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Mumtaz Mahal (Jewel Palace)

Mumtaz Mahal, or the Jewel Palace, can be found in the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise), a row of six pavilions on the eastern edge of the Red Fort. These pavilions made up the private apartments of the royal family and were connected to each other by a water channel, the Nahr-i-Behisht, which ran through the centre of each pavilion. The two southernmost pavilions were the women’s quarters, or the zenana, of which the Mumtaz Mahal is one. Constructed from marble by Shah Jahan for his queen Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Mumtaz Mahal, it was divided by arched piers into six separate apartments.

The Mumtaz Mahal now hosts the Delhi Museum of Archaeology, each apartment holding a different gallery. The displays are varied, holding articles such as manuscripts, inscriptions, miniature paintings, carpets, cushions, curtains and costumes. A rare 17th century brass astrolabe used in astronomy can be found in a display. Another gallery houses jade articles such as sword and dagger hilts as well as ornaments made of porcelain and celadon. Textiles and glazed tiles are some more displays that can be found here. The best known gallery is the Bahadur Shah Zafar Gallery, which holds a collection of items which belonged to the last Mughal Emperor and his wife. These include items such as scissors, an ink pot, a pen holder, a rose water sprinkler, gunpowder horns, a toilet box, a photograph of Bahadur Shah in prison, two specimens of calligraphy in his hand and an ivory miniature of the Zeenat Mahal. Another gallery holds items associated with the Revolt of 1857 such as weaponry, portraits of Mughal Emperors, maps, lithographs and a letter written by Bahadur Shah to Queen Victoria.

The Mumtaz Mahal can be found in the Red Fort in Old Delhi.


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