz Shah invaded the fort twice and although breached a part of the rampart at one time was unable to dislodge the rebel, or capture it. The fort according to the chroniclers was built on so vast a scale that it easily accommodated not only all the forces of Iliyas but also the entire aristocracy of the capital and the royal families.

Bhita-Azampur. The next fort in point of time of which we have some information is the ‘Bhita-Azampur’ or the residence of the Sultan in Sonargaon. Besides it’s being built in between the rivers, the fort was known to have been surrounded by moats on three sides and the south by the river Brahmaputra. The gate of the palace area was on the west side and was known an ‘Sharan Duar’ or memorial gateway. The remains of ‘Damdama’ as a synonym of the fort, and other structures such as tombs, mosques etc. around Mograpara and Baranagar area testify to the existence of the enclosed city and it’s fort.

Quella-Mubarakabad. The location of the site of ‘Quella Mubarakbad’ centering round the present Central Jail is almost certain. The existence of the remnants of Naswalagalli Masjid in the site speak of it’s probability. Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah divided the iqlim of Sonargaon into several administrative units of which Mubarakbad the present Dhaka was one. Since the Quella is known to have been rebuilt in 1459 CE. it appears that this fort also known as the Girda-i-Qilla could also have been built by Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah (1392-1410 CE) the builder of Bhita Azampur. The character of the fort although is not known, the very name of the fort suggests it’s strength and impregnability on the bank of the Buriganga.

Later Gaur-Lakhnauti. From the complexities of ascension and decension it appears that Sultan Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah, the restorer of the Iliyas Shahi dynasty


image

asccnded the throne of Bengal Sultanate in Pandua in 1339 CE. but transferred his capital to Lakhnauti after three years in 1342 CE whence in many cases the historians regard the latter date as the starting point of the second Iliyas Shahi rule. Whatever may be the case the fact is that Sultan Iliyas Shah started the new era of Bengal Sultanate by laying the foundations of the citadel and palace of Gaur within a new enclosure of the city about four kilometers to the south of the ‘old fort’ meaning probably the Hisr Basankot of Firuz Shah. The present citadel, like the old one was ‘entirely surrounded by a great earthen rampart upwards of 9.1m in height and about 57.9m thick at the base with round towers at all the angles and a deep ditch on the outside about 61m wide when full’. This was probably the same citadel which Creighton drew in the early 19th century and referred it as belonging to the mid 15th century.


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Gaur (P. Davies drawn)


Fortification of Gaur (J.H. Ravenshaw drawn)



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Dakhil Darwaza: ground plan


Dakhil Darwaza

The citadel was entered from the north by a gateway known as the Dakhil Darwaza (entrance gate) and thence through two other gates Chand Darwaza and Nim Darwaza (half-way gate) to the palace proper. The Dakhil Darwaza, the largest and most solid of all the surviving gateways of Bengal, by a comparison with other gateways of the

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site and also that of the Bara Sona Masjid near by is suggested to have been a structure built by Sultan Alauddin Husayn Shah on the site of the original gateway built by Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah.

The gateway, built of bricks except the piers between the doorways which are faced with stone upto the springing of the arches, measures 102.5m long by 22.5m breadth and consists of a passage 4.5m wide through the middle of the structure. On both sides of the passageway are two guardrooms entered from the former through subsidiary entrances numbering four on each side. The guardrooms measure 22.70m long by 2.90m broad, and have also two exits leading outside. The


height of the gateway, measured by Cunningham, was about 14.95m of which the entrance-arch rises to a height of 10.35m. Behind the wider arch is a smaller archway through which the entrance is made to the vaulted passage. The gateway arch is projected in the form of an iwan-portal which is flanked on either side by massive twelve-sided towers at the corners. This is in perfect harmony with the design, and speaks of a gateway commensurable to the dignity and prestige of a great ruler who built it. By a comparison with the entrance gateways of the Bara Sona and Chhota Sona Masjids it can be surmised reasonably that the cornice of the portal was curvilinear.

