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Interior Moti Masjid, Agra Fort.

Interior Moti Masjid, Agra Fort.

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(28)

Item number: 50228

Genre: Photograph

Photograph showing the interior of the Moti Masjid at Agra Fort, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Built by the Emperor Akbar (ruled 1556-1605) between 1565-79, the great red sandstone fort at Agra dominates a bend in the Yamuna river. It is a strong military edifice which is also embellished with fine architecture. Beautiful pavilions and balconies grace terraces overlooking the river. The Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, topped with three bulbous domes, is one of the gems of the buildings within the fort. Located north of the Diwan-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience, it was built in 1654. A red sandstone gateway leads into its interior of pure white marble.

Agra, known to have had a fort since at least the 11th century, rose to prominence in the early 16th century under the Afghan Lodi dynasty of Delhi. It became the Mughal capital in 1526 when Babar (ruled 1526-30) defeated Ibrahim Lodi (ruled 1517-26). The capital later shifted to Delhi under Shah Jahan (ruled 1628-58), who gave Agra its most famous monument, the Taj Mahal.

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