Macchi Bhawan

The Macchi Bhawan (Fish Palace), with the marble balcony, stands at the back of the Diwan-i-Am, has spacious court with series of flat roofed chambers enclosed in front by arcades of Indo-Islamic style. Originally the court was adorned with marble tanks and fountains in which gold and silver fish were kept which provided amusement for Emperor. Its upper floor is on a level with the Diwan-i-Khas and the Nagina Masjid. Originally the entire structure was covered with shining marble plaster which is still extant in the colonnade of the marble projecting balcony which once had Shah Jahan's Golden throne (Aurang-i-Zarrin) which used to be occupied by the Emperor. The pillars and walls of the colonnades are so finely plastered with lime and other ingredients that it is not possible to identify and distinguish them from the marble throne balcony and the red sandstone plastered pillars of the colonnade. Abdul Hamid Lahauri the court chronicler of Shah Jahan calls this structure the store-room for the Imperial ornaments and precious jewels.

A quadrangle better known as Macchi Bhavan is an official complex of double storied structure around a courtyard, with arched galleries. The south central marble pavilion is remarkable since it has the royal seat for the Emperor to watch the activities in the courtyard of Macchi Bhavan.

The ornamental tall Shah Jahani pillars of the galleries are covered with Mughal deluxe lime plaster so closely and which matches the marble pillars of the pavilion that it is not possible to make out that the pavilion and the pillars of the galleries are of two different material such as red sandstone pillars covered with shining lime plaster, exactly like marble and the marble pavilion of the structure. It is really the excellent workmanship of Shah Jahani artisans which is reflected in the construction of the structure of Macchi Bhawan.

Macchi Bhawan