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Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience)

Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audiences can be found to the north east of the Red Fort of Delhi. It is a rectangular chamber surrounded by arches and supported by marble piers- the upper portions of which are painted and polished while the lower portions are decorated with inlaid floral designs. Pillared chhatris (umbrellas) stands at each corner of the roof. A marble platform sits in the center of the hall, and is believed to have held the Peacock Throne when the Emperor was present there. It is the most richly decorated of all the buildings in the Red Fort, with intricate patterns carved from polished stone inlaid into the marble with the help of a technique known as ‘pietra dura’. The ceiling is made up of elaborate lattice work. Originally covered with silver, this was removed by the Marathas in 1760 to fund the defense against Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani. The arches at the corner of the wall are carved with an inscription from the works of the famed Persian poet Firdausi- “If there is a paradise on the earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.”

The Diwan-i-Khas was the hall where the Emperor would meet courtiers and other noble visitors. It originally held two enclosures, one for those of high rank, and one for those of lower rank.

The Diwan-i-Khas can be found in the Red Fort of Delhi.


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