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Mughal Architecture: A Free PDF Guide to the Splendid Monuments of India



# Outline of the article Heading Subheading Content --- --- --- Introduction What is Mughal architecture? A brief overview of the definition, origin, and features of Mughal architecture The Early Mughal Period Humayun's Tomb The first example of Mughal architecture in India, influenced by Persian style Agra Fort The first major fort built by Akbar, with red sandstone and post-and-lintel construction Fatehpur Sikri The new capital city founded by Akbar, with a blend of Persian, Indian, and Islamic elements Tomb of Salim Chishti A white marble mausoleum within Fatehpur Sikri, dedicated to a Sufi saint The Golden Age of Mughal Architecture Taj Mahal The most famous and iconic monument of Mughal architecture, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal Red Fort The palace-fortress complex in Delhi, built by Shah Jahan as his new capital, with a mix of red sandstone and white marble Jama Masjid The largest mosque in India, built by Shah Jahan outside the Red Fort, with three domes and two minarets Shalimar Gardens The royal gardens in Lahore, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Nur Jahan, with fountains, pavilions, and terraces The Decline of Mughal Architecture Badshahi Mosque The largest mosque in the world at the time, built by Aurangzeb in Lahore, with a massive courtyard and four minarets Bibi ka Maqbara A tomb in Aurangabad, built by Aurangzeb for his wife Dilras Banu Begum, resembling the Taj Mahal Lalbagh Fort A fort in Dhaka, built by Muhammad Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb, with three gates and a mosque Conclusion Summary and significance of Mughal architecture A brief recap of the main points and the legacy of Mughal architecture in India and beyond FAQs Five common questions about Mughal architecture Answers to some frequently asked questions about Mughal architecture # Article on Mughal Empire Architecture ## Introduction What is Mughal architecture? Mughal architecture is a type of Indo-Islamic architecture that flourished in northern and central India under the patronage of the Mughal emperors from the mid-16th to the late 17th century. It developed from the architectural styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India and from Iranian and Central Asian architectural traditions, particularly Timurid architecture. It also incorporated and syncretized influences from wider Indian architecture, especially during the reign of Akbar (r. 15561605). Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation; examples of the style can be found in modern-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. ## The Early Mughal Period ### Humayun's Tomb The tomb of the emperor Humayun (begun 1564) at Delhi inaugurated the new style of Mughal architecture in India. It was influenced by Persian style, as it was designed by a Persian architect named Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. The tomb is built of red sandstone and white marble, and has a central octagonal chamber surrounded by eight radiating chambers. The dome is double-layered and rests on a high drum. The tomb is set in a large garden divided into four parts by water channels. ### Agra Fort The first major fort built by Akbar was the Agra Fort (156574), which served as his residence and administrative center. The fort is built of red sandstone and has a semi-circular plan with two main gates: the Delhi Gate and the Lahore Gate. The fort contains several palaces, mosques, halls, and gardens, such as the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir's Palace), the Khas Mahal (Private Palace), the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace), and the Anguri Bagh (Grape Garden). The fort also houses the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), a white marble mosque built by Shah Jahan. ### Fatehpur Sikri The new capital city founded by Akbar in 1569 was Fatehpur Sikri, which was abandoned in 1585 due to water scarcity. The city is a blend of Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural elements, and reflects Akbar's religious tolerance and interest in various cultures. The city has a rectangular plan and is enclosed by a wall with nine gates. The city contains several buildings of note, such as the Buland Darwaza (Victory Gate), the Jama Masjid (Great Mosque), the Panch Mahal (Five-Storeyed Palace), the Birbal's House, the Anup Talao (Peerless Pool), and the Tomb of Salim Chishti. ### Tomb of Salim Chishti The Tomb of Salim Chishti is a white marble mausoleum within Fatehpur Sikri, dedicated to a Sufi saint who was revered by Akbar. The tomb is built on a raised platform and has a square plan with chamfered corners. The tomb is covered by a carved wooden canopy and has a single dome. The tomb is surrounded by a marble screen with intricate geometric patterns and floral motifs. The tomb is visited by pilgrims who tie threads on the screen to seek blessings from the saint. ## The Golden Age of Mughal Architecture ### Taj Mahal The most famous and iconic monument of Mughal architecture is the Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex that consists of a main tomb, four minarets, a mosque, a guest house, and a garden. The main tomb is built of white marble and has a symmetrical plan with an iwan (arched portal) on each side. The main dome is flanked by four smaller domes and rests on a high drum. The interior of the tomb is decorated with calligraphy, floral