Built of small red bricks and with traces of extravagant ornamentation, the structure in this photograph was once the principal entrance gate to the Fort of Gaur from the north. Estimated to have been constructed in the early 15th century, the gateway is also known as Salami Darwaza, likely because salutes were fired from adjacent ramparts.
The ancient city of Gaur, also known as Gauda, Lakshmanavati, Lakhnauti and Jannatabad, served as the seat of many powerful dynasties over time – the Buddhist Pala kings from the 8th century onwards, the Hindu Sena kings from the 12th century on, eventually falling into the hands of the Delhi Sultanate in 1204. It thrived during the Bengal Sultanate, passing between prominent dynasties including the Ilyas Shahi, Habshi and Hussain Shahi kings.
This photograph was published in Gaur: Its Ruins And Inscriptions by John Henry Ravenshaw in 1878. Ravenshaw was a Bengal Civil Service worker who was stationed as Magistrate and Collector at nearby Maldah. He had the opportunity to explore and photograph Gaur between 1865 and 1867. While Ravenshaw died in 1874, this volume of photographs and notes were arranged to be published thereafter by his widow, Caroline.
To read more about Gaur, as well as view more of Ravenshaw’s photographs from the region, click here.
TitleDakhil Gate. South View, Gaur
Album TitleGaur: Its Ruins And Inscriptions, 1878
PhotographerJohn Henry Ravenshaw