Amer Fort, India


The Old Palace, Umber

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Jaipur, Evolution of an Indian City

The historic hill fort rises above the town of Amer (it is sometimes called Amer Fort), which was the capital of the Kuchwaha Rajputs from the 11th to the 18th century. Construction began in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, a commander in the army of the Mughal emperor Akbar. In shades of honey and rose stone, white marble and gilt decor, Amber Fort is more of a palace than a fortress, and the design is a unique mix of Hindu and Muslim styles.
Atlas Obscura

There are four divisions of the Amer fort and each division is known as courtyard. All the sections have a gate to make an entry. The main entrance of the fort is through Suraj Pol or Sun Gate as it faces east. Sawai Jai Singh II built this gate.
Amer Fort: absolute beginners

Jodh Bai Palace, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


The Jodh Bai Palace, Fort Agra
c.1910
Published: K. Lall & Co., Agra

Not Fort Agra, but near Agra.

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Plan of Jodh Bai’s Palace

This imposing palace comprising the principal haramsara of Akbar has been wrongly ascribed to Jodh Bai who has nothing to do with Sikri. It is the most impressive of all the royal edifices. It consists of a large open quadrangle on the sides of which are suites of single-stories rooms with double stories blocks in the center and corners to break the sky-line. The Central block on the east forms a vestibule to the main entrance of the building and on the west is a small shrine supported on richly carved pillars. The shrine has niches for keeping images of Hindu deities and a platform for the principal deity. The Azure-blue glazed tiles of the rood of this palace are also noteworthy. It was most probably build between A.D 1570 and 1574.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fortified Ghost City of Mughal Empire

Though “Miriam’s House” is generally regarded as the abode of Mariam Zâmâni, there is a great deal to support the view that the spacious palace known as Jodh Bai’s Mahal, or Jahangiri Mahal, was really her residence. It is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings in Fatehpur.

We know that Akbar went there on Mariam’s account; and, after Jahangir’s birth, Akbar’s first care would be to build a palace for the mother and her child, his long-wished-for heir. Mariam was a Hindu, and this palace in all its construction and nearly all its ornamentation belongs to the Hindu and Jaina styles of Mariam’s native country, Rajputana. It even contains a Hindu temple. It is also the most important of all the palaces, and Mariam, as mother of the heir-apparent, would take precedence of all the other wives.

On the left of the entrance is a small guard-house. A simple but finely proportioned gateway leads through a vestibule into the inner quadrangle. The style of the whole palace is much less ornate than the other zanana buildings, but it is always dignified and in excellent taste. It must be remembered that the severity of the architectural design was relieved by bright colouring and rich purdahs, which were used to secure privacy for the ladies of the zanana and to diminish the glare of the sunlight.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


Panch Mahal (Fatehpur Sikri)
c.1910
Publisher: H.A. Mirza & Sons (1907-1912)

The Panch Mahal meaning ‘Five level Palace’ was commissioned by Akbar This structure stands close to the Zenana quarters (Harem) which supports the supposition that it was used for entertainment and relaxation. This is one of the most important buildings in Fatehpur Sikri. This is an extraordinary structure employing the design elements of a Buddhist Temple; entirely columnar, consisting of four stories of decreasing size arranged asymmetrically on the ground floor, which contains 84 columns. These columns, that originally had jaali (screens) between them, support the whole structure. Once these screens provided purdah (cover) to queens and princess on the top terraces enjoying the cool breeze and watching splendid views of Sikri fortifications and the town nestling at the foot of the ridge.
Wikipedia.

This curious five-storied pavilion is nearly opposite to the Dîwan-i-âm. It is approached by a staircase from the Mahal-i-khas. Each story was originally enclosed by pierced stone screens; this, and the fact that the whole building overlooked the palace zanana, make it tolerably certain that it could only have been used as a promenade by Akbar and the ladies of the court. The ground-floor, which was divided into cubicles by screens between the columns, may; as Keene suggests, have been intended for the royal children and their attendants. The building is chiefly remarkable for the invention and taste shown in the varied designs of the columns, in which the three principal styles of Northern India, the Hindu, Jain, and Saracenic, are indiscriminately combined.
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the Neighbourhood (1904)

Jama Masjid & Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


Fathapur Sikri, Interior of the Mosque
Publisher: D. Macropolo

360 Cities: Jama Masjid, Looking out Towards Salim Chisti Tomb (panorama)

The Jami’ Masjid of Fatehpur Sikri is the sacred complex of the fortified imperial city built by Akbar between 1571-85. A congregational mosque organized around a large courtyard, it was the largest mosque in India at the time of its construction. Its completion, according to an inscription, can be dated to 1571. The mosque complex, as well as the palace complex, contains similarities to earlier structures in Gujarat and Jaunpur. This may be attributed to Akbar’s conquests in Gujarat and Jaunpur, which were contemporary with his Fatehpur Sikri building projects.
ArchNet

The Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) is a 17th-century mosque in the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri in India. The Mughal emperor Akbar personally directed the building of the Jāmiʿ Masjid (Great Mosque; 1571), which stretches some 540 feet (165 metres) in length. . . . The rectangular mosque comprises a central nave with a single dome, two colonnaded halls on either side, with two square chambers crowned with domes. Carved mihrabs adorn the main chamber and the two smaller rooms.

