Situated close to emperor Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra, the square-shaped Kanch Mahal is a testimony to the best features of domestic Mughal architecture.
Originally surrounded by a garden, with the usual causeways, water-courses and tanks, it was a ‘mahal’ or ‘Ladies Resort’ which was also used as the Royal Shikargarh (Hunting lodge) by emperor Jahangir, who built this magnificent mahal.
Records show that the mahal was built from 1605 to 1619; it is now in ruins.
The inlaid mosaic work and glazed blue, green and orange tiles on the friezes and roofs have been used gracefully to beautify the building. It was this tile work that lend the name of Kanch Mahal to the place.
The exterior is covered with plaster inlaid with artistically carved red stone and is decorated with sunk circular niches which have wine-vases, flowery creepers and geometrical designs.
It is a two-storeyed mansion, planned around a covered, central square hall. The mansion has a square room on each of its four sides.
There are two openings to allow unhindered entry of sunlight and air into the main hall. The rooms are built with jharokhas and balconies, both for decoration and ventilation.
Kanch Mahal is surrounded by a magnificent garden with water channels, tanks, and causeways.
Previously, it was under the Church Missionary Society. Later, it was acquired, restored and conserved by the Department of Archaeology.
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