Malda & Its Heritage
Malda, the district Head quarter town is located 335 km north of
Kolkata & 260 km south of Siliguri. It was formerly known as
English Bazar as an English factory was established here in
1771. Laying on the confluence of the Mahananda and
Kalindri rivers the Malda town rose to prominence as
the river port of the Hindu capital of Pandua. Malda is a base
for visiting Gaur, Pandua and Murshidabad. Gaur, capital to
three dynasties of ancient Bengal - the Buddhist Palas, the
Hindu Senas and the Muslim Nawabs - has seen three distinct
eras of glory. Pandua, once the alternate seat of power to
Gaur, has the third largest concentration of Muslim monuments
in Bengal. During the 18th century it was the seat of prosperous
cotton and silk industries. English Bazar Constituted a municipality
in 1867, it has a Medical College, University with several colleges
affiliated with the Gour Banga University . Rice, jute, legumes,
and oilseeds are the chief crops in the surrounding area.
Mulberry plantations and mango orchards occupy large areas; mango
trade and silk manufacture are the main economic activities.
To generations of people in West Bengal, Malda always meant best
of mangoes. And not without reason. Apart from being the mango
orchard of the state with a huge production of mangoes in summer,
the variety of mangoes and their quality have all captivated the
connoisseur and layman alike.
But in these columns we mention Malda for a different reason and that
is tourism. Malda is a destination worth a visit for the archaeological
treasures that are on display there. Washed by the water of the Ganga,
Mahananda, Kalindri and Fulahar, Maldah – the ancient Gaur – was once the
capital of the kingdom known variously in different ages as Gaur and
Banga, which the Turkish conquerors of the 13th century called Bengal
(whence Bengal of the British). The earliest reference of the city of
Gaur (synonymous with Maldah of present) is said to found in the writings
of Panini the Grammarian (circa 5th century BC) where it had been known.
Gaur and its twin Pandua (Pundrabardhana) served as capital of many a
king and Sultan. The Palas ruled their considerable empire from here
during the eighth to eleventh century, which was the only time when
Bengal had a powerful empire competing, clashing and coexisting with
Subsequently, during the rule of Sen dynasty , the erstwhile empire
having been reduce to a modest Bengal kingdom although the Sens had a
habit of shifting their capital. In 1204 Bakhtyar Khilji conquered Bengal
destroying the Sen Dynasty and from then on Pandua became more prominent
as the sultanate continued mostly as independent principality upto the
time of the Mughal conquest under Akbar. The nearby settlement of
Rajmahal served as the provincial capital of Suja’s Bengal Suba until his
defeat and ruin by Aurangazeb. Important tourist information is given
||25 meters above sea level.
||Climate (Deg C.)
||Summer-Max 35.8, Min.21.8
||Winter-Max 23.8, Min. 10.3
||Bengali, Hindi, English.
||Through out the year but preferable October to March.
Places Of Interest
A destination, having a collection of huge archeological
treasures is Situated in the heart of Malda Town on
the bank of the river Mahananda .
12 km by Road ,from GOLDEN PARK was the ancient capital of Bengal.
BARA SONA MASZID (1526) is the largest monument here. Remains of
the mighty embankment around the fort project a feeling of wonder
as you walkthrough the impressive DAKHIL DARWAZA (1425). The
mosques around show a diversity of architectural styles -
LOTAN MASZID (1475) is popularly attributed to a nautch girl.
TANTI PARA MASZID is an elegy in elegance; CHAMKATTI MASZID
(1475) is almost in ruins & on the lintels of CHIKKA MASZID
appears Hindu icons bearing testimony to previous rulers.
QADAM RASUL MASZID (1531) enshrines the prophet's footprint
in stone, while the later FATHKHAN'S TOMB carries a gory legend.
Late Mughal architecture is evident in double storey LOOKO
CHURI DARWAZA. The blue tiled FIROZ MINAR is legacy of a 15th
century Abyssinian sultan. At Ramkeli, on the way to Gour,
the MADAN MOHAN JIU MANDIR celebrates the visit of the 14th
century vaisnava reformer, St.Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Pandua & Adina
8 km by Road, from GOLDEN PARK, ADINA MOSQUE is one of the
finest examples of medieval Muslim architecture in Bengal.
Comparable to the great mosque in Damascus in size and magnificence,
Adina, the 3rd largest mosques in the world, was built by
Sikandar Shah in 14th century. Richly ornamented mausoleum,
EKLAKHI, is said to have cost Rs 1 Lakh - hence the name,
built by Raja Ganesh or Kansa, his son QUTUB SHAHI (1582) with
10 domes and corner turrets, was erected to honour saint
Hazrat Pir Nur-Qutubhl -Alam. BARI DARGAHI, dedicated to saint
Hazrat Shah Jalaluddin Tabrizi and CHOTI DARGAH hold within the
campus relics of Bengal's Muslim Heritage. The Marble footprints of
Muhammad at MAKDUM PIR'S MOSQUE is a place of pilgrimage. An
excellent Tarkish Bathroom beside Sataishghara Dighi is a most
attractive relic ever seen in eastern India. But now most
neglected site due to non highlight of the same by the Govt.
JAGAJJIBANPUR A few miles away from GOLDEN PARK stand the
ruins of huge Jagajjibanpur monastery constructed during the
pala period. Another mount stands a few miles away known as the
ruins of Jagddal Mahavihar, where from monks were sent to the Far
East & China to preach the doctrine of Buddhism.
Gurudwara at Old Malda
At old Malda, only few K.M. away from Golden Park Hotel, stands a
beautiful Gurudwara constructed by the Sikhs to celebrate the visit
of the Great St. Sri Gurunanak who came to this place in 1564 AD and
stayed over for more than 3 months. Sikhs Guru St. Sri Tegbahadur
also visited this place in 1665 and stayed for 9 days.