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The Buland Darwaza of Fatehpur Sikri, Agra (2)

December 31, 1574
Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Akbar 1556–1605

The Buland Darwaza of Fatehpur Sikri, Agra (2)



Buland Darwaza (lit. 'High Gate'), or the "Door of victory", was built in 1575 A.D. by Mughal emperor Akbar to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. It is the main entrance to the Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri, which is 43 km from Agra, India. Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world and is an example of Mughal architecture. It displays sophistication and heights of technology in Akbar's empire. Architecture The Buland Darwaza is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by white and black marble and is higher than the courtyard of the mosque. The Buland Darwaza is symmetrical and is topped by large free-standing kiosks, which are the chhatris. It also has terrace edge gallery kiosks on the roof, stylised buckler-battlements, small minor-spires, and inlay work with white and black marble. On the outside, a long flight of steps sweeps down the hill giving the gateway additional height. It is 40 meters high and 50 meters from the ground. The total height of the structure is about 54 meters from the ground level. It is a 15-storied high gateway acting as the southern entrance of the city of Fatehpur Sikri. The approach to the gate consists of 42 steps. It is semi-octagonal in plan with two smaller triple-storeyed wings on either side. It has three kiosks on its top surrounded by thirteen smaller domed kiosks. There are smaller turrets surrounding the gateway. The expanse is broken by arched niches, small chhatris, and marbles which highlights the courtyard of the Jama Masjid. The principal arch stands in the centre of three projecting sides and topped by a dome. The central arch is broken into three tiers with rows of smaller arches and flat brackets. The great gate itself is plain. The three horizontal panels of buff stone noticeable in the Badshahi Darwaza are also present here. The plain red sandstone spandrels are framed in white marble with a flower-like ornament inlaid in white marble at the apex of the arch, and a flattish rosette, centered with the narrow panel above it, on either side. The cusped ornament, large and bold in fact, but small and delicate when seen from below, is carried down below the springing of the arch. Two pieces have been broken off from the left hand side and eight from the right. The arch has three actual openings bordered by decorative panels and superimposed by three other arched openings crowned by a semi-dome. The total height of the Gate above the pavement is 176 ft. A Persian inscription on the eastern archway of the Buland Darwaza records Akbar's conquest of Uttar Pradesh and the victory in Gujarat in 1573. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza describes Akbar's religious openness.

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Ismail Mazari

average rating is null out of 5

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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