Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Dina Bangdel


This thesis argues that the ornament of Fatehpur Sikri, imperial city of the Mughal emperor Akbar, was created by and for a transcultural audience as a subtle means of unification. Scholars have largely characterized Fatehpur Sikri as a site that epitomizes the blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture. Inherent in this description is the assumption that these visual elements are distinctly religious and mutually exclusive, identified as solely Hindu or Islamic. Yet the integration of various types of imagery is indicative of more dynamic cultural interactions. I have used photographic documentation to classify and analyze the ornamental elements present in three structures at Fatehpur Sikri. My analyses of these elements’ usage and placement, in conjunction with those from surrounding Indian structures, suggest not only a unique Akbari repertoire but provides insight as to the structures’ purposes.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Available for download on Tuesday, May 11, 2021