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Shah Burj at the north-east corner of the Red Fort (top right), Marble & agate basin within the Shah Burj (bottom right)

Shah Burj at the north-east corner of the Red Fort (top right), Marble & agate basin within the Shah Burj (bottom right)

Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)

Medium: Ink and colours on paper

Date: 1843

Shelfmark: Add. Or. 5475

Item number: f. 41verso & 42

Length: 25.8

Width: 42.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Manuscript

[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]

In the Royal Garden to the North of the Dewan e Khafs or Hall of Audience is a large octagon tower with marble and called the Shah Boorj or Royal Tower. It faces the River Jumna and from this tower the then heir apparent Prince Mirza Jeewun Bukht, eldest son of the unfortunate Emperor Shah Aulum, made his escape in 1784. He threw himself from the projecting parapet into the river and having succeeded in gaining the opposite bank, fled to Lucknow.
The descendants of this Prince are now settled at Benares. Beneath this tower the celebrated canal excavated by Ullee Murdan Khan, a nobleman of the court of the Emperor Shah e Juhan, enters the palace garden through a small aperture, and falling over a large marble slab formerly inlaid with flowers delineated in cornelian of different colors takes its way through marble channels to the interior apartments.
Within the tower is the beautiful fountain as shown below of light green agate, surrounded with mosaic work- certainly the most chaste and unique specimen of the kind now known, but at the present time most sadly neglected.
[The Shah Burj, still with its cupola, at the north-east corner of the Red Fort. The tower is now two-storey high, as the dome disappeared in the aftermath of the Uprising of 1857. The Shah burj was an important part of the hydraulic system of the fort, the water from the river was lifted up here before it was carried, in channels, to various places.]
Inscribed: naqsha-i shah burj andarun-i qil‘a-i shahjahanabad.
[The marble and agate basin within the Shah Burj decorated with inlaid semi-precious stones.]

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