Architecture of the Adina Mosque in Pandua, India Medieval Tradition and Innovation

Author: Banerji, Naseem
Year:2002
Pages:248
ISBN:0-7734-7209-6
978-0-7734-7209-9
Price:199.95

Reviews

“The Adina Mosque of Pandua, built by Sultan Sikandar Shah in 1375 is one of the most important Islamic monuments in the architectural history not only of Bengal, but in all of South Asia. It stands out because of its vast size and unique design, neither of which was repeated again. Naseem Ahmed Banerji’s books fills a gap in the scholarship of the architecture and history of this region. . . The author’s detailed study of architectural forms and decoration reveal their symbolic use by the ruler to further his own political ambitions. . . . Historical sources are carefully used to bring out the crucial role which the Sufis played in the politics of the times, and the author interprets the decorative motif of the lamp as well as the Koranic inscriptions. . . Banerji uses the Adina Mosque as a metaphor for the liberal politics and religious philosophy of Sikandar Shah who was able to forge a cohesive state for himself in this frontier region of Bengal. The book has added significance in the context of the current communal politics in South Asia.” – Perween Hasan

“. . . a ground breaking study of one of medieval India’s most important religious structures in the eastern province of Bengal. . . . Banerji has written a detailed study of the mosque including its architectural components, motifs as well as the sufic, that is, mystic meaning of the structure. Drawing on the accounts of international travelers and histories of the region, Banerji has determined what this mosque meant for its royal patrons and its contemporary users. This study will interest scholars of Indian and Islamic art and history, especially those concerned with the tremendous changes across the Islamic world in the 14th century.” – Catherine B. Asher

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Introduction
1. Historical and Religious Background of the Adina Mosque (Bengal; Political History; Sultan Sikandar Shah; Introduction of Islam in Bengal; Sufis and the Ilyas Shahi rulers)
2. The Architecture of the Adina Mosque (Earlier Mosques; Exterior; Interior; Courtyard; Dome, Materials)
3. The Decoration of the Mihrabs and Tympanums of the Adina ( Conjoined Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic Motifs, Terracotta Designs and Stone Carving)
4. The Adina’s Inscriptional Program, and the symbolism of the ‘Lamp within a Niche’ (The Koranic Surat al-Nur, Shi’ite and Sufi Light Metaphysics)
Conclusion; Bibliography; Index