Firoz Minar is a five-storey-high structure estimated to have been built in Gaur during the late 15th century by Saifuddin Firuz Shah, the most revered of the Habshi rulers of Bengal. Much like the Qutub Minar, to which it is often compared, the structure was built to be a victory tower.
Firuz Shah, known as Malik Andil when he was an army general before coronation, is often considered the founder of Bengal’s Habshi Dynasty; his predecessor Shahzada Barbak had only ruled for eight months. Barbak’s capture of the throne from Fatah Shah in 1486 marked the end of the Ilyas Shahi Dynasty in Bengal.
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.
TitleFiroz Minar, Gaur
Album TitleGaur: Its Ruins And Inscriptions, 1878
PhotographerJohn Henry Ravenshaw
DimensionsH: 23.4 cm x W: 18.2 cm
Accession No.2016.26.1 (18)