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Interior, Devani Khas, Agra [sic. Diwan-i Khas, Delhi].

Interior, Devani Khas, Agra [sic. Diwan-i Khas, Delhi].

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(77)

Item number: 50277

Genre: Photograph

This print is incorrectly identified as the Diwan-i Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, in the Red Fort at Agra. It is in fact an interior view of the corresponding structure in the later Red Fort at Delhi, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1657) as part of his new city of Shahjahanabad located on the banks of the river Jumna. The Diwan-i Khas was reserved for private viewings with the emperor and was the venue for meetings with courtiers, members of government and foreign dignitaries and ambassadors. This view shows the interior of the hall at Delhi. The pillars are faced in dressed white marble inlaid with coloured gemstones in stylised floral motifs. The famous Peacock Throne, made of gold and gemstones, once stood at the centre of the hall. An inscription written in gold over the top of two outer arches reads: "If there is a Paradise on the face of this earth, It is this, Oh, it is this, Oh, it is this."

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