Kotwali Darwaza

Kotwali Darwaza named after the chief of city police (persian Kotwal) stationed to guard the southern wall of the city of Gaur. The gateway is now in ruins and it is hardly possible to draw an accurate picture of it. Abid Ali (Memoirs of Gaur and Pandua, Calcutta, 1931) measures the central arch of the gateway as 9.15m high and 5.10m wide, and speaks of 'battlements east and west of the gateway with apertures ... to fire on an enemy'. According to him, on each face, both inside and outside, there were sloping semi-circular towers.

At present, only the external towers with a huge convex outline with rows of arrow-slits can be partially discerned. The rampart walls on the sides of the towers are still in existence, and run to east and west for a long distance. The western rampart ends at the river, and the eastern one runs for a distance within what is now the Indian boundary, then through Bangladesh again, ultimately entering India towards a northerly direction. The massive mud walls show how strongly the city was once defended. The sides of the entrance archways, both inside and outside, were decorated with fretted panels that have hanging motifs within. Some of these panels are still in existence, although they will surely vanish soon.

Presently, the Darwaza, marks the dividing line between India and Bangladesh, and is, therefore, a crowded place. No doubt the consequences will be felt by the structure sooner or later. [ABM Husain]