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General view of the Moti Masjid, Agra.

General view of the Moti Masjid, Agra.

Photographer: Caney, W.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(513)

Item number: 1003513

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Moti Masjid, Agra from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by W. Caney in the 1880s. The Moti Masjid was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-1658) at the highest point in the Agra Fort complex. It was completed in 1655, taking seven years to build. The mosque sits on a platform, and consists of a large courtyard surrounded by continuous arcades and a prayer hall. The prayer hall has three aisles, each with seven bays and is surmounted by three elegant marble domes with gilded spires. The prayer chamber has coloured strips set into the floor to denote separate prayer spaces. The central courtyard contains a square marble tank and a sundial in the shape of an octagonal marble pillar. The impact of the Moti Masjid, or Pearl Mosque is to be accounted for by “its proportion, building materials and …cohesive harmony which is the hallmark of the best Mughal architecture”. The north and south side have gateways crowned by marble cupolas. This is a view looking across the courtyard towards the screen of cusped arches of the mosque, with the ablution tank in the middleground.

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