View from the south of the exterior of the Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Buland Darwaza of the Jami Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. The Buland Darwaza is set into the south wall of the Jami Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri. This city was built by Akbar (r.1556-1605), the third Mughal ruler of India, between 1571 and 1585. This huge gate has two inscriptions in the archway, one of which reads: 'Jesus Son of Mary (on whom be peace) said: The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity. The world endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer, for the rest is unseen.' The gate is approached by a steep flight of steps and crowned with a series of domed kiosks, or chhatris. It was probably built to commemorate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat in 1573. The central portico contains three entrances, the largest one, in the centre, is the Horseshoe Gate, so-called because of the custom of nailing horseshoes to its large wooden doors for divine intercession.