Pandua, Malda

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Pandua is a ruined city in the Malda district of the Indian state of West Bengal. Pandua is now almost synonymously known as Adina, a small town located about 18 km North of English Bazar (or Malda Town).


  • “An anecdote relating to Shaikh Jalalu’d-Din’s stay in Deva Mahal reads like other stock-in-trade stories and fairytales. It was related by such an authority as Gisu Daraz. According to him Shaikh Jalalu’d-Din stayed at Pandua in the house of a flower vendor. On the day of his arrival, he found each of the house members crying. On enquiry he was told there was a demon in the temple who daily ate a young man. It was the king’s duty to provide the demon with his daily food. On that day it was the turn of the young son in the family. The Shaikh requested them to send him in place of their son but they refused to accept the offer for fear of the king. The Shaikh, then followed the young man to the temple and killed the demon with a single blow from his staff. When the king accompanied by his retinue reached the temple to worship the demon they were amazed to find the demon killed and an old man dressed in black with his head covered with a blanket. The Shaikh invited them to see the fate with their god. The sight of their vanquished idol prompted them to accept Islam.”
    • Anecdote about Shykh Jalãlu’d-Dîn Tabrizî (AH 533-623) at Pandua. Jawamiu’l Kilãm in S.A.A. Rizvi in History of Sufism in India, New Delhi, 1978, Vol. I, pp. 201-202, footnote 4.
  • “The real character as well as the distinguishing features of the Adina Masjid have yet to be determined. In the present crumbling state of this one-time ‘wonder of the world’, as Cunningham calls it, it is well nigh impossible to say whether this magnificent mosque occupies the site of any Hindu or Buddhist temple. A group of scholars failed to see in the impressive Adina Masjid anything more than a mere assemblage of Hindu or Buddhist fragments, arranged skilfully to adhere to a mosque plan. Ilahi Bakhsh started the controversy when he wrote, ‘It is worth observing that in front of the chaukath (lintel) of the Adina Masjid, there was a broken and polished idol, and that there were other idols lying about. So it appears that, in fact, this mosque was originally an idol-temple.’ Beglar steps up this controversy by saying, ‘the Adina Masjid occupies the site, of a once famous, or at least a most important, and highly ornamented, pre-Muhammadan shrine’; he depends for his arguments on a Proto-Bengali inscription (Fig. 4b) discovered in the building which bears the name of Brahma. Saraswati seems to have carried the thesis too far when he writes, ‘an examination of the stones used in the construction of the Adina Mosque (one of them bearing a Sanskrit inscription recording merely a name, Indranath, in character of the 9th century) and those lying about in heaps all around, reveals the fact, which no careful observer can deny, that most of them came from temples that once stood in the vicinity.’ ....
    • About the Adina Masjid at Pandua. Syed Mahmudul Hasan, Mosque Architecture of Pre-Mughal Bengal, Dacca (Bangladesh), 1979. p. 97
  • “Shaikh Jalalu’d-Dîn had many disciples in Bengal. He first lived at Lakhnauti, constructed a khanqah and attached a langar to it. He also bought some gardens and land to be attached to the monastery. He moved to Devatalla (Deva Mahal) near Pandua in northern Bengal. There a kafir (either a Hindu or a Buddhist) had erected a large temple and a well. The Shaikh demolished the temple and constructed a takiya (khanqah) and converted a large number of kafirs… Devatalla came to be known as Tabrizabad and attracted a large number of pilgrims.”
    • About Shykh Jalãlu’d-Dîn Tabrizî (AH 533-623) (He was the second most outstanding disciple of Shykh Shihabu’d-Dîn Suhrawardî (AD 1145-1235), founder of the Suhrawardiyya silsilã of Sufism. Having lived in Multan, Delhi and Badaun, he finally settled down in Lakhanauti, also known as Gaur or Gauda, in Bengal.) Lakhnauti, Devatala (Bengal) . Siyaru’l-‘Ãrifîn, S.A.A. Rizvi in A History of Sufism in India. Vol. I, New Delhi, 1978, pp. 201-02.
  • Shaykh Jalal ad-Din Tabrizi demolished a large temple and constructed a Takiyah (khanqah) at Devatalla (Deva Mahal) in Bengal...
    • Harsh Narain, Myths of Composite Culture and Equality of Religions (1990)

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