Northeast of the Anup Talao is a profusely ornamented chamber popularly referred to as the "Pavilion of the Turkish Sultana," and now more simply referred to as the Anup Talao pavilion. According to some, Akbar used this pavilion to receive visitors and honored guests. However, its function within a semi-public court has been the subject of much scholarly debate: some argue that it was a zenana residence, the bedroom of one of Akbar’s wives, the daughter of the Turkish Sultan. Others maintain that it was an extension of the imperial library, Akbar’s private study, or a reception space.
Square in plan, the pavilion measures 3.96 per side on the interior, and features a khaprel ceiling. Along its west elevation is a rectangular portico, 2.64 by 4.07 meters, with the same floor-ceiling height as the main chamber and supported on piers that are square in section and octagonal columns.
Carved in floral and geometric patterns, the main chamber is one of the most richly ornamented structures of the entire complex. Opulent carvings adorn dado panels, columns, pilasters, double columns, brackets, and friezes. Every square meters of the interior dado panel is covered with vegetable and animal motifs with distinctive borders of hexagons and swastikas. These panels depict scenes from forests, orchards, and gardens, ingeniously crafted. The pavilion has three windows, each of which are filled with exquisite white marble tracery.
Two colonnades were added to the pavilion, one at the northwest corner and the other at the southeast, connect to the Khwabgah (imperial apartments) and the structure known as the Girl’s School / Abdarkhana (storage area for fruit & water).
Brand, Michael and Glenn D. Lowry, Glenn, eds. Fatehpur-Sikri: A Sourcebook,187-188. Cambridge, MA: Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985.