Mughal Architecture

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All the early Mughal Rulers except Aurangzeb were great bui1ders. With the coming of the Mughals, Indian architecture was greatly influenced by Persian styles. The Mughals constructed excellent mausoleums, mosques, forts, gardens and cities. The Mughal buildings show a uniform pattern both in structure and character. The main characteristic features of Mughal architecture are the bulbous domes, the slender minarets with cupolas at the four corners, large halls, massive vaulted gateways and delicate ornamentation. The few mosques and palaces built by Babar and Humayun are not of much architectural significance Sher Shah of the Sur Dynasty who ruled over the Kingdom of the Mughals after driving Humayun out of  the country was not only a great administrator but a lover of art also. He built several forts, tombs and mosques. The monuments of Sher Shah are a continuation of the Lodi style. The mausoleums are octagonal in plan and have verandahs around them, surmounted by huge domes. The verandahs have three smaller domes on each side.

Sher Shah built the Purana Quila in Delhi. Started by him, it was completed by Humayun. Built of red and buff sand-stone, it is ornamented with black and white marble and coloured tiles. A beautiful mosque inside the Quila with ornamental arches, decorative panels, geometrical designs and inscriptions is an example of the development of architecture and ornamentation during Sher Shah's reign. Sher Shah's tomb at Sasaram in Bihar built in 1549 is in the centre of a large square tank and rises al 46 metres high. It is a two storey construction on a terraced platform. The upper terrace has pillared domes and the two storeys above have a pillared kiosk at the four corners. The base of the large central dome has thirty two sides. The tomb is decorated with coloured tiles, very few of which remain now. Entrance to the tomb is through a domed structure. Mughal architecture begins with Akbar who showed his passion for building by planning and constructing splendid edifices. During his reign Mughal architecture took on new forms. Akbar made free use of both Hindu and Persian styles. The use of red sandstone inlaid with white marble and painted designs on walls and ceiling are the salient features of Akbar's buildings. Akbar constructed numerous forts, towers, palaces, mosques, mausoleums and gateways. A structure of note built during his reign is Humayun's Tomb in Delhi.

Humayun's Tomb
Humayun’s tomb was built by his widow Haji Begum in 1565 A.D. in Delhi in 1569A.D., fourteen years after his death.  The mausoleum stands in the centre of a square enclosed garden.  The garden is divided and sub-divided into squares, typical of Mughal gardens.  The lofty double storeyed structure is built on a huge high platform terrace which has a row of calls with arched openings.  The central chamber is octagonal in shape and contains the tomb.  Each side of the mausoleum has a large arched alcove in the centre with smaller ones on either side. It has a high marble double dome in the centre and pillared kiosks with cupolas surrounding it.  Built of red sandstone with an inlay of black, white and yellow marble it presents an imposing picture.  Planned by a Persian architect and constructed by Indian workers, it is a combination of both Persian and Indian styles of architecture.  Entrance to the mausoleum is through two double storeyed gateways.

Agra Fort
A greater part of the fort at Agra was constructed by Akbar starting in 1565 AD and completed it in 1574 A.D. Situated on the bank of the river Jamuna, it is a massive and grand structure.  The special feature of this fort is the 2.5 kms. long and 21 metres  high circuitous wall of solid red sand stone. The stones are linked with iron rings so close that not even a hair can pass through.  The entrance to the fort is through two gateways.  The main entrance known as Delhi Gate was the ceremonial entrance to the fort.  The other smaller...
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