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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Mughals" redirects here. For other uses, see Mughal (disambiguation).
The Mughal Empire
م غول شا ان ه Shāhān-e Moġul
Mughal Frontiers 1526–1707
 although the dynasty continued for another 150 years.2 million square miles). such as the Ahom Kingdom of Assam. the most famous of which is the legendary Taj Mahal at Agra as well as Pearl Mosque. . He erected many splendid monuments. The reign of Shah Jahan. with brilliant literary. was the golden age of Mughal architecture. the Sikh Misl and the Hindu Maratha Empire had emerged as formidable foes of the Mughals. However. India enjoyed much cultural and economic progress as well as religious harmony. the rise of the Maratha. The reign of Aurangzeb saw the enforcement of strict Muslim fundamentalism which caused rebellions among the Sikhs and Hindus. their most visible legacy. By early 1700s.  . Durrani.گ ورك ان ىGūrkānī). the growth of religious intolerance. the empire was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different regions. During the classic period. Urdu: یہ self-designation: . Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million. they controlled most of the Indian Subcontinent—extending fromBengal in the east to Balochistan in the west. The "classic period" of the empire started in 1556 with the accession of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar. some Rajput kings. was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. the Red Fort. artistic.2 million square kilometres (1. was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. better known as Akbar the Great. whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi.مغول شاهانShāhān-e Moġul. Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. the empire began to disintegrate. Following the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. Jama Masjid (Mosque) and Lahore Fort. successfully resisted Mughal subjugation. and architectural results. weakened by wars of succession. as well as Sikh empires and finally British colonialism. Following 1725. The name Mughal is derived from the original homelands of the Timurids. agrarian crises fueling local revolts. The Mughals also forged a strategic alliance with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. All the significant monuments of the Mughals. س لط نت م غ ل or Mogul (also Moghul) Empire in traditional English usage. The last Emperor. Additionally. at the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Under the rule of Akbar the Great. Bahadur Shah II. continued to pose significant threat to Mughal dominance of northwestern India. regional states in southern and northeastern India. over a territory of more than 3. the fifth emperor. the empire started its gradual decline. It began in 1526.The Mughal Empire (Persian: . such as Maha Rana Pratap. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids. the Central Asian steppes once conquered by Genghis Khan and hence known as Moghulistan.
poetry and novels. Broadly one can divide them into three categories. This renewed interest in Indian literature would be an important tool used by the social reformers of the eighteenth century to educate the people about what the ancient texts really said as opposed to the distorted interpretations that were being followed. Languages like Persian. Sanskrit. Hindi and Urdu saw tremendous creative activity as did many vernacular languages. Many of the Vedas were also translated and several previous historical books were also translated. The Mughal empire had a large number of poets and writers and hence there was a lot of work published in this era. and most of the historical works of this period provide us with a fairly reliable source of information. because with the return of a stable and prosperous empire. Many important works in translation were also written during this period. The important historical works written in this time were Ain-IAkbari . the Igbalnamah-I-Jahangiri and the Zubud-ut-Tawaikh were written. with the translation of the epics. thus forming the base for the Indo-Persian culture. historical works. and Akbarnamath by Abul Fazl. they patronized many Indian languages leading to some . Jehangir and Shah Jahan they had tremendous patronage and many remarkable works were composed. there was once again patronage for their work. Jehangir possessed a keen interest in literature. Persian literature received a lot of attention as it was the court language. the Mahabharata and the Ramayana taking place. Education and Literature There was tremendous literary activity during the Mughal period. they became essentially Persianized and transferred thePersian literary and high culture to India. Especially during the reign of Akbar. translations . A vast number of works were written during the period of the Mughals. and his autobiography is one of the finest amongst the Mughal emperors. All this translation added to the wealth of Indian literature and spread ancient knowledge to a greater audience. Although early Mughals spoke the Chagatai language and maintained some Turko-Mongol practices. the Ta'rikh-I-'Alfi by Mulla Daud. During his reign important historical works like Ma'asir-I-Jahangir . Since the Mughal emperors had integrated themselves into Indian society."Land of Mongols". Our understanding of the Mughal period was greatly enhanced by these books.
