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General view from the south of Birbal's House, Fatehpur Sikri

General view from the south of Birbal's House, Fatehpur Sikri

Photographer: Smith, Edmund William

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1893

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(541)

Item number: 1003541

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Birbal Bhavan at Fatehpur Sikri, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893. This is a view of the south porch of the Birbal Bhavan, or Birbal's Houe, at Fatehpur Sikri, a palace city built by Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605). The Birbal Bhavan may have been part of the Haram Sara (Imperial Harem), accommodating the Emperor Akbar's senior queens, Ruqayya Begum and Salima Sultan Begum. Alternatively it may have been used for administrative or ceremonial purposes, rather than as a residence. Built in 1572 it is a two-storey building with two dome-topped upper rooms which provided separate accommodation for the queens. Delicate carvings covers the building both inside and out with motifs derived from Hindu and Muslim Indian architecture.

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