General view from the north-west of the Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Fatehpur Sikri, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893. This is a view from the Diwan-i-Khas (Private Audience Hall) looking across the courtyard to the Panch Mahal (Tower of Winds). The palace city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605) from 1571 to 1585. The entire complex is built of locally quarried red sandstone, known as Sikri sandstone. The Panch Mahal is a five storey building. There are eighty four columns on the ground floor. Each succeeding storey decreases in size with fifty-six columns on the first floor, twenty on the second, twelve on the third, and the top consists of a single chattri supported by four columns. Originally pierced stone screens faced the façade, and probably sub-dividing the interior as well, suggesting it was built for the ladies of the court.