India // Uttar Pradesh //

The Jahangiri Mahal


South of the Khas Mahal lies the huge Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir’s Palace), although the name is misleading since it was actually built for Jahangir’s father, Akbar, and probably served not as a royal palace, but as a harem. Compared to the classic Mughal designs of the surrounding buildings, this robust sandstone structure has quite a few Hindu elements mixed up with traditional Mughal and Islamic motifs.

From the central courtyard, a gateway leads out through the main gateway into the palace, whose impressive facade shows a characteristic mix of Mughal and Indian motifs, with Islamic pointed arches and inlaid mosaics combined with Hindu-style overhanging eaves supported by heavily carved brackets. Immediately in front of the palace sits Jahangir’s Hauz (Jahangir’s Cistern), a giant bowl with steps inside and out, made in 1611 from a single block of porphyry and inscribed in Persian. Filled with rosewater, it would have been used by the emperor as a bathtub, and it’s also believed that the emperor took it with him on his travels around the empire – though it seems difficult to credit this, given the bath’s size and weight.

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