The Chand Darwaza and Nim Darwaza between the Dakhil Darwaza and the palace are no longer in extant. Alexander Cunningham during his tour of Bengal in 1879-80 kept the following record: ‘From the northern gate [viz the Dakhil Darwaza] a raised road led to the palace in the southern half of the citadel, passing through two intermediate gates called the Chand Darwaza and Nim Darwaza. As the last named stood exactly half-way [nim] between the entrance gate and the palace wall, it is most probable that it’s name was derived from it’s position as the ‘Half-way Gate....’ From a view of Creighton’s sketch of Chand Darwaza it appears that the gate resembled much the Dakhil Darwaza in shape and design but not in strength. The gateway was built according to a palace inscription in 871 AH (1466 CE) during the time of Ruknuddin Barbak Shah (1459-74 CE).

The Gumti Gate a little to the south of the Lukochuri Darwaza is a Sultanate building, and is in marked contrast to the Mughal Lukochuri Darwaza nearyby in plan and construction. It is smaller in size than the latter and consists of a brick-built single room, 7.60m square with walls 2.65m thick. The outer dimension of the building is 12.80m square with four doorways, one on each side, the east and west entrances being flanked by fluted turrets, and the corners of the building having the usual corner towers of Sultanate monuments. The Gate is covered by a single dome built on squinches, a feature which starting in the Eklakhi Mausoleum at Pandua continued throughout the Sultanate period in similarly planned monuments. If the tomb of Iltutmish in Qutb Delhi is regarded as the forerunner of the Eklakhi Mausoleum, then the Gumti Darwaza might have been an imitation of the Alai Darwaza the southern gateway of the Quwwatul Islam Masjid. There are indications of the Gateway’s connection with the citadel walls on the north and south sides of the building. The Gateway has a carved cornice, and was ornamented more with tiles than with the usual terracotta techniques. The date of the building has been rendered uncertain by scholars, some assigning it to the builder of the citadel, i.e. Sultan Nasiruddin Shah, and others, on the finding of an inscription in the Niamatullah complex in Firuzpur stating ‘the construction of a gateway during the reign of Sultan Alauddin Husayn Shah in 1512 CE’.


The city during the time of Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah seem to have been extended to the south upto the Kotwali Darwaza, still extant, marking not only the boundary of Mahmud Shah’s city but also presently indicating the last post of the Indian border. The distance between the citadel and the Kotwali Darwza is about 2 km, and it shows how the city was encircled by an outer mud wall parts of which still survive and seen on both the east and west side of the Dawrza. It was customary with the Muslim rulers, be that in India or elsewhere, to build two enclosures for a city: one the outer wall, and the other the inner or citadel wall. The outer wall was meant for the protection of the city, and the inner, strongly fortified, for the security of the ruler and his family. Lakhnauti of Mahmud Shah was no exception. Kotwali Darwaza a gateway of 9.15m high and 5.10m wide now almost in ruins still shows the defensive mechanism with battering towers on the flanks and arrow-slits in various- stages some marked features representing the type of fortification a mediaeval fort in Bengal must have had in common. Kotwali Darwaza is the lone example of a city-gateway still extant. Gaur- Lakhnauti during the period of the Husayn Shahi rule represented the largest expansion of the city development. Extended to the south beyond the Kotwali Darwaza the city then sprawled over an area of 40 square kilometer adorned with innumerable buildings both religious and secular. It was then more than 19 km in length from the Phulwari Gate in the north to the Takshal in the south, and in average about three kilometers in breadth from east to west.

The population of the city at the time of it’s greatest prosperity is said by Portuguese trader Faria Y Souza, writing before 1640 CE, to have been 12 lakhs. The principal street, he says, ran from north to south. According to De Barros, another Portuguese trader, who wrote just before 1540 CE. the streets of the city are ‘broad and straight’ and the main streets ‘have trees planted in rows along the walls to give shade to the passengers’. ‘The population of the city’, he continues, ‘is so great and the streets so thronged with the concourse and traffic of people, specially of such as come to present themselves at the king’s court, that they cannot force their way past one another. A great part of this city consists of stately and well-wrought buildings’. In such a city that there would be at one time a ‘medley of races and peoples’Arabs, Abyssinians, Afghans, Mughals, Portuguese and Chinese who poured in by land and water, can easily be conjectured.

