DiwanIAm in Agra


The fort of Agra encompasses within its walls the Diwan–I–Am, a famous assembly hall erected between 1631 A.D – 1640 A.D. Diwan–I–Am, also known as the Hall of Public Audience, was re-constructed during the reign of Shah Jahan. The Emperor used this place to address the general public and nobility. He would sit on a throne and dispense justice based on the petitions presented by his ministers.

The importance of Diwan-I-Am: The importance of Diwan-I-Am is unquestionably connected with the importance of the Agra Fort. The powerful fortress encloses Agra, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers with its famous and exquisite buildings. Agra served as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and to present day remains an important tourist destination. In 1983 Agra Fort achieved the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One should not confuse the Agra Fort with the Red Fort at Delhi. The latter has never been referred to as a fort by the Mughals, but was rather called the Red Bungalow.

The architecture of Diwan-I-Am: Diwan-I-Am was originally built from red sandstone and later covered with white shell plaster to bear resemblance to white marble. The diwan measures 201 feet by 67 feet. It is covered by a flat roof. Facing north and south are two gateways constructed from red sandstone. The arcade of the facade has nine bold arches. It is built from the same material as the rest of the building and polished to a smooth finish. The hall is divided into three aisles which lead to a raised rectangular chamber – the Throne Room. It used to be connected to royal apartments and the royal wives could observe the ceremonials without being seen by the assembled crowd.

The Design of the Throne Room: The throne room wall has designs of inlaid multicolored stones, representing flowers and birds. It is said that these panels are executed by Austin de Bordeaux, Florentine jeweler. The central panel on the top has a picture of the Greek God Orpheus with his lute. The panels were much damaged and at one time removed to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, but were restored in 1903 at the instance of Lord Curzon.

The Popularity of Diwan-I-Am: The popularity of Diwan-I-Am attracts a significant number of visitors each year. Tourists from all over the world travel to Agra to experience this beautiful architectural monument.



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