Memories of a Receding Past: 45

Kolkata - Gour

Gour is another city where one finds structures of terracotta. These are different in the sense that they are of the Islamic kind. Gour is located in the eastern part of West Bengal and the ruins straddle both India and Bangladesh, though majority of the ruins fall on the Indian side.

Gour had its heydays during the middle ages when it was the capital of Bengal. Gour or Gauda became synonymous with Bengal. In the 13 Century it was captured by the Delhi Sultanate. I did not know that there was also a Bengal Sultanate of which Gour was the capital for more than 100-odd years.

 Gour was one of the most densely populated cities of the sub-continent. Portuguese travelers have left detailed accounts of the riches of the place. They even compared the place with Lisbon. In the sixteenth century Gour was occupied by Humayun who desired a name-change for the place to Zanntabad. Apparently, this did not work out and the place continued to be known as Gour or Gauda. 

Gour continued to be an opulent place with its trade and business. The Moguls added a large number of public buildings. But soon the city was overtaken by plague and change in the course of the Ganges. The city was thus left as a rubble heap and ruins of what once were fine pieces of architecture.


More by :  Proloy Bagchi

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