Jahangir Palace in AgraThere is plenty of Mughal architecture in the city of Agra and the most important of them is Jahangir Palace. The Palace, also known as Rani Mahal, is one of the most extensively planned and elegantly crafted monuments of the Mughal Era.
The architectural marvel lies in the Agra Fort and was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar as an exclusive palace for his favorite son, Jahangir. Of all the residential buildings in the Agra Fort, this is the biggest.
Jahangir Palace is a perfect coming together of Central Asian architectural style and the tradition of Hindus. This was a very unique and rare styling at that time. Jahangir became the emperor after the passing of his father Akbar and this palace was his private residence and had many private corridors and passages. The Palace clearly borrows heavily from the Hindu elements and proves that Akbar, who was although a Muslim, preferred Hindu designers and engineers.
Some also say that this palace was built for the women belonging to this royal household, mainly the Rajput wife of Akbar. This legend gave this monument another name and is also now popular as the Rani Mahal or Queen Palace.
Architecture of Jahangir Palace Agra
The Palace was built by Akbar in 1570 and was later modified by Emperor Jahangir. One can also understand the difference in the thinking of the two emperors by a look at the contrasting architectural design in the interiors and exteriors of the Palace. Chhajas, chhatris and jharokhas have been used extensively to beautify the complex. As one enters, he will notice a huge tank which is 5-fee-tall and 8 feet in diameter.
This is Jahangir’s hauz, which was a mobile tank and had stairs both in the inside and the outside of it. The decorated gateway leads one to the interior courtyard. The grand halls surround the courtyards from all corners. These halls have been designed with elegance in the Gujarat-Malwa-Rajasthan style. One can see the carvings which have been adorned on them with stone, piers, crossbeams and brackets.
Jahangir Palace also is that architecture in the Mughal Timeline which saw the Mughals change the fort into a luxurious living quarters from the military base that it always was. The Khas Mahal is another beautiful part of this Palace and is made completely out of white marbles. The marbles, although very expensive, were used because they kept the residence cool even in the hot summers. The octagonal tower which is set next to the Khas Mahal is called the Musamman Burj. This was where Emperor Shah Jahan breathed his last after being in prison for seven years. The Shish Mahal as the name suggest has been decorated with colorful and beautiful mirror work. This part of the residence was used as the dressing room by the Mughals.
Jodha bai was the only Hindu wife of Emperor Akbar and had a private dressing room within the Shish Mahal which was designed with an eye on the Hindu lifestyle. The central garden which was designed in the typical Mughal style is the place where the Kings went to spend some time of solitude. This garden is known as Anguri garden as it was filled with grape trees, known as Angur in Hindi. The expertise of the Mughal engineers and designers can be epitomized in the Hauz-i-jahangiri. This is a huge bowl which has been carved out of a single stone and lies just in the front of Jahangir Palace.
Jahangir Palace in Agra Timings: The Palace is the most important monument built under the prosper era of Emperor Akbar and is a must visit as it aptly describes the Mughal lifestyle and culture. Jahangir Palace is open throughout the year. The fort accepts people as early as 6 am and the entry is shut at 6 pm. The Palace is open even on Sundays and public holidays. There is a nominal entry charge and no pets are allowed in the Palace.