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Agra Fort : Muthamman-Burj

December 31, 1959
Architectural and Building
Akbar III 1948-2012

Agra Fort : Muthamman-Burj



Agra : Fort : Muthamman-Burj 1960s? Published: Archaeological Survey of India The Muthamman Burj (Shah-Burj) & Jharokha (1632 -1640 A.D.): This beautiful palace surmounts the largest bastion of Agra Fort on the riverside, facing the East. It was originally built of red stone by Akbar who used it for jharokha darshan, as well as for sun worship, everyday at sunrise. Jehangir also used it as jharokha, as is faithfully shown in his painting made in 1620. He also instituted his ‘Adl-i-Janjir'(the chain of justice) on its south side. Owing to its octagonal plan, it was called ‘Muthamman Burj’. It has also been mentioned as ‘Shah-Burj'(the imperial or king’s tower) by Persian historians and foreign travellers. Its name jasmine tower or ‘Samman-Burj’ as recorded by the contemporary historian Lahauri is a misnomer. It was rebuilt with white marble by Shah Jehan around 1632-1640 A.D. He also used it for jharokha darshan which was an indispensable a Mughal institution as was ‘Durbar’. It is an octagonal building, five external sides of which make a dalan overlooking the river. Each side has pillar and bracket openings, the easternmost side projects forward and accommodates a jharokha majestically. On the western side of this palace is a spacious dalan with Shah-Nasin (alcoves). A shallow water-basin (kunda) is sunk in its pavement. It is profusely inlaid. This dalan opens on a court which has a chabutara projected by a jali screen, on its northern side, a series of rooms leading to Shish Mahal on its western side; and a colonnade (dalan) with a room attached to its on the southern side. It is, thus, a large complex entirely built of white marble. It has deep niches on the walls, to break the monotony. Dados have repetitive stylized creepers inlaid on borders and carved plants on the centre pillars, brackets and lintels also bear exquisitely inlaid designs and it is one of the most ornamented buildings of Shah Jehan. This palace is directly connected to the Diwan-i-Khas, Shish Mahal, Khas Mahal, and other palaces. and it was from here that the Mughal emperor governed the whole country. This burj offers full and majestic view of Taj Mahal and Shah Jehan spent eight years (1658-1666 A.D.) of his imprisonment in this complex, and it is said that he died here. His body was taken by boat to the Taj Mahal and buried.

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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