One of Fatehpur Sikri’s most famous structures, the Panch Mahal or “Five-Storeyed Palace”, looms northwest of here, marking the beginning of the zenana (women’s quarters) which make up the entire western side of the palace complex. The palace tapers to a final single kiosk and is supported by 176 columns of varying designs; the ground floor contains 84 pillars – an auspicious number in Hindu astrology. The open spaces between the pillars were originally covered with latticed screens, so that ladies of the zenana could observe goings-on in the courtyard of the mardana below without themselves being seen.

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