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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Taj Mahal, Sikandra, and Fatehpur Sikri: Photo 33

world pictures Northern India: Taj Mahal, Sikandra, and Fatehpur Sikri

The Hiran Minar ("deer minaret" or, alternatively the tower of the harem) is on the north side of the city. Akbar is said to have sat up top, shooting deer driven to its base. The tower studs, of stone but in the shape of elephant tusks, are supposedly a reference to Akbar's favorite elephant, buried at the foot of the tower. More likely, the tower was a milepost, a kos minar,lit at night. The "tusks" were probably used as poles on which lights were hung--or, more luridly, on which the heads of thieves were piked. There's no shortage of speculation.

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