One of the characteristics of the city of Gaur-Lakhnauti was that unlike Delhi which consisted of independent separate cities quite apart from one another it was a continuous stretch of habitation added successively by different sultans at different periods. This was unusual in those days of kingly ego, and may be compared as an example with a similar city in northern Iraq, Samarra, built by some of the most powerful Abbasid Khalifas.

The glorious period of Gaur-Lakhnauti came to a close with the end of the Husayn Shahi dynasty. Of the last two rulers of the dynasty, Alauddin Firuz (1532-33), the son of Nasrat Shah and Ghiyasuddin Mahmud (1533-38), the brother, the former is


depicted by historians as a man of letters and an enlightened king. It is not unlikely that the southern part of the city, now known as Firuzpur, bears the name of this ruler whom people remembers according to historians, ‘with gratitude’.

Gaur-Lakhnauti had it’s worst days of it’s last two hundred years of history when Sher Shah the Afghan chief occupied the city in early 1538 CE. and ‘pillaged and scorched it with fire’ on the approach of Humayun the Mughal and contender to the throne towards the end of the year. In early next year when ‘Humayun entered the city he took steps to bring it back to life. He cleansed the roads, repaired the walls and villas and then took up his residence in the palace’. Gaur-Lakhnauti was an agreeable place to Humayun. He loved it’s luxuriant foliage, it’s fruits, it’s gay mood and surroundings, and once in ‘a mood of ecstasy’ conferred on it the name Jannatabad meaning ‘heavenly city’. Heavenly as it was, it still with it’s sweet mangoes and lichies, sugarcane and palms bears the name in the mind of the people.

With Humayun gone, the city lost it’s prestige. To Sher Shah and Humayun the city

was after all a provincial city, their main interest being focussed towards Delhi, the imperial capital. Under the Karranis the seat of government was transferred from Gaur-Lakhnauti to Tanda, a little to the south of the citadel, just on the other side of the river near the present village of Mahdipur in West Bengal. The reason is unknown but perhaps to meet up with the tradition that when a dynasty is changed the capital is changed. According to Buchanan Hamilton ‘The distance is so small that they could not be said to have changed the seat of government, but only to have built a new palace or country residence’. Munim Khan Khan-i-Khanan, Akbar’s general and later on also viceroy, who conquered the western part of Bengal and established Mughal rule there shifted the capital back to Gaur-Lakhnauti in 1575 CE. But Gaur- Lakhnauti was an unlucky place for the viceroy. There was an excessive rain in that year causing pestilence which not only took thousands of lives of the city, but also did not spare the general. The panic drove the dwellers outside the city, and the capital was again brought back to Tanda leaving Gaur-Lakhnauti a deserted city never to regain it’s old glory.

Jadunath Sarkar’s location of Tanda at ‘about 15 miles south-east of Malda town’ does not seem to be correct. This would place Tanda on the bank of the Mahananda, near Rohanpur. The accounts of Ralph Fitch (1585) and Buchanan Hamilton (1810), on the other hand, place it on the bank of the ‘Ganges or Bhagirathi’ meaning probably their branch Kalindi on the bank of which stood Gaur-Lakhnauti. This is also in corroboration with Rennel’s map (1764-78 CE) marked ‘Tarrah’. According to Abid Ali ‘The word Tanda is generally applied by the people to char lands which if small are called Tanri. The names of several villages of Maldah end with this name as for instance, Sat-Tanri and Bharti-Tanri’. Tanda on the Mahananda must therefore have been confused by Sarkar with Tanda, the Karrani capital.

Khalifatabad and Bara Bazar. Of other forts of the Sultanate period, we do not have much information except some conjectural ideas in different locations of the country.




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