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Mughal Architecture in India

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Mughal Architecture in India

Huge arched gateways, bulbous domes, gigantic hall rooms, and minarets are what we think of when we hear about Mughal architecture. The Mughal reign had greatly enhanced the architecture of India and gifted Indian architecture with mosques, mausoleums, and gardens. Almost all the rulers from the Mughal dynasty were great builders and they have manufactured magnificent monuments in India, which attract tourists not only from India but from different places across the globe. Mughal emperors had built fortress gardens that enhance the beauty of the buildings. Unlike his predecessor, Akbar built riverfront garden which influenced Mughal garden architecture by his successors. The patterns of Mughal gardens were highly influenced by the Persian style of architecture with pools, fountains, and canals inside the gardens. Agra Fort, Humayun Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri, Taj Mahal,  Shalimar Gardens, Shah Jahan Mosque, Badshahi Masjid. are some of the popular monuments of Mughal empire in the Indian subcontinent. Some of the  must visit Mughal monuments in India are listed below.

Taj Mahal


Best of Mughal Architecture in India
(Source: http://media1.santabanta.com)


Enduring Mughal Monuments like Taj Mahal still stands in all its beauty and finesse. The white marble mausoleum, Taj Mahal, is one of the seven wonders of the world and was constructed during the zenith of the Mughal dynasty by Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan built this wondrous monument to dedicate love and beauty of his dearest wife Mumtaz Mahal and to make her name immortal. The mausoleum is considered as a symbol of love. The monument stands on the right bank of river Yamuna from where it flows eastwards and spreads across an area of 42 acres with the terrain sloping from north to south. The beauty of Taj Mahal is amplified manifold by the Taj Mahal garden which is like the Paradise garden mentioned in the holy Quran. The garden starts from the end of the main gate and covers an area of 300 meter and ends near the base of the mausoleum. Four is considered as the holiest number in Islam and so the entire garden is divided into four parts. Two marble canals with fountains cross the center of the garden and there are 16 flowerbeds which are divided by the stone-paved raised pathways.

Also Read: An evening at Taj Mahal, Architecture of Taj Mahal, History of Taj Mahal

Qutub Minar


Best of Mughal Architecture in India
(Source: http://www.allwonders.com/)


Qutub-ud-din Aibak started the construction of this monument in 1192 and his successors Iltutmish and Firoz Shah Tughlaq completed the construction. The Minar is world heritage site in Delhi. Though not built by the Mughals, it is a great example of Mughal architecture. The great masterpiece is 72.5 meters high and the base measures 14.32 meters and the top structure measures 2.75 meters. The iron pillar in the Qutub Minar draws interest of many tourists. It is believed that if one stands with his back on the pillar and can encircle it with his arm then his wishes will be fulfilled. This monument is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Mughal architecture and is famous tourist place in Delhi.

Jama Masjid


Mughal Architecture in India
(Source: http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/)


The mosque stands across the road in front of the Red Fort and it is the largest mosque in India. The mosque was built by the emperor who had built the magnificent Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan. This mosque is believed to be the last architectural work during the reign of Shah Jahan. Almost 5000 artisans built the mosque with red sandstone and marble. The Jama Masjid has four towers, two minarets, and three gateways. The Mosque has detailed carvings and the holy Koran is scribbled on its wall. The Masjid also has collection of many things such as the holy Koran written on deerskin, Mohammad’s relics, the prophet’s red beared-hair, His footprints implanted in a marble block.

Red Fort

Mughal Architecture in India

Red Fort
or Lal Qila is another monument of Mughal period. It served as the capital of Mughal dynasty during the rule of Emperor Shah Jahan. The fort conceived its name from the 33 meter high gigantic walls of red sandstone. There are two gates of the Red Fort viz. Lahori Gate and Delhi Gate. The Red Fort is a treasure trove of many beautiful buildings such as Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audiences, Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audiences, and Rang Mahal or the Palace of Colors. Emperor Shah Jahan used to hear complains of common people in the Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas as the name suggests was for his private guests. The Rang Mahal was used to be the palace of wives and mistresses of the emperor. The chief attraction of the Rang Mahal is a lotus shaped fountain carved out of a single marble. The other attractions of the Red Fort are Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque; Shahi Burji, the private working area of emperor Shah Jahan; and hammams or the royal baths. The Red Fort now stands as a reminder of the magnificence and affluence of the Mughal dynasty.

Also Read: History of Red Fort

Itmad-ud-Daula


Mughal Monuments in India
(Source: http://www.daytourtajmahal.com)


Itmad-ud-Daula
is located in the old city of Agra. Itmad-ud-Daula is the first marble-made tomb in India. The tomb is of Mir Ghiyas Beg, who used to be the chief minister of Jahangir’s court. Jahangir gave his father-in-law the title of Itmad-ud-Daula or ‘the pillar of the state’. Emperor Jahangir fell in love with his beautiful daughter Nur Jahan and married her. After Ghiyas Beg’s death in 1622, his daughter ordered the tomb. This Indo-Islamic monument is also known as jewellery box as it looks like a jewellery box in the garden from the bird eye view.

Humayun’s Tomb


Mughal Monuments in India
(Source: http://static2.tripoto.com/)


The Humayun's Tomb is located in eastern Delhi it is first example of Mughal Architecture in India. In 1565, Hamida banu Begum, the widow of Humayun, constructed the mausoleum for her deceased husband nine years after his death. The Mughal garden of Humayun Tomb is divided in four parts by walkways or flowing water. The Mughal garden is created from the idea of the paradise garden described in the holy Quran.  It is believed that the construction of the Humayun's Tomb inspired the construction of very famous Taj Mahal.

Buland Darwaza


Mughal Architecture in India
(Source: www.indiamike.com)

In 1601 AD, Mughal emperor Akbar built the Buland Darwaza or the gateway at Fatehpur Sikri to monumentalize his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza is 53.63 meter high and 35 meter wide. It is built of red sandstone and marble in the distinct Mughal design with carved verses from the holy Quran. The inscription of the holy Quran echoes Akbar’s religious broad mindedness. Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world and is a prime example of Mughal monuments in India.

Agra Fort


Best of Mughal Architecture in India


The Agra Fort is located in Agra and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fort lies 2.5 km northwest of the famous Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort is said to be the sister monument of the Taj Mahal. The monument was built by Akbar and it is house to some important buildings such as Moti Masjid; Meena bazaar; and Jahangir Mahal, which was built for Jahangir and his family.

Tomb of Akbar the Great


Best of Mughal Architecture in India


It is located 13 km from the Agra Fort at Sikandra, which lies 8 km west-northwest of the city center on the Mathura Road. The tomb building is a truncated pyramid-shaped five storey monument built of deep red sandstone and enriched with features in white marble.Akbar chose the site for his own tomb and commenced the construction of Sikandra. The construction was completed by his son Jahangir. About 1 km away from the tomb lies the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, wife of emperor Akbar and mother of Jahangir.

Fatehpur Sikri

Mughal Monuments in India

Fatehpur Sikri
is a city in Agra district in Uttar Pradesh. Mughal emperor Akbar founded the city in 1569 and it served as the capital of Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. Akbar named the city as Fatehbad, Fateh meaning victorious in Arabic. The city serves as a treasure trove of beautiful Indian Mughal architecture monuments. From might forts to mausoleums and mosques you can find all types of monuments of Mughal period in India.

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