patterns, and precious stones. The complex is set on a raised platform and is aligned along an axis that leads to the Yamuna river. ### Red Fort The palace-fortress complex in Delhi, built by Shah Jahan as his new capital, is known as the Red Fort, because of its red sandstone walls. The fort has an irregular octagonal plan and has two main gates: the Lahore Gate and the Delhi Gate. The fort contains several buildings of note, such as the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), which housed the famous Peacock Throne, the Rang Mahal (Colour Palace), the Mumtaz Mahal (Mumtaz's Palace), the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), and the Hamam (Bath). The fort also has a garden called the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh (Life-Bestowing Garden). ### Jama Masjid The largest mosque in India, built by Shah Jahan outside the Red Fort, is the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque). The mosque has a rectangular plan and can accommodate 25,000 worshippers. The mosque has three domes made of white marble and black stripes, and two minarets that are 40 meters high. The mosque has a large courtyard with a fountain in the center. The mosque has three entrances: one from the east, one from the north, and one from the south. The mosque is decorated with calligraphy, floral motifs, and geometric patterns. ### Shalimar Gardens The royal gardens in Lahore, built by Shah Jahan for his wife Nur Jahan, are known as the Shalimar Gardens. The gardens are divided into three terraces: the Farah Baksh (Bestower of Pleasure), the Faiz Baksh (Bestower of Goodness), and the Hayat Baksh (Bestower of Life). The gardens have fountains, pools, pavilions, waterfalls, and trees. The gardens are influenced by Persian and Islamic styles of gardening. ## The Decline of Mughal Architecture ### Badshahi Mosque The largest mosque in the world at the time, built by Aurangzeb in Lahore in 1673, is the Badshahi Mosque (Imperial Mosque). The mosque has a square plan and can accommodate 100,000 I have continued the article for you. Here it is: ### Bibi ka Maqbara A tomb in Aurangabad, built by Aurangzeb for his wife Dilras Banu Begum, is known as Bibi ka Maqbara (Tomb of the Lady). It was commissioned in 1660 by Aurangzeb's son prince Azim Shah in the memory of his loving mother, who died in 1657. The tomb resembles the Taj Mahal, as it was designed by Ata-ullah, the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the principal designer of the Taj Mahal. The tomb is built of white marble and has a symmetrical plan with an iwan (arched portal) on each side. The dome is double-layered and rests on a high drum. The tomb is set in a large garden divided into four parts by water channels. The tomb is decorated with calligraphy, floral patterns, and precious stones. The tomb is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan). ### Lalbagh Fort A fort in Dhaka, built by Muhammad Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb, in 1678, is known as Lalbagh Fort (Red Garden Fort). The fort was never completed, as Azam Shah was recalled to Delhi after three months of his stay in Dhaka. The fort has a rectangular plan and has three gates: the southern gate, the eastern gate, and the northern gate. The fort contains several buildings of note, such as the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Hammam Khana (Bath House), the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), and the Tomb of Bibi Pari (Lady Fairy), who was the daughter of Shaista Khan, the governor of Bengal. ## Conclusion Mughal architecture is a remarkable example of cultural synthesis and artistic excellence. It reflects the glory and splendor of the Mughal empire, as well as its diversity and tolerance. Mughal architecture has left a lasting legacy in India and beyond, as it has influenced many other styles of architecture, such as Rajput, Sikh, British, and modern Indian architecture. Mughal architecture is also a source of pride and identity for many people who admire its beauty and history. ## FAQs - Q: When did Mughal architecture start and end? - A: Mughal architecture started in 1564 with Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and ended in 1857 with the end of Mughal rule in India. - Q: What are the main features of Mughal architecture? - A: Some of the main features of Mughal architecture are large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation. - Q: What are some of the best examples of Mughal architecture? - A: Some of the best examples of Mughal architecture are Taj Mahal in Agra, Red Fort in Delhi, Jama Masjid in Delhi, Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, and Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. - Q: What are some of the influences on Mughal architecture? - A: Some of the influences on Mughal architecture are Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural traditions. - Q: What are some of the differences between Mughal architecture and Taj Mahal? - A: Some of the differences between Mughal architecture and Taj Mahal are that Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex while most Mughal buildings are forts or mosques; Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble while most Mughal buildings use red sandstone or a combination of materials; Taj Mahal has a single dome while most Mughal buildings have multiple domes; Taj Mahal has four identical facades while most Mughal buildings have different facades on each side.




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