Agra Fort, India


Agra Fort – View showing Dewan Khas & Saman Burj Gaj in the distance
1910s

Cultural India: Agra Fort
Wikipedia (Agra Fort)
Maps: 1901 & 1909

Building location

The “Dewan Khas” or “Private Hall of Audience” is situated at one end of a broad stone terrace overlooking the river. At the other, alas! is a vacant space; on it formerly stood a corresponding pavilion, which, according to tradition, was constructed of green marble, if there be such a substance; at all events, of some rare material. It had shared the fare of the Zenana of Akbar; it had become dilapidated; it was pulled down. The “Dewan Khas” is of white marble, a large open room, whose flat roof is supported by a double row of slender twelve-sided columns.
The Personal Adventures and Experiences of a Magistrate During the Rise, Progress, and Suppression of the Indian Mutiny (originally published 1884)

Musamman Burj was built by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is said that at first a small marble palace built by Akbar was situated at this site, which was later demolished by Jehangir to erect new buildings. Shah Jahan in his turn chose this site to erect the multi-storied marble tower inlaid with precious stones for Mumtaz Mahal. It was built between 1631–40 and offers exotic views of the famous Taj Mahal….It is here that Shah Jahan along with his favorite daughter Jahanara Begum had spent his last few years as a captive of his son Aurangzeb. He lay here on his death bed while gazing at the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Wikipedia (Musamman Burj)


Interior of Dewan Khas and its inscription (Agra Fort)
Postmarked & letter dated 1905

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Red Fort, Delhi


Scale of Justice, Fort Delhi 
Caption: Interior Scale of Justice Fort Delhi. A marvel of whithe[?] marble with colouring of an unrivalled beauty.
Larger version

Red Fort constructed 1639-48 for Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan.

“The Red fort contains all the paraphernalia of the Mughal dynasty including the halls of public and private audience (‘Diwan-i-Am’ and ‘Diwan-i-Khas’), domed and arched marble palaces, plush private apartments, a mosque (Moti Masjid) and richly designed gardens. While the emperor would hear complaints of his subjects at the ‘Diwan-i-Am’, he held private meetings at the ‘Diwan-i-Khas’. The fort also houses the Royal Bath or the ‘Hammam’, the ‘Shahi Burj’ (Shah Jahan’s private working area) and the famous Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb. In the ‘Rang Mahal’ or the Palace of Colors, lived the Emperor’s wives and mistresses.” (From Cultural India.)

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