View of the Hathi Pol and surrounding buildings from the Hiran Minar, Fatehpur Sikri
Photographer: Smith, Edmund William
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Hathi Pol, or Elephant Gate, at Fatehpur Sikri, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1893. In the centre of the photograph is the Hathi Pol, named after the two huge stone elephants on either side of the central archway. At the extreme left are the Waterworks, a single octagonal-shaped deep well, or baoli, with two chambered treadmills used to raise water which was then distributed across the city by channels and reservoirs. To the right of the gate is the Sangin Burj, which housed the music room (Naqqar Khana) where musicians played the ceremonial drums to accompany the passage of the Emperor. The wall of the Caravanserai, a large courtyard surrounded by hostels for merchants and other visitors to the city, follows the course of the road at the extreme right. The Hathi pol was probably the imperial entrance. It is situated at the southern end of the palace complex of Fatehpur Sikri, built by the Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605) between 1571 and 1585.