Great gate (Darwaza i rauza)

The Jilaukhana complex is dominated by the great entrance gate set in the centre of the southern wall of the funerary garden. Lahauri calls it darwaza-i rauza, ‘gate of the mausoleum’, it is indeed a worthy counterpart to the mausoleum. The monumental structure sets a formal accent and
mediates the transition between the area of the Jilaukhana and the funerary garden. It prepares the visitor for the grandeur of the mausoleum that awaits within. The great gate is preceded on the south and north by platforms paved with geometrical patterns.

The south front of the great gate faces the Jilaukhana as a splendid introduction to the imperial architecture of the domain of the mausoleum. It is a monumental version of a Mughal elevational formula that also appears in the mausoleum, that of a large pishtaq flanked by two tiers of niches.

The triadic design had been announced within the Jilaukhana area in a more modest form on the inner faces of the east and west gates. The design has its roots in the Sultanate architecture of Delhi, beginning with the Ala’i Darwaza of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque. It brings to mind Roman triumphal arches, but no obvious connection can be established.

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