Updated: Mar 22
Discover heritage destinations of Bengal with our travel expert Reetwika Banerjee.
Gour of Malda district was once the capital of ancient Bengal, from early 5th century till 16th century AD, being ruled by multiple influential kingdoms starting from Mauryas to Guptas, Pals, Sens, Mughals and Afghans. Most of the city stands in ruins now. However, remnants of its lost grandeur have been preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India and any kind of picnic is strictly prohibited inside the historic monuments and adjoining premises.
Long Drive to Malda from Kolkata
The Boro Sona Masjid (Great Golden Mosque) is the most remarkable of all the monuments of Gour, the largest of its type, if not in the entire state. It earned its name due to the gilded gold ornamentation on its domes and cornices.
At the ruins of Great Golden Mosque
Way to Boro Sona Masjid of Gour
Twelve doorways of the mosque
It is a rectangular edifice comprising of a colossal prayer hall and twelve doorways, out of which only one is closed and rest all are open. Hence many historians also name the mosque as Bara Duari Masjid (Twelve Gated Mosque).
Boro Sona Masjid stone entry porch
There are three facades of the edifice, couple of which are in ruins, except one in the east which stands proudly in its original glory even today.
Facades made of brick and black stones, now in ruins
In the south-east, there is a broken podium, which was perhaps used by the Muazzin for calling the devotees before the commencement of the holy prayer. And in the north, the remains of a ladies prayer gallery could be seen.
Podium used by Muazzin for prayer calls
The arcades aisle of the long corridor is the grandest among its other features. The brick walls and stone pillars stand straight; however, none of the gold ornate carvings exist today. But the Indo-Arabic style of architecture makes it a matchless destination for urban tourists.
Mosque's arched aisle of long corridor
How to reach:
Malda can be easily reached by rail or road. From Kolkata airport it is little less than 330 kilometres. By train, you can get down at Malda Town and by road it you may drive via NH34.
Other places to see:
Qadam Rasool Masjid, Chika Masjid, Lottan Masjid, Gunmantam Masjid, Tantipara Masjid, Chamkati Masjid etc.
Where to stay:
Unfortunately, there are no luxury accommodations yet. Other than a newly opened 3-star private resort, there is only a budget quality Government lodge for tourist accommodation.
While visiting this place, wear indian wear because it is a cultural place and carry umbrellas to save yourself from the scorching heat.