(Last Updated on : 19/05/2016)
Monuments in Malda dates back to the rule of the Muslims and the British. Malda or Old Malda is situated at a distance of about four miles from the English Bazaar. It is a small town, located at the meeting point of the Kalindri and Mabananda rivers which once prospered as the port of Pandua. During the eighteenth century it thrived as a cotton and silk market, with Dutch, English and French factories, but due to the shifting of the English factory to English Bazaar in the year 1771, Malda lost its prosperity and it declined throughout the nineteenth century.
It is one of the eighteen districts of West Bengal
which is located in close proximity to the confluence of the River Kalindri and Mahananda River
. A number of prominent silk industries of Bengal are established in the district of Malda. The district is also one of the major rice
, jute and wheat
distribution centers. In the eighteenth century, Malda used to be one of the most prosperous centers for industries in the state of West Bengal. The place was renowned for cotton and silk. Among the notable historical monuments, the Nimasari Tower and Jami Masjid are situated in Malda. Pandua, located at a distance of about eighteen kilometers to the north of Malda, is one of the notable archaeological sites having some of the famous Muslim architecture like the massive Adina Mosque, constructed by Sikander Shah in the year 1369. Constructed over a Hindu temple, the mosque is considered to be India's largest mosque having three hundred and seventy eight small domes. Another major historical attraction is the Eklakhi mausoleum and a number of smaller mosques scattered in Pandua.
At a distance of twelve kilometers to the south of Malda is Gaur. Situated on the India and Bangladesh border, Gaur is a renowned historical place which belonging to the 14th and the 15th century. Some of the relics available there include the Dakhil Darwajah, the Bara Sona Mosque, Qadam Rasul Mosque, Lattan Mosque and the remains of the broad fortification. One can also see the colourful enameled tiles on the Firoz Minar and Gomti Gate. A museum is also there in the district of Malda which houses the important archaeological findings at Pandua and Gaur.
The old English factory at the Malda district
, erected in the year 1656, has virtually disappeared, the site being marked by the Court House and public buildings. A column erected in the year 1771 by Thomas Henchman stands in the courthouse compound. Most of the houses were constructed with masonry taken from the nearby ruins of Pandua and Gaur. The prominent buildings include the Jami Masjid, constructed by carved brick and stone by Musum Saudagar in the year 1596. It has a barrel-vaulted corridor based on Bengali and north Indian forms. The central bay of the facade sweeps high above the flanking bays and the pillars at the entrance are handsomely carved.
The Shrine of Shah Gada is famous for containing the remains of a parrot which learned to recite prayers from the Holy Quran
. The Phuti Masjid is now entirely ruined and overgrown by jungle. The Nawab's Mosque is attributed to the munificence of the Nawab of Murshidabad
. Across the river is the Nim Serai Minar, a curious tower which is 55 ft tall and 18 ft in diameter. It is studded with projecting stones resembling the tusks of an elephant and was probably a watch tower or hunting-tower, used to display the heads of thieves. The top can be reached via a winding staircase. It is comparable to the Hiran Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri
. Inside the town is the Katra, originally a warehouse and later a fortified sarai or inn for travellers. Today, only the traces of the arched gateways remain.