Mughal architecture

Mughal architecture, building style
that flourished in northern and
central India under the patronage of
the Mughal emperors from the
mid-16th to the late 17th century.
The Mughal period marked a striking
revival of Islāmic architecture in
northern India. Under the patronage
of the Mughal emperors, Persian,
Indian, and various provincial styles
were fused to produce works of
unusual quality and refinement.

The tomb of the emperor Humāyūn
(begun 1564) at Delhi inaugurated
the new style, though it shows
strong Persian influences. The first
great period of building activity
occurred under the emperor Akbar
(reigned 1556–1605) at Āgra and at
the new capital city of Fatehpur Sīkri,
which was founded in 1569. The
latter city’s Great Mosque (1571;jami masjid)with its monumental
Victory Gate (Buland Darzāwa), is
one of the finest mosques of the
Mughal period. The great fort at Āgra
(1565–74) and the tomb of Akbar at
Sikandarā, near Āgra, are other
notable structures dating from his
reign. Most of these early Mughal
buildings use arches only sparingly,
relying instead on post and lintel
construction. They are built of red
sandstone or white marble.
Mughal architecture reached its
zenith during the reign of emperor
Shāh Jahān (1628–58), its crowning
achievement being the magnificent
Tāj Mahal. This period is marked by a
fresh emergence in India of Persian
features that had been seen earlier
in the tomb of Humāyūn. The use of
the double dome, a recessed
archway inside a rectangular
fronton, and parklike surroundings
are all typical of Shāh Jahān period
buildings. Symmetry and balance
between the parts of a building
were always stressed, while the
delicacy of detail in Shāh Jahān
decorative work has seldom been
surpassed. White marble was a
favoured building material. After the
Tāj Mahal, the second major
undertaking of Shāh Jahān’s reign
was the palace-fortress at Delhi,
begun in 1638. Among its notable
buildings are the red-sandstone-pillared divan-e amm(hall Public Audience”) and the so-called
Dīvān-e Khāṣṣ (“Hall of Private
Audience”), which housed the
famous Peacock Throne. Outside the
citadel is the Great Mosque (1650–56;jami masjid) The empressive mosque sits on a raised foundation
and is approached by a majestic
flight of steps, with an immense
courtyard in front.
The architectural monuments of
Shāh Jahān’s successor, Aurangzeb
(reigned 1658–1707), represent a
distinct decline, though some
notable mosques were built before
the beginning of the 18th century.
Subsequent works lost the balance
and coherence characteristic of
mature Mughal architecture.

Taj Mahal—>>


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