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DateLine Sunday, 9 March 2008

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Little Blue Birdie's diary:

Jahangir Mahal:

The beautiful palace within the Fort

Dear Diary,

The Red Fort or Agra Fort, the place we visited the last time, is one of the greatest tourist attractions in India. You may have realised this by what I put down in my last journal entry. How did you like it? Since we were keen to get more information about the Fort and the palaces inside, we found ourselves flying into the Fort once again.

Our first destination was the Jahangir Mahal, the first building you see when you enter the Fort from the Amar Singh Gate. The building is made of sandstone.

Jahangir Mahal was built by Emperor Akbar as a token of love for his son, Jahangir, who later became Emperopr. The Zenana Palace was built for girls and women who belonged to the royal household and was mainly used by the Rajput wives of Emperor Akbar. This is one of the biggest attractions of the city of Agra. According to sources, this was also the biggest private residence in the city.

Jahangir Mahal is one of the best examples for the architectural style which blends Hindu architectural style and Central Asian style. Ornamental stone brackets that support the beams are the most important feature here.

These were first used in this building and then copied in buildings everywhere in India. This is supposed to be the only notable feature in this palace.

Jahangir Mahal has a garden in front of the palace, which is known as the Anguri Bagn or the 'garden of grapes'.


Ornamental stone brackets that support the beams are the most important feature here.

If you are aware about the movies being shown in Sri Lanka these days, you would know about the film Jodha Akbar. This movie features Emperor Akbar and Queen Jodha and is based on their story.

Queen Jodha, daughter of King Bhamal of Amer, was a Hindu-woman. Though her name has never been mentioned in Emperor Akbar's biographies, Emeperor Jahangir is said to have claimed that his mother was Hindu. It is believed that the Moghuls had omitted the name because she was a Hindu.

However, Queen Jodha had a hall in this palace, which she used as her dressing room. This hall was decorated in Hindu architectural styles. There were small, engraved mirrors within the walls of the palace rooms. The rooms here are well planned and provide a cool and relaxing atmosphere.

Another major attraction in the Mahal is the huge bowl called Hauz-1-jahangiri. The unique feature of this bowl is that it is carved out of a single piece of stone. This was used as a container for fragrant rose water.

Later, this palace came to be used by Jahangir's queen, Noorjahan, as her palace. So, if you get an opportunity to visit the Agra Fort, make it a point to see the Jahangir Mahal. It's a place that shouldn't be missed.

Bye.

***

Fact file


Courtyard of the Jahangir Mahal

* Jahangir Mahal was the Palace of Emperor Jahangir.

* It was built by Akbar to act as a Zenana or royal women's quarters.

* This is among the few constructions left in the Fort that was originally commissioned by Akbar.

* Most important feature of the edifice is its ornamental stone brackets that support the beams.

* Jahangiri Mahal mixes Central Asian features, such as the verandah on the east front with its high slender columns with courtyard halls styled in the broader Gujarat-Malwa-Rajasthan tradition as it had been passed onto the Mughals by the early 16th-century architecture of Raja Man Singh of Gwalior.

* Jahangiri Mahal is the most important building of the Akbari period, in the Agra Fort.

Comments: littlebluebirdie@gmail.com
 

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