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Infuelnce of Islam on Architecture

Infuelnce of Islam on Architecture

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Published by: swamy_me on Nov 20, 2009
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09/24/2010

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Infuelnce of islam on architecture
Indian architecture took new shape with the advent of Islamic rule in India towards theend of the 12th century AD. New elements were introduced into the Indian architecturethat include: use of shapes (instead of natural forms); inscriptional art using decorativelettering or calligraphy; inlay decoration and use of coloured marble, painted plaster and brightly coloured glazed tiles. Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque built in 1193 CE was the firstmosque to be built in the Indian subcontinent; its adjoining "Tower of Victory", the QutbMinar also started around 1192 CE, which marked the victory of Muhammad Ghori andhis general Qutbuddin Aibak, from Ghazni, Afghanistan, over local Rajput kings, is nowa UNESCO World Heritage Site in Delhi.In contrast to the indigenous Indian architecture which was of the trabeate order i.e. allspaces were spanned by means of horizontal beams, the Islamic architecture was arcuatei.e. an arch or dome was adopted as a method of bridging a space. The concept of arch or dome was not invented by the Muslims but was, in fact, borrowed and further perfected by them from the architectural styles of the post-Roman period. Muslims used acementing agent in the form of mortar for the first time in the construction of buildings inIndia. They further put to use certain scientific and mechanical formulae, which werederived by experience of other civilizations, in their constructions in India. Such use of scientific principles helped not only in obtaining greater strength and stability of theconstruction materials but also provided greater flexibility to the architects and builders.One fact that must be stressed here is that, the Islamic elements of architecture hadalready passed through different experimental phases in other countries like Egypt, Iranand Iraq before these were introduced in India. Unlike most Islamic monuments in thesecountries, which were largely constructed in brick, plaster and rubble, the Indo-Islamicmonuments were typical mortar-masonry works formed of dressed stones. It must beemphasized that the development of the Indo-Islamic architecture was greatly facilitated by the knowledge and skill possessed by the Indian craftsmen, who had mastered the artof stonework for centuries and used their experience while constructing Islamicmonuments in India.Islamic architecture in India can be divided into two parts: religious and secular. Mosquesand Tombs represent the religious architecture, while palaces and forts are examples of secular Islamic architecture. Forts were essentially functional, complete with a littletownship within and various fortifications to engage and repel the enemy.Mosques: The mosque or masjid is a representation of Muslim art in its simplest form.The mosque is basically an open courtyard surrounded by a pillared verandah, crownedoff with a dome. A
mihrab
indicates the direction of the
qibla
for prayer. Towards theright of the
mihrab
stands the
mimbar 
or pulpit from where the
 Imam
presides over the proceedings. An elevated platform, usually a minaret from where the Faithful aresummoned to attend prayers is an invariable part of a mosque. Large mosques where thefaithful assemble for the Friday prayers are called the Jama Masjids.

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