North of the imperial haram sara, and adjoining the northwest corner of the courtyard of the Sonahra Makran, it is a garden known as "Miriam’s Garden," or the zenana bagh. Used by the royal ladies of the palace, it was completely enclosed via rubble walls faced in cement. Its doorway was flanked by a guardhouse at the northwest corner of the Sonahra Makran courtyard.
The garden is based on a traditional chahar bagh garden, laid out on two terraces, of which the upper measures ca. 27 by 28.4 meters, and the lower approximately 19 by 37 meters. Each level is divided by orthogonal walls into two quarters; flowers, plants, and shrubs lined their sides. The garden was originally paved in stone.
On the southeast corner of the upper level stand the ruins of a covered cistern, built below ground level, which held water from the water works at the Elephant Gate. The square tank measures 7.31 meters/side and is 1.22 meters deep. It was used as a swimming and bathing pool for the ladies of the court, and was therefore connected to the haram sara via an underground passage and protected by a roof. All of its openings were curtained. Its roof was supported by an octagonal pillar, 0.55 meters in diameter, which stands in the middle of the bathing pool.
From the covered tank runs a shallow water channel running down the center of the south side of the upper level and passing along an open four-columned chhatri. The water runs from south to north, dividing the terrace in two, passes beneath a second chhatri, and empties into a small fish pond located in the center of the southern edge of the lower terrace. As the water enters the tank, it runs over a wall pierced with fourteen small niches, each 17.5 cm tall. Excavated by Smith in 1981, the fish tank is 0.88 meters deep and 1.44 by 1.77 meters in plan with little steps on all four sides.
To the north of the zenana bagh was a second walled garden measuring 19.1 by 28.24 meters. In ruins, it was completely destroyed in the nineteenth century when a road was built through it. Sources:
Koch, Ebba. "Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan, 1526-1648." Muqarnas XIV (1997): 146.
Nath, R. Fatehpur Sikri and its Monuments, 21. Agra: The Historical Research Documentation Programme, 2000.
Rizvi, Saiyid Athar Abbas. Fathpur-Sikri, 57. Bombay: D. B. Taraporevala Sons, 1975.