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  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Built by the emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658) as the tomb for his favourite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum (died 1631). The building’s name (literally “Crown Palace”) is a corruption of the queen’s title, Mumtaz-i Mahal (“Chosen of the Palace”). She died in Khandesh giving birth to her 14th child, while accompanying the emperor on a military campaign. First entombed at Burhanpur, her body was brought to Agra in 1632, when the Taj Mahal was under construction. The …

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Built by the emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658) as the tomb for his favourite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum (died 1631). The building’s name (literally “Crown Palace”) is a corruption of the queen’s title, Mumtaz-i Mahal (“Chosen of the Palace”). She died in Khandesh giving birth to her 14th child, while accompanying the emperor on a military campaign. First entombed at Burhanpur, her body was brought to Agra in 1632, when the Taj Mahal was under construction. The …

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls, with the river-facing side left open. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleums. The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure. The face is a grand recessed arch (iwan) set within a rectangular frame and flanked by alcoves in two storeys, like the facade of the Taj Mahal. Its pishtaq arches also incorporate the calligraphy that decorates the tomb. It utilizes bas-relief and pietra dura inlaid …

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    One of the most impressive buildings within the fort is the Moti Masjid (“Pearl Mosque”), situated north of the Divan-i ‛Am. It is entered through a red sandstone gateway, but the interior is of pure white marble. The courtyard (48.16 x 48.16 m) has arcades on three sides and the prayer-hall on the west. The prayer-hall is three aisles deep and seven bays wide, with seven cusped arches forming the façade. The superstructure consists of three bulbous domes; there are octagonal chatri…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Situated just north of the Jahangiri Mahal is the Shah Jahan-period Khas Mahal (“Private Palace”). On the east it overlooks the river and on the west the Anguri Bagh (a four-plot garden), with water channels, fountains and cascades. The main building, of pure white marble, was profusely painted with floral patterns, which are now faded. It is situated on a terrace flanked by red sandstone pavilions that were plastered white. Each of these has a curved cornice, derived from Indian, p…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    One of the most impressive buildings within the fort is the Moti Masjid (“Pearl Mosque”), situated north of the Divan-i ‛Am. It is entered through a red sandstone gateway, but the interior is of pure white marble. The courtyard (48.16 x 48.16 m) has arcades on three sides and the prayer-hall on the west. The prayer-hall is three aisles deep and seven bays wide, with seven cusped arches forming the façade. The superstructure consists of three bulbous domes; there are octagonal chatri…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    The mosque is one building out of several that comprise the ‘dargah’ or shrine complex of the Muslim saint Shaikh Shah Alam. The saint was spiritual advisor to Sultan Mahmud Shah Begarha (reigned 1458-1511) and his shrine is still an important centre for pilgrimage today. The tombs and assembly hall date to the late fifteenth century, but this mosque was built during the later sixteenth century. It has an open-fronted sanctuary facade with high, staged minarets at either end. The mosq…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Most of the standing temples at Varanasi were constructed in the 18th century. The conventional style for the temple of this period is in typical northern (nagara) style and characterized by an emphasis on the vertical and a central soaring spire (śikhara) flanked by minor spires (śikharikas). In the typical Varanasi style is the 19th-century deep-red sandstone Durga Kund Temple (erected on ancient foundations by the Marathi Rani Bhawani) with elaborately carved columns, multiple spires and a…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Away from the river front and on a lower level, the Divan-i ‛Am (“Hall of Public Audience”) occupies one side of a vast courtyard. The hall is open on three sides. Three aisles of cusped arches form the interior, which is nine bays across and which has nine cusped arches forming the western façade. The repeated line of the arches receding down the vast aisles creates a sense of harmony as well as splendour. The throne chamber, recessed in the eastern wall, is of white marble embelli…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Amer is dominated by the palace complex located halfway up a hill crowned by massive fortifications. Below, a maze of buildings constitutes the town. The palace complex was built along a north-south axis over a period of ca. 100 years. Raja Man Singh (reigned ca. 1590-1614) built the original palace at the southernmost end, a central courtyard surrounded by a rectangle of even, uniform structures. Further additions were made to the palace in the 17th and 18th centuries. Two sets of courtyards…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Royal families from all over India built palaces on [above] the ghats, the Marathas in particular being responsible for much building after the decline of Muslim rule. Manikarnika Ghat is regarded as the oldest and most sacred, because of its relationship with the Manikarnika Well (mentioned in the Kasikhanda puraṇa), water from which is said to wash away all sins of the soul. Also known as the Cremation Ghat, it is slowly subsiding into the water, and one of its three temples has been comple…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01
  • Creator(s):
    G. Massiot & cie
    Description:

    Four main Jain temples were constructed at Dilwara. The earliest, known as the Vimala Vasahi, was begun in 1032 by Vimala, the minister of the Solanki monarch Bhimadeva. A second temple was begun at Dilwara in 1230 by the wealthy banker Tejapala, brother of Vastupala, a minister of the Vaghelas of Gujarat. Dedicated to Neminatha, the temple is known also as the Luna Vasahi. It follows the pattern of the Vimala Vasahi but is distinguished by an increased variety and density in the sculptural o…

    Date Created:
    1910-01-01