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Jehangiri Mahal Agra
the Akbari Mahal on the north is the palace known as Jehangir Mahal.
With its beautiful brackets, roofs, projecting eaves, carved panels,
recesses and pillars it is a wonderful specimen of Mughal
architecture. This magnificent palace was built between 1565-69.
The palace has a very complex arrangement of rooms, halls, corridors, galleries and verandahs around a central court. The arched portal leads to a square poli (entrance-hall) of 18'. It has ribs-and-panels vaulted ceiling which is supported on corbelled pendentives shaped as stalactite. A narrow crooked passage leads from the poli to the annexes on the northern and southern side. These annexes which are just behind the facade of the palace are identical in plan. Both of them have beautiful Tibara dalans and side rooms with duchhatti, which opened into a dalan. The square pillars of the dalan are simple and at the same time extremely graceful brackets have been provided to support the exterior chhajja. The passage further leads to the central courtyard, which is almost square in plan and is about 72'. In the court the artisans had adopted a uniform architectural scheme on all its sides. The court built in red sandstone and is composed of a series of beautifully carved brackets supporting chhajja, a whispering gallery with ornamental miniature arched openings in the second storey, series of strut shaped brackets over it supporting a flat chhajja and jalied balustrade crowning each facade with a square chhatri in the middle.
The Assembly Hall, which is situated on the northern side of the court, measures 62'x37'. Even though the hall is single-storeyed yet an additional floor (duchhatti) has been provided in the interior in the form of a hanging balcony. The flat ceiling was divided into several square quarters, which rested on massive beams. They rest conjointly on struts or serpentine brackets, which radiate from the bases of the columns of the hanging balcony. Each strut has a serpentine form emitting from the mouth of the elephant with raised trunk.
The hall on the
southern side of the courtyard is smaller in dimension. It has a
Ladao or wagon-vaulted ceiling. But the most important
feature of this hall is a corridor which rotates on its three side.
Inside it has beautifully carved perforated screens. Just adjacent
to this hall is a long corridor to the south of which is situated a
series of living rooms.
The superstructure of the Jehangiri Mahal has many beautiful apartments on the western side. There are two grand pavilions (chaukhandis) which are rectangular in plan & have beautiful pyramidal roof on the eastern side. But the most important architectural feature of the superstructure is the Mayura-Mandapa or the Peacock Hall. This red sandstone building has a open central courtyard. It has a corridor on its three sides and a verandah and hall on its western side. The chhajja in this building are supported on beautifully designed peacock shaped brackets. Each peacock has a serpent in its beak. Thus the peacock brackets add to the beauty of the building and makes it impressive.
In the Jehangiri
Mahal we can see extensive use of stone as well as stucco work. The
western façade is decorated with geometrical designs inlaid with
white marble on a red sandstone background. The white marbles used
on the ornamental arches of the wings can be mistaken for ivory.
Apart from this, features like perforated screens, brackets, struts
and chhajjas add to the aesthetic sense. The palace also contains
some traces of painting over stone surfaces in the southern and the
eastern halls. Colour embellishment here can be seen in the form of
painted stucco work. The southern chambers have beautiful incised
work, which is known as gesso work because of the use of
gypsum mortar. This kind of decoration was chiefly done on the
ceilings. Originally they were gilded with a thick layer of pure
gold but later on plunderers scrapped it off.
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