The mosque marks the phase of transition in Islamic art, as indigenous architectural elements were blended with Persian elements. The pillared dalan of the facade, the liwan with three arched openings framed by panels and crowned by five chhatris and the central mihrab adorned with an inlaid mosaic of stones that are bordered by glazed tiles, and golden inscriptions on a royal blue background is a tribute to this fusion. The interiors of the liwan are adorned with watercolour paintings depicting stylized floral designs. The dado panels, spandrels of arch and soffits are painted profusely. Unlike other monuments, where domes are supported on squinches, here corbelled pendentives support the dome. The Buland Darwaza and the Tomb of Salim Chishti are also a part of the mosque complex.
Wikipedia.

Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. In accordance with the sloping ridge, terraces on receding levels were made for the three main complexes; The mosque complex at the highest level, comprised of the Jama Masjid, Buland Darwazah and tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti; the royal complex, on the lower level comprised of the rainwas (Harem), Mahal-I-Ilahi, Shahi-Bazar, Mina-Bazar, Baithak and a garden and the public complex, at the lowest level comprised of the Panch Mahal,Khwabgah, Shahi Kurub-Khanan, Anup Talao, the hall of the unitary pillar, chaupar and diwan-I-Am.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fortified Ghost City of Mughal Empire


The Buland Darwaza of Fatehpore Sikri, Agra
c.1910
Published: K. Lall & Co., Agra

Set into the south wall of congregational mosque, the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri is 55 metres (180 ft) high, from the ground, gradually making a transition to a human scale in the inside. The gate was added around five years after the completion of the mosque c. 1576-1577 as a victory arch, to commemorate Akbar’s successful Gujarat campaign. It carries two inscriptions in the archway, one of which reads: “Isa, Son of Mariam said: The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity. The world endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer, for the rest is unseen”.
The central portico comprises three arched entrances, with the largest one, in the centre, is known locally as the Horseshoe Gate, after the custom of nailing horseshoes to its large wooden doors for luck

Wikipedia.

Buland Darwaza or the loft gateway at Fatehpur Sikri was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza, approached by 42 steps and 53.63m high and 35 meters wide, is the highest gateway in the world and an astounding example of the Mughal architecture. It is made of red and buff sandstone, and decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza throws light on Akbar’s religious tolerance and broad mindedness.
Cultural India

Seik Selim Chisti’s Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri


FUTTEPORE SIKRI * Marble Tomb of Seik Selim Chisti.
Published: Bourne & Shepherd, Calcutta, Simla and Bombay

360 Cities: Salim Chisti Tomb, Marble Entrance Hall (interior panorama)

World Monuments: House of Shaikh Salim Chishti

Legend has it, that when Emperor Akbar could not have a child from his wife Jodhabai, he walked barefoot from the Agra Fort to a small village ‘Sikri’ about 45 kilometers away from the city to pray for a son to a Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who was reputed to have great powers. Less than a year later, Jodhabai gave birth to a son and Akbar’s heir, whom Akbar fondly named ‘Salim’ after the saint and a few years later, even shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri, where he built a whole new city which was called ‘Fatehpur’. Sheikh Chishti passed on in the year 1572, when the new city was still under construction and Akbar commissioned a grand marble tomb of the saint to be built in the center of the main courtyard of the city, visible as soon as one entered the ‘Buland Darwaza’, which is the highest gateway in the world.
India Today: Fatehpur Sikri celebrates the 448th Urs of Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti

Today, the tomb is a white marble structure raised on a plinth. Its ornamentation and construction are largely inspired by Gujarati tomb architecture, and include Hindu, Jain and Islamic elements. The original building commissioned by Akbar is believed to have been a smaller, red sandstone structure, consisting of today’s inner tomb chamber. Jahangir later introduced the verandah, the southern porch and the extensive marble cladding.
ArchNet

Agra Fort, India


The Fort, Agra
c.1910
Publisher: Moorli Dhur & Sons

Agra Fort was built in the year 1573 under the reign of Akbar – one of the greatest Mughal Emperors. It took more than 4000 workers and eight years of hardship to complete the fort. Knowing the significance of its location, Akbar built the fort to make it the main residence of the Mughals. The fort remained as the main residence of the emperors belonging to the Mughal dynasty until the year 1638. The fort houses numerous impressive structures like the Jahangir Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khass, Diwan-i-Am, Machchhi Bhawan and Moti Masjid. In 1638, the capital of the Mughal dynasty was moved from Agra to Delhi, causing the Agra Fort to lose its status as the main residence of the Mughal emperors.
Cultural India: Agra Fort

Wikipedia (Agra Fort)
Maps: 1901 & 1909
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The Fort. Agra.
c.1910

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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.
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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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