The Emperor had chosen one particular palace to be the home of his wife’s plentiful jewels. Everything had to be absolutely perfect. The best craftsmen and artisans from around the country were gathered to carry out the carving on the exterior of the palace. The best red sandstone was obtained. Everything was set.
After working for several months, the palace was finally completed. The Emperor was called upon and shown around. Having seen the entire palace, he seemed to be extremely happy. And, as the people of his kingdom knew, if he was happy, everyone would be happy. The artisans and craftsmen were rewarded handsomely for the work, but they were made to swear that they would never use their skills to create another building as beautiful as that palace.
In Agra, the Taj Mahal often gets all the attention. And rightly so, you might argue. It is, after all, one of the Wonders of the World. But that does not mean that it is the only monument worth visiting in the city. On the contrary, the city is home to several monuments dating back to the Mughal period. One of these is Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri is almost like a city itself. It covers several acres of land, on the outskirts of Agra. Inside the complex there are hundreds of small and large buildings and monuments built by the Mughals. Emperor Akbar used the city as his capital for several years.
The palace in the photograph, rather than being a ‘jewel house’, is actually called the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience). It was used by Emperor Akbar to hold private meetings with different religious leaders.
In this picture, the two halves look very different because of the way the light is falling on them.