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If copper tablets and stone columns do not perpetuate falsehcods, it is now more than a thousand years past, since from the capital of the richest province of India with the most pusillanimous Hindoo population, that warriors issued forth and war-boats sailed up the Ganges, to bring Kamrupa on the east, and Camboja on the west, and Kalinga on the south, to acknowledge the supremacy of its sovereigns. It is doubtful whether any vestiges of this most glorious period in the history of the Bengalees can now be found in Gour. From an inscription upon a temple of Buddha in Benares, it is seen that a Pala Rajah was reigning in Bengal in the year 1026. The overthrow of that dynasty by the Senas, the conquest of Benares by the Rahtores, the destruction of Sarnath, and the ascendancy of Shaivaism, are all events that seem to have occurred within a few years of each other. Probably Adisura established himself on the throne of Gour about the same time that Anangpal II. retired to and re-built the capital of Delhi. Kannouge had been abandoned by the Tomaras for Barri, and did not flourish again under the Rahtores till about the year 1050. It must have been subsequent to this period, that Adisura, finding no worthy Brahmins among the illiterate and heretic Barendros of Buddhistical Bengal to celebrate his Yugiya, had sent to invite five orthodox Brahmins from Kannouge. Bullala Sena, commonly supposed to be his son, but really his great-great-grandson, * is found on reliable authority to have been reigning in 1097. The son and successor of Bullala was
**The Sena Rajahs of Bengal,' by Baboo Rajendro Lall Mitter.
Luchmun Sena, who is said by the Mahomedan histo.rians to have greatly embellished the city of Gour, and called it after his own name Lucknouty, or Luchmana-vati.' His grandson Luchmuniya, however, held his court ‘at Nuddea, whence he was driven by Buktiyar Khilligy, under whom Gour once more became the capital of Mahomedan sovereignty in Bengal.
Of Hindoo Gour, probably no more traces exist than in the Hindoo Figures and Inscriptions found in the ruins of mosques built with the materials of Hindoo temples destroyed to assert the superiority of Islam. Forty years after it had fallen into the hands of the Mahomedans, Minajudden Jowzani, author of the Tab-kat-:Nasiri, writing on the spot, has left this on record :“The writer of this work arrived at Lucknowty in the year 641, and visited all the religious buildings erected by the prince Hissam Addeen Avuz. Lucknowty consists of two wings, one on each side of the Ganges : the western side is called Dal, and the city of Lucknowty is on that side. From Lucknowty to Naghore (in Beerbhoom), and on the other side to Deocote, a mound or
useway is formed the distance of ten days' journey, which in the rainy season prevents the water from overflowing the lands: and if this mound did not exist, there would be no other mode of travelling nor of visiting the edifices in the neighbourhood but in boats. Since his time, in consequence of the construction of the causeway, the road is open to everybody.'
Under the Patans, Gour had attained the size of 'twenty miles in circumference,' and was inclosed by a
wall sixty feet high.' It had 'two millions of inhabitants,' and was the populous capital of the most populous province in the empire. The streets were wide enough,' but the people were so numerous that they were sometimes trodden to death.' They had certainly no street like the Chowringhee, and in ancient Gour there were no other wheeled carriages to run over a man than the ekka, the accidents on the road therefore must have been owing to a bad police. But the opulence of the people seems to have exceeded that of the nobility of modern Calcutta. The rich of Gour are said to have been used to eat their food from golden plates,' which are not yet seen on the tables of any European or native. The city was adorned with many stately mosques, colleges, baths, and caravanserais. So immense was the number of its edifices, that a tax of 8,000 Rs. was annually levied for permitting bricks to be brought from Gour for buildings in Moorshedabad.' These bricks were ‘enamelled,' and 'the natives of Bengal now cannot make equal to those manufactured at Gour. In this state of grandeur, it rivalled Delhi, and was at one time the first city in the empire. The 'mosque, baths, reservoir, and caravanserais, distinguished by the name of Jelally,' were constructed by Sultan Jelaluddeen in 1409. The fortifications round the city were built by Nasir Shah in the middle of the fifteenth centuary. The Soona Musjeed, or the Golden Mosque, and the Kudum Roosul, or the Footstep of the Prophet, were erected by Nusserit Shah in the years 1526 and 1532.
Hoomayoon was so pleased with Gour that he The Invasion of Bengal by Akber.
changed the name of that city into Jennetabad, or the city of Paradise, and spent in it 'three important months in luxurious gratifications. The dread of the Mogul name was then so great to the enervated people of Bengal, that Shere Shah fled on the approach of Hoomayoon, the gates of Gour were thrown open to him by the inhabitants, and Bengalee mothers, abbreviating his name into Hooma, ever afterwards made use of it to awe their children into silence and sleep.
It is now just three hundred years when Gour was abandoned for its unhealthiness, and the capital was removed to Tondah. Then happened the invasion of Bengal by Akber under the command of Monaim Khan, and the wars waged at that period between the Moguls and Patans are yet mimicked in the Mongal-Patan game that form the diversion of the women of Bengal to exercise their martial propensities, albeit the wives and daughters of the most unwarlike nation upon earth, in the moves and manœuvres of a Mogul or Patan general. Monaim Khan had heard much of the ancient and deserted city of Gour. He went to view it, and was so much delighted with the situation, and its many princely edifices, that he resolved to make it the seat of Government again, and removed there with all his troops and officers from Tondah. But whether owing to the dampness of the soil, the badness of the water, or the corrupted state of the air, a pestilence very shortly broke out amongst the troops and inhabitants. Thousands died every day; and the living, tired of burying the dead, threw them into the river, without distinction of
Hindoo or Mahomedan. The governor became sensible of his error, but it was too late. He was himself seized with the contagion, and at the end of ten days bade adieu to this transitory world. This was in the year 1575, from which commenced the ruin of Gour.
*No part of the site of ancient Gour,' says Rennel, ' is nearer to the present bank of the Ganges than four miles and a half; and some parts of it, which were originally washed by that river, are now twelve miles from it. However, a small stream, that communicates with the Ganges, now runs by its west side, and is navigable during the rainy season. On the east side, and in some places within two miles, it has the Mahananda river, which is always navigable, and communicates also with the Ganges. Taking the extent of the ruins of Gour at the most reasonable calculation, it is not less than fifteen miles in length (extending along the old bank of the Ganges), and from two to three in breadth. Several villages stand on part of its site, the remainder is covered with thick forests, the habitations of tigers and other beasts of prey; or become arable land whose soil is chiefly composed of brick-dust. The principal ruins are a mosque lined with black marble, elaborately wrought; and two gates of the citadel, which are strikingly grand and lofty. These fabrics, and some few others, appear to owe their duration to the nature of their materials, which are less marketable, and more difficult to separate, than those of the ordinary brick buildings, which have been, and continue to be, an article of merchandise, and are transported to Moorshe