Gaur, also known as Lakhnauti is a ruined city located around Malda district of West Bengal. Sited on the western banks of Ganga River, this city is considered to be one of the ancient residential places in West Bengal. The city’s magnificent architecture has now been reduced to ruins but its mystique nature of the place draws many visitors in the present times as well.
Unique circular bastion-like structures of the palace ; And Historical Entry Gate:
Believed to be discovered by Lord Lakshmana, brother of Lord Ram, Gaur, during the reign of Muslim become “Lakhnauti”. The ancient city of Gaur in Malda has also been mentioned in Hindu Puranic texts and its history is recorded since 500 BC.
At that period, Gaur and Pundrabardhana (Pandua) was under the Mauryan Empire. Archeological findings have also indicated that the whole of North Bengal was part of the Gupta Empire in the ancient times. Thereafter, the Guptas were succeeded by the king of Karnasubarna in 700 A.D, who ruled for almost thirty years.
From mid-8th century to 11th century AD the Pala dynasty ruled Bengal and promoted Buddhism in the region actively. After the rule of the Palas it was the turn of the Sen Dynasty; Balal Sen was the third ruler of the Sen Dynasty who ruled over Gaur and established sole control over entire Bengal within 1168 A.D. The Sen Dynasty wielded their rule over Bengal till 1204 AD, after which, the Mughals and Afghans ended their rule by invading Bengal.
However, its most well documented history begins with its conquest in 1198 by the Muslims, who retained it as the chief seat of their power in Bengal for more than three centuries. Around the year 1350, the Sultans of Bengal established their independence, and transferred their seat of government to Pandua, also in Malda district.
Sonar Bangla (Golden Bengal):
A place well suited for history buffs, Gaur has many architectural structures of historical importance. The monuments are now under the control of the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India); though the structures are reduced to ruins yet one can roam around the place and see the old remains, taking a look at the chronological journey of the city.
Some of the worth visiting sites in Gaur includes the famous Bara Darwaza, Small Golden or Eunuchs’ Mosque, Tantipara Mosque, Dakhil Darwaza, Qadam Rasul Mosque and Firoz Minar. Besides, the tomb of the saint Makhdum Shaikh Akhi Siraj is another attraction that draws many tourists. Gaur, in fact is a must see place for history lovers and those who are into archeological studies and historical surveys.
Baroduari : Qadam Rasul Masjid:
How to reach
You need to hire a cab from Malda which is around 30mins drive from Gaur. Malda is 335Km away from Kolkata, and can easily reach by train / car. Best time to visit is from October to April. Summer months are hot. Better to carry your own food and water.