khas mahal

Diwan-i-Khas at Agra Fort, the River Jamuna, and The Taj Mahal

India, East India Company, 1860

Photograph by Shepherd and Robertson

Photograph of Agra with the Palace in Fort, the Taj Mahal and river in the distance.The Diwan-i-Khas and Taj Mahal were built by Shah Jahan (1592-1666), the Mughal Emperor who ruled with supreme power, confidence and glory in an era which witnessed an unparalleled flowering of art and culture. The Diwan-i-Khas served as a Hall of Private Audience but was also a royal treasure chamber. There were three treasuries, one for gold (muhrs) and silver (rupees), one for gems and jewels and one for copper (dams). Ultimately, the Emperor’s profligacy led to his downfall and he was quickly deposed by his son who deplored his father’s lavishness.