Pandua, 15 kms north of Malda district, is a historic city that dates back to the 14th and 15th century CE. It served as the capital of Bengal Sultanate from 1339 – 1453. The capital later shifted to Gaur. Today, Pandua is a tourist spot easily accessible from Malda.
The grandest structure in Malda, the Adina Mosque, was built in 1375 by Sikander Shah of Ilyas Shah Dynasty. It was built in lines with the Great Mosque of Damascus, and during its construction it was the largest mosque in the sub-continent. Built of stone and bricks, the mosque is centred round a huge rectangular courtyard. The western wall has decorative mihrabs with arches, showcasing terracotta ornamentations. The prayer area in front of it has a five-aisle hall. The other three sides have three-aisle halls. The western section also has an elevated royal chamber, which is approached by a separate entrance. It is believed that the mosque had about 300 domes, out of which about 40 stand today.
This square structure crowned with a gigantic dome houses the mortal remains of Jadu, son of Raja Ganesh. Jadu later converted to Islam and ascended the throne in 1415 as Jalaluddin Mohammad Shah. Apart from the grave of Jadu, there are two more graves inside the mausoleum that have beautiful terracotta ornamentation on the outer walls. As Islam prohibits the use of human and animal figures, the terracotta ornamentation is restricted to geometric and floral designs.
Qutab Shahi Mosque
Qutab Shahi Mosque in Pandua
Located just behind the Eklakhi Mausoleum, this mosque is approached through an arched gateway. The mosque has five arched entrances on the east and the corners are marked with minarets. The 10 domes that once crowned the roof of the mosque have all gone missing.
Hammam, situated in the north-west corner of the deer park
This is located on the other side of the highway and is situated in the north-west corner of the deer park. Built by Sikander Shah, it was once a part of his royal complex. Sadly, it is in shambles now. The thick vegetation prevents access to the interiors, which once had separate chambers for hot and cold baths.
The watch tower
This is located next to the hammam and was part of the defence mechanism for the citadel in Pandua. A small portion of the defensive wall adjoining the tower still stands.
Old Malda Jami Masjid
Old Malda Jami Masjid
This is not exactly located in Pandua but is in Old Malda Town. It can be easily reached by a short detour on the way from Malda to Pandua. The mosque dates back to 1596 and has a central vaulted chamber flanked on either side by smaller domed chambers. There is a stepped chamber in front of the mosque, which probably had a fountain. It is an active mosque.