Interior of the Diwan-i-Khas, showing the top of the great central column, Fatehpur Sikri 1003557
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Diwan-i-Khas at Fatehpur Sikri, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893. 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 Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, is a plain square building with four chhatris on the roof. The interior is unusual; in the centre there is a large carved pillar whose serpentine brackets support a circular platform which is connected to each corner of the building by four stone walkways. This is a view of the platform at the top of the central column showing the four walkways to the corners of the first floor gallery. Akbar probably sat in the centre of the platform to conduct his private audiences.