Mughal Culture

Mughal Architecture

     The Mughal style was an agglomeration of various styles, partly foreign and partly indigenous. The early Mughals liked and followed the Persian styles, but the successors of Akbar did not. Their style was more sumptuous and decorative than the style that preceded it and in delicacy and ornamentation furnished a striking contrast to the art of pre-Mughal days.

Babur

     He held a very poor opinion about Indian architecture which he came across at Delhi and Agra. He wanted to raise beautiful buildings of his own choice. For this purpose he invited foreign architects. Out of many, buildings of Babur the two that survive are a mosque in the Kablibagh at Panipat and the other Jama Masjid at Sambhal in Ruhelkhand.

Humayun   

Humayun led a life of stress and strain, yet he found time to erect two mosques. Din-Panah is his palace at Delhi.

Akbar

     In l569 Akbar laid the foundation of the city of Fatehpur Sikri and constructed a number of buildings there.  The most important buildings at Fatehpur are Buland Darvaza and Jama Masjid. The former Is the highest gateway in India measuring 176 feet and built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat.  The gate is in the style of what Is called a half dome portal.  The tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti is another important building here, besides House of Birbal; House of the Princes of Amber, Sonhala Makan and the Diwan-i-Khas. Dr. Smith beautifully remarks that Fatehpur as “a romance in stone".

     At Agra, the Agra Fort was constructed under his personal supervision. There are two gateways called Delhi Gate and Amar Singh Gate. He also constructed Lahore Fort, Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandara whose construction was started by the king himself but was completed by Jahangir is modeled on Buddhist Viharas.

Jahangir  

     He was more interested In painting than architecture The two most important buildings of his time are the Tomb of Akbar and the Tomb of ltimad-ud-daulah. The latter was built by Nur Jahan over the grave of her lather. It is built of white marbles and Is one of the earliest buildings to be decorated with pietra dura or a method of decorating the walls with floral designs made of semi-precious stones. 

Shah Jahan

     He was the most prolific builder and architectural art reached its zenith during his reign. His most important buildings in Delhi are Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas and Jama Masjid. The Diwan-i-Khas is highly decorative and Shah Jahan himself called it "Paradise on Earth”. The Moti Masjid at Agra Is regarded as the ‘purest and loveliest house of prayer“. It is made entirely of marble like the Taj. The Taj is regarded as the apex of  Mughal architectural art. Its master architect was Ustad Isa. It took 22 years to complete and has been described as “a dream in marble".

Aurungzeb

     He was not much interested in architecture.  In I669, he built a mosque; in 1674 he constructed the Badshahi mosque at Lahore, but it is a poor imitation of the older model.

Mughal Literatrue:

Book  Author
Humayun Namah Gulbadan Begum
Ain-i-Akbari Abul Fazal
Akbar Namah Abul Fazal
Twarikh-i-Alfi Mulla Daud
Tabaqat-i-Akbari Nizamuddin Ahmad
Thzuki-i-Jahangeri Jahangir
Iqbal Namah Mutamaid Khan
Badshah Namah Abdul Hamid Lahuri and also by Muhammad Warish
Shanhjahan Namah Inayat-Khan and also by Muhammad Salih
Sakinet-ul-Aubia
Hasanat-ul-Afrin
and Majma-ul-Bahrin
Dara Sukoh
Raqqat-i-Alamgiri Aurangzeb
Muntakhab-ul-lubab Khafi Khan
Alamgir Namah Mirza Muhammad Kazim
Nuskha-i-Dilkhus Bhimsen
Futuhat-i-Alamgiri Ishwar Das

Mughal Painting

It is a combination of various elements partly foreign, partly Persian and partly Indian.

Under Babur and Humayun:

Unfortunately no painting of Baburi line has been found. Humayun developed a great taste for painting during his exile in Persia. When he came back to India. He brought him with two skillful persian painters: Mir Saiyyed All and Khwaja Abdus samad. They illustrated Dastan-i-Amir Mamzah. Indeed these two proteges of Humayun formed the nucleus of the Mughal school of painting which came in prominence in Akbar's reign. So, Humayun may be considered the original founder of the Mughal School of painting. 

Under Akbar

The chief painters in his court were Abdus Samad, Mir Saiyyed Ali and Farrukh Beig. Among Hindu painters were Jaswant, Darawan, Tara Chand and Jagannath. Akbar got illustrated not only of Persian texts,  but also of Mahabharata and Ramayana and his historical work Akbar Nama. In fact, Akbar laid down the foundation of Mughal miniature paintings, but it was Jahangir who gave it maturity.

Under Jahangir

Mughal painting reached its climax under Jahangir who had a very discriminating eye and claimed that he could identify the hands of several artists in a composite picture. Apart from painting hunting, battle and court-scenes, under Jahangir new direction was made in portrait painting and printings of animals. Mansur was the great name in this field who excelled in painting birds.

Under Shan Jahan

He was more interested in architecture than painting. Percy Brown observes “with his (Jahangir's) passing, the soul of Mughal painting also departed" But Dara Shikoh was a patron of the pictorial art as is testified by his precious album preserved in the Library of India Office.


Related Questions

1. Which of the following contemporary sources of the Mughal period is especially useful for obtaining the information on the agrarian condition ? -- View Answer

2. Who among the following Mughal rulers was Ignorant of the art reading and writing ? -- View Answer

3. Revenue system during Akbar's reign was in the hands of : -- View Answer

4. The East India Company was founder in London during the reign of : -- View Answer

5. Which of the following Rajput dynasties did not surrender to Akbar ? -- View Answer

6. The mansabdari system introduced by Akbar was borrowed from the system in : -- View Answer

7. Which of the following is wrongly matched with his contemporary Mughal king? -- View Answer

8. The capital of the Mughal Empire was shifter from Agra to Delhi by : -- View Answer

9. Chand Bibi, who ceded Berar to Akbar, was the ruler of : -- View Answer

10. In the Mughal administration, military recruitment was being locked after by : -- View Answer


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