Mahal (/m?'l/), meaning "a mansion or a palace", derives from the Persian word mahal, deriving from the Arabic word mahall which in turn is derived from ?all 'stopping place, abode'. The translation of the word as palace was done only in contrast to the European usage, as the Muslim rulers in India would build forts and ornate areas or buildings within the forts, which would be designated as palaces. It is a summer house, private lodgings, or a landed division of pre-independent India. Both Muslim and Hindu rulers built many Mahals in India.