Adina Masjid situated in the Indian state of West Bengal near the border with Bangladesh, which was the largest masjid in the Indian subcontinent. It was built during the Bengal Sultanate as a royal masjid by Sikandar Shah, who also buried in the mosque. Adina Masjid, which is in medieval times, was according to an inscription at its back wall, built-in 1375 AD.
History of Adina Masjid
Ilyas Shah’s son Sikandar Shah succeeded him in 1357. Sultan Firoz Shah Tughluq of Delhi attacked Bengal again in1359. But Sikandar Shah, like his father, successfully faced the imperial army of Delhi. The Sultans of Delhi realized the growing strength of the Sultans of Bengal. They did not try to capture Bengal for quite a long time after this. Under Sikandar’s rule, Bengal was wealthy and peaceful for about thirty years. In 1375, Sikandar Shah built the famous Adina Masjid in Pandua(present Malda district of West Bengal, India). Sikandar Shah died around 1389. Adina Masjid compares with the mosques of those cities not only in size but also in plan and standardization; in fact, it rivals the masterpieces of the world. But today, the mosque is mostly in ruins.
The mosque located in the historical city of Pandua, a former capital in the Bengal Sultanate. Pandua was a thriving and cosmopolitan trading center during the period of the Sultanate. It was a walled city with well-arranged streets and bazaars. The market places sold any goods, including six varieties of muslin and four types of wine. The markets included eateries, drinking houses, and bathing areas. The Sultan’s residence was a white mansion. Alcohol not served in the royal court.
The masjid consists of bricks faced with stones on the lower part of the walls, and of open brick on other parts. The prayer chamber, measuring 24m in breaths, has five aisles. Dividing the prayer chamber through the middle, a wide vaulted nave runs perpendicular to the qibla wall but is now fallen. The domes of the mosque covering squares formed by stone columns are square at the base, rounded at the middle, and slanting towards the capitals. There was an inverted tumbler shape with an elliptical curve, typical of the dome used throughout the whole Sultanate period. The vaults carried by triangular pendentives now fallen except some of the northern cloisters of the prayer chamber. The nave, much higher galleries, covered by a
barrel vault, which because of its loftiness, dominated the whole structure and seen from the long distance.
Interior of Adina Masjid
The interior of the courtyard is a continuous facade of 92 arches surmounted by a parapet, beyond which the domes of the bays can see. The ornament of the building is simple, but if you look closer, you can see the intensity and disciple in the engravings that have created on the walls and arches. The elevated interior platform, which was the gallery of the Sultan and his officials, still exists. The Sultan’s tomb chamber attached to the western wall. A few parts of the mosque’s exterior wall have curvings like elephants and dancing figures. Historian has considered whether the builders used stone from pre-Islamic structures or whether the mosque proclaimed Sikandar Shah as “the exalted Sultan” and the “Caliph of the faithful.”The Sultan buried in a tomb chamber attached to the wall facing the direction of Mecca. Earthquakes damaged the mosque in the 19th century.
Traveling time or guide
Malda has to be a base for visiting the site as there is no place to stay there. Travel time is about two hours from Malda(due to frequent traffic jams). There is no ticket for visiting the site. However, permission/tickets required for video recording, but from where the permission taken not mentioned anywhere on the website. A good camera is sufficient to capture the images of the Adina masjid. The site can completely cover in about two or three hours. Since the place situated in a small village, there is no facility for refreshments, etc.