Daulat Khana
Fatehpur Sikri, India
South of the Anup Talao pool stands a complex of structures identified collectively as the Daulat Khana (Imperial Palace). The complex comprises three distinct sections: the Royal Library (Kutub-Khanah), Akbar’s Atelier (Citra Sala) and the imperial apartments (Khwabgah). All three sections were constructed in 1572, with the exception of a later open-columned structure found to the north of the Khwabgah.

On the northeast of the complex, facing the Anup Talao court, stands the hall identified as the Royal Library (Kutubkhanah). Akbar’s court historian, Abu’l Fadl, recorded that the Kutubkhanah housed 25,000 manuscripts, of which some were kept in the harem area. Those books needed for immediate reference were stored in the Kutubkhanah.

The plan of the Kutubkhanah is symmetrical along its north-south axis, consisting of a central single-height hall flanked on its east, north and west sides by an arcaded portico. These same three elevations all feature a central doorway. On the interior, the hall measures 8.23 by 5.18 meters. Supported on a plinth, its walls are hollow and clad on the exterior by perpendicular stone slabs, usually 1.83 by 0.11 m and 0.96 cm thick. Other slabs project perpendicularly from the exterior cladding, dividing the wall thickness into a series of compartments. On the inner faces of the compartments are traces indicating painted floral motifs. The plinth was also decorated and divided into coffers used for storage.

Behind the Kutubkhanah hall, in the southeast area of the complex, is a chamber measuring 12.97 x 8.76 meters with a platform projecting from its southern wall. Supported on square shafts, this platform may have been accessed via wooden or marble removable steps that were stored under the platform. North of this platform is a pair of double columns with floral carvings similar to those in the Anup Talao, and to the east is a small bathroom. Popular legend has it that Akbar used the platform for resting at the end of a day, hence the name “Khwabgah;" however, given the evidence of decorative wall painting and the nearby library, it’s also probable that these structures were used for cultural pursuits. It is also quite possible that the platform itself is an addition, as it covers the richly carved eaves and brackets of the building’s original elevation.

Sources:

Brand, Michael and Glenn D. Lowry, editors. Fatehpur-Sikri: selected papers from the International Symposium on Fatehpur-Sikri held on October 17-19, 1985, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1987.

Brand, Michael and Glenn D. Lowry, editors. Fatehpur-Sikri: A Sourcebook. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985.

Brentjes, Burchard. "City, House and Grave: Symbolism in Central and South Asian Architecture." Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre, no. 2 (1984): 3-6.

Koch, Ebba. "Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan, 1526-1648." Muqarnas XIV (1997): 146.

Kulbhushan, Jain. Fatehpur Sikri: Where Spaces Touch Perfection. Weimar: VDG, 2003.

Macneal, Alina. "The Stone Encampment," Environmental Design: Journal of the Islamic Environmental Design Research Centre no. 1-2 (1991): 36-45.

Nath, R. 1988. Architecture of Fatehpur Sikri: Forms, Techniques & Concepts. Jaipur: Historical Research Documentation Programme.

Nath, R. Architecture of Fatehpur Sikri: Forms, Techniques & Concepts. Jaipur: Historical Research Documentation Programme, 1988.

Nath, R. Fatehpur Sikri and its Monuments. Agra: The Historical Research Documentation Programme, 2000.

Newel, H. A. Agra & Fatehpur Sikri: A Traveller’s History. Gurgaeon: Shubhi Publications, 2004.

Petruciolli, Attilio and Thomas Dix. Fatehpur Sikri. Berlin: Ernst & Sohn, 1992.

Rizvi, Saiyid Athar Abbas. Fathpur-Sikri. Bombay: D. B. Taraporevala Sons, 1975.

Sharma, D.V. Archaeology of Fatehpur Sikri: New Discoveries. New Delhi: Aryan Books International, 2008.

Smith, Edmund W. The Moghul Architecture of Fathpur-Sikri. Delhi: Caxton, 1985.
Location
Fatehpur Sikri, Fatehpur Sikri, India
Images & Videos
Documents
Associated Names
Part of Site
Events
1572/980 AH
Style Periods
1526-1858
Variant Names
Daulat Khana
Dawlatkhana
Variant
Imperial Palace
Variant
Dawlatkhana-i Khass
Variant
Great Palace
Variant
Building Usages
palace
palatial