Chinga-Modi Pul

THE “CHANGA MODI GATE” OF THE CITY OF AGRA

 

(This gateway should properly have been mentioned after my measurements and description of the old city wall of Agra.)

The “Changa Modi Gate" isthe only other gate of the city still standing, besides the "Delhi Gate;" but it is in a much more perfect condition than the latter. It is often called the “Changa Modi Pul,” or Bridge, because a few yards distant, outside of the gate, there was also a bridge over a nulla which formerly went by the same name.

This gateway is situated on the west side of Agra, at the back of the Loha-ki-mandi, and a short distance from the Masjid Mokhannisan. The gateway itself faces north and south, owing to the city wall turning off from the west, eastwards, in that locality.

This is a handsome gateway, although it is mostly built of brick and plaster, the archways alone being built of red sandstone. There are two semi-circular towers, which run up the outer side of the gateway, towards the end of each wing, and these towers are surmounted by cupolas or domes, which rise above the top of the building, and give the gate­way a finished and ornamental appearance.

The length of the whole building of the gateway is 58 feet 4 inches, and the depth of it through is 12 feet 4 inches. The outer archway is 16 feet 8 inches in width. It then contracts to 16 feet 2 inches, and next to 11 feet 4 inches, owing to projections interiorly. This leads into a central chamber or vestibule, 13 feet 6 inches in length by 6 feet 10 inches in breadth, from which one passes out through the inner archway, which is at first 11 feet 4’inches in width, but widens out exteriorly on the inner side of the gateway to 12 feet.    There are two very small doorways on the inner side of the gateway, one in the centre of each wing; which lead into two small side chambers, the dimensions of which are only 5 feet by 4 feet.

The name ofthis gate, “Changa Modi,” has a curious gin ascribed to it. It is said that in old times a “Modi,” or purveyor, who had six fingers on one of his hands, had shop just inside this gateway, and that from his being well known, and being constantly in attendance at that spot, the gateway at length came to be known by his name, and was, therefore, called after him the “Che-anga-modi Darwaza,” that is, “the gateway of the six-fingered modi,” which is much e same as if we would say in English—“six-fingered Jack’s Gate.”