India // Uttar Pradesh //

The Royal Palace

Shunning the Hindu tradition of aligning towns with the cardinal compass points, Akbar chose to construct his new capital following the natural features of the terrain, which is why the principal thoroughfare, town walls, and many of the most important buildings face southwest or northeast. The mosque and most private apartments do not follow the main axis, but face west towards Mecca, according to Muslim tradition, with the palace crowning the highest point on the ridge.

There are two entrances to the Royal Palace and court complex. Independent travellers mostly use the one on the west side, by Jodhbai’s Palace; organized tours tend to use that on the east, by the Diwan-i-Am. Official guides offer their services at the booking office for Rs50–100. There’s nowhere to buy drinks in the palace, so take water in with you; you’re not allowed to eat inside.

  • Diwan-i-Am
  • The Diwan-i-Khas courtyard
  • House of the Turkish Sultana
  • The Daulat Khana and Panch Mahal
  • The women's quarters
  • Jama Masjid