Mihr Banu’s Bazaar

Entry gate to the Mihr Banu’s Bazaar, By Mohsin Javed
Arab-Sarai has two other gateways from the east and the west respectively. According to an inscription on the eastern gateway, that is close to the south-west comer of Humayun's mausoleum, it was actually the entrance to a bazaar (market).

Ruins of Mihr Banu’s Bazaar, By Mohsin Javed

Ruins of Mihr Banu’s Bazaar, By Mohsin Javed
The market had existed alongside Arab Serai and was a flourishing centre of trade catering to the needs of the craftsmen residing there, but the gateway was built by Mihr Banu Agha, the chief eunuch at the court of Emperor Jahangir, Humayun’s grandson.

Eastern gateway of Arab Ki Sarai (front view), By Mohsin Javed

Eastern gateway of Arab Ki Sarai (back view), By Mohsin Javed
The eastern gate is decorated in blue, yellow and green glazed tiles, with traces of painted plaster.

The Islamic calligraphy work on the wall of the eastern gateway- Arab Ki Sarai, By Mohsin Javed

The Islamic calligraphy work on the wall of the eastern gateway- Arab Ki Sarai, By Mohsin Javed

The Islamic calligraphy work on the wall of the eastern gateway- Arab Ki Sarai, By Mohsin Javed
At the other end of the enclosure are an old Baoli and stepwell and the remains of an old bazaar – made of rubble masonry, now in ruins.


Baoli at Mihr Banu’s Bazaar, By Mohsin Javed

Outside the Baoli at Mihr Banu's Bazaar, By Mohsin Javed
The 17th-century gateway is still under the renovation process, and some of the painted plasterwork on the façade and on the side bays are completed.


The ceiling of the Eastern Gateway, By Mohsin Javed

The eastern gateway under the renovation process, By Mohsin Javed

The eastern gateway under the renovation process, By Mohsin Javed

The eastern gateway under the renovation process, By Mohsin Javed
This renovation is being done by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
All Photos © Mohsin Javed