āʼīna-bandī, s.f. Ornamenting with mirrors
aaina Kari – The art of covering a façade with small pieces of glass mirrors – glass mirror mosaics or mirrorwork.
Mirror work or ornamenting with mirrors is an art which involves using various sized mirrors to make an ordered, symmetric and geometrical design to decorate the interior of a building, thus creating a luminous appearance.
It seems to have originated in Iran under the reign of Shah Tahmasp (1524-1576 A.D) in a building in the city of Qazvin in north-western Iran. It is a laborious and intricate craft and requires great deal of skill and patience.
From Iran it came to India and one can see it in the Sheesh Mahal in Agra Fort, and some of the rooms in the Zenana Mahal in the Red Fort. Its artistic brilliance can be seen in the Sheesh mahal in Amer Palace, where the legendary song Pyaar kiya to darna kya was shot for the film Mughal e Azam.
The light reflecting in these mirrors create a magical effect.
Like all architecture, even mirror designs are first drawn on paper. The designer then transfers them onto the walls and ceilings with special needles. Then mirrors, about one millimeter thick, previously cut into shape as per design are stuck on to the surface with glue.
Sometimes mirrors can be used as inlay in the plaster work or woodwork itself.