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Mughal Architecture In India
Mughals built magnificent monuments. They also laid out many beautiful gardens with water bodies in the centers in the neighborhood of Agra and Lahore. Some gardens like Shalimar and Nishat gardens in Kashmir have survived to this day.
Akbar was the first Mughal emperor who took to construction on a large scale. He built a series of forts.The most famous is the fort at Agra built in red sand stone with its magnificent gates. Akbar built a fort-palace complex at Fatehpur Sikri, 36 km from Agra in red sand stone.The architecture is an excellent blending of Persian,Central Asian and various Indian styles at the entrance. The mosque and the Buland Darwaza built to commemorate Akbar’s victory in Gujarat are the most magnificent. The gate is in the half-dome portal style which subsequently became a common feature in Mughal buildings.
Humayun’ tomb built by his wife in Delhi is also different from the earlier tombs of the sultanate period. Not only does it have more Indian features it is placed in the middle of the large well laid out garden. The entrance to the garden and tomb is through a massive gateway.
With the consolidation of the empire,Mughal architecture reached its climax.Towards the end of Jahangir’s reign began the practice of putting up of buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with floral designs made of semi-precious stones. This method of decoration was called pietra dura which became even more popular under Shah Jahan who used it extensively in the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal brought together all the architectural forms developed by the Mughals.The chief glory of the Taj is the massive dome and the four minarets linking the platformto the main building.The decorations were kept to the minimum;delicate marble screens,pietra dura inlay work and chhatris added to the effect.Under Shah Jahan mosque building reached its crescendo.The two most noteworthy were the Moti Masjid in the Agra Fort built entirely of Marble and Jama Masjid at Delhi built in red sandstone.
>By the time of Aurangzeb’s reign, a decline had set in and Mughal architecture was no longer as impressive or innovative as it had been earlier.Mughal architectural traditions continued without a break into the 18th and 19th century.The Mughal style influenced the palace and temple architecture of Hindu rulers as well.