Located on the confluence of the Mahananda and Kalindi rivers, Malda, headquarters of the district of the same name in west Bengal, is famous for a long and colourful history when it was under the control of Buddhist Palas, Hindu Senas and the Muslim rulers. With lots of attractions Malda, also known as English Bazar, is the most convenient base for visiting historical structures, mosques in the nearby places of Gaur and Pandua.
Located on the Bandh Road in Malda the museum houses the archeological finds from Gaur and Pandua including sculpture and coins.
12 km south of Malda, Gaur, formerly known as Lakshmanavati or Lakhnauti, is littered with historical relics of the 13th- to 16th-century Bengal then ruled by Muslim rulers. Gaur was renamed Jannatabad by the Mughals. Among the impressive structures prominent are Bara Sona Masjid, the gateway of Dakhil Darwajah (built in 1425), Qadam Rasul Mosque enshrining the footprint of the Prophet Mohammed, Lukochuri Darwaja, Lattan Mosque and the ruins of crumbling forts. Locally called Baraduari, Bara Sona Masjid has 11 gilded domes. The mosque was initiated by Hussain Shah and completed by his son Nasarat Shah in 1526. Half a km from Bara Sona Masjid, Dakhil Darwaza is a beautiful brick architecture.
The enamelled tiles of Chamkan Mosque, Gumti Gate and Firoz Minar are worth appreciating. Built by Firoj Shah II in 1489, Firoj Minar was constructed to commemorate his victory over Barbak Shah. One has to take some 84 steps to reach to the top but it is of-limits for the tourists. Further half a kilometre is located the Qadam Rasul mosque is rectangular in shape. Characterized by a huge dome, the mosque was built by Sultan Nasarat Shah in 1530.
Next to Qadam Rasul one can find the three-storeyed Lukochuri Darwaja, built in 1655 by Shah Suja, a son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan . Originally called Shahi Darwaja, it is locally known ass Lukochuri. Adjacent to the Lukochuri gate is the Gumti Darwaja (gate). The 15 ft wide Bais Gazi (22 yards) wall was built by Barbak Shah to protect his royal palace.
Located near the Indo-Bangladesh border, Gaur is connected with Malda by buses, taxis and rickshaws and is a 45-minute drive from Malda.
Located 18 km north of Malda and 25 km from Gaur, Pandua is home to the ruins of the huge Adina Mosque, built in 1368 by Sikander Shah of the Ilyas Shahi dynasty of Bengal. Sikander Shah ascended the throne in 1357 and ruled Bengal for thirty-three years. The Adina Mosque was one of the largest mosques in India, built over a Hindu mosque and consists of some four hundred small domes. Adina mosque is two km north of Pandua. About 2km away from Adina mosque is the Eklakhi Mausoleum, so named as it was built called because it was built at a princely cost of one lakh rupees in 1431. There are several smaller mosques in Pandua. Pandua is accessible by road from Malda. Bus and taxi services are available.
135 km from Malda, Murshidabad is closely associated with events that ultimately changed the course of Indian history. Located on the southern banks of the Bhagirathi, Murshidabad is home to some interesting medieval architecture. Nizam Kila or Hazar Duari, Nimak Haram Deohri (Traitor’s Gate) , Moti Jheel , Chowk Masjid, Katra Mosque and Khush Bagh are prominent attractions in Murshidabad.
How to Reach Malda by Air: Bagdogra at Siliguri is the nearest airport connected by flights to major cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Guwahati. Malda is 256 Km from Siliguri.
How to Reach Malda by Rail: Malda Town is a major railhead connecting several important cities in India. From Delhi you can take Brahmaputra Mail to reach Malda. Howrah-Malda Intercity Express from Kolkata is a good rail option to get to Malda.
How to Reach Malda by Road: Malda is easily approachable by regular buses, taxis from different places in west Bengal. Some of the cities and places connected with Malda by regular buses are Kolkata (345 km), Siliguri (256 km) and Murshidabad (135 km).
Accommodation is provided by WBTDC's Malda Tourist Lodge at Rathbari. Besides, there are several hotels and inspection bungalows. Hotel Chanakya, Hotel Kalinga, Hotel Purbanchal and Hotel Landmark are some of the famous hotels in Mlada.