and Akbarnamath by Abul Fazl. the Ta'rikh-I-'Alfi by Mulla Daud. historical works. Literary activity did not decline with the Mughal empire and flourished even in the twilight years of the Mughal empire. which was a simplified version of the Ramayana. in fact some of the later Mughals were better poets and writers than they were capable emperors. Writers like Krishnada andKaviraj were popular authors of the time. Languages like Persian. All this translation added to the wealth of Indian literature and spread ancient knowledge to a greater audience. In Bengal there was a lot of work being created in Vaishnava literature.poetry and novels. The important historical works written in this time were Ain-IAkbari . because with the return of a stable and prosperous empire. Many biographies were written. there was once again patronage for their work. Many important works in translation were also written during this period. translations . the Igbalnamah-I-Jahangiri and the Zubud-ut-Tawaikh were written. especially of the great saint Chaitanya Deya. The main themes of the period were essentially religious. Jehangir possessed a keen interest in literature. Hindi and Urdu saw tremendous creative activity as did many vernacular languages. Sanskrit. Our understanding of the Mughal period was greatly enhanced by these books. with the translation of the epics. The art of calligraphy also reached a level of excellence. Broadly one can divide them into three categories. . One of the fine Hindu works composed during this time wasRamcharitmanasa (the pool of Rama's life) by Tulsidasa. A vast number of works were written during the period of the Mughals. There was tremendous literary activity during the Mughal period. Persian literature received a lot of attention as it was the court language.good quality literature being developed for these languages. The works were properly filed and locating information was very easy. The keen interest in literature that the Mughal emperors had led to the establishment of many great libraries which became repositories of tremendous knowledge. covering most of the major religions of the period. and most of the historical works of this period provide us with a fairly reliable source of information. and his autobiography is one of the finest amongst the Mughal emperors. Many of the Vedas were also translated and several previous historical books were also translated. the Mahabharata and the Ramayana taking place. During his reign important historical works like Ma'asir-I-Jahangir .
The works were properly filed and locating information was very easy. Many biographies were written. The keen interest in literature that the Mughal emperors had led to the establishment of many great libraries which became repositories of tremendous knowledge. The art of calligraphy also reached a level of excellence. Writers like Krishnada andKaviraj were popular authors of the time.This renewed interest in Indian literature would be an important tool used by the social reformers of the eighteenth century to educate the people about what the ancient texts really said as opposed to the distorted interpretations that were being followed. The main themes of the period were essentially religious. in fact some of the later Mughals were better poets and writers than they were capable emperors. In Bengal there was a lot of work being created in Vaishnava literature. The Mughal empire had a large number of poets and writers and hence there was a lot of work published in this era. Jehangir and Shah Jahan they had tremendous patronage and many remarkable works were composed. which was a simplified version of the Ramayana. covering most of the major religions of the period. especially of the great saint Chaitanya Deya. One of the fine Hindu works composed during this time wasRamcharitmanasa (the pool of Rama's life) by Tulsidasa. Literary activity did not decline with the Mughal empire and flourished even in the twilight years of the Mughal empire. Since the Mughal emperors had integrated themselves into Indian society. Especially during the reign of Akbar. Science and technology . they patronized many Indian languages leading to some good quality literature being developed for these languages.
Complex Arabesque inlays at the Mughal Agra Fort. Before they were rediscovered in the 1980s. which hitherto would be considered heretic. The policy of sulh i kul adopted by Akbar became visible in the art forms patronised by the Mughal emperors. Humayun built a personal observatory near Delhi. it was believed by modernmetallurgists to be technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams. Another famous series of seamless celestial globes was produced using a lost-wax casting method in the Mughal Empire in 1070 AH (1659–1960 CE) by Muhammad Salih Tahtawi with Arabic and Persian inscriptions. while Jahangir and Shah Jahan were also intending to build observatories but were unable to do so. Technology See also: History of gunpowder: India Fathullah Shirazi (c. one of the most remarkable astronomical instruments invented in Mughal India is the seamless celestial globe (seeTechnology below). the seamless globe was invented in Kashmir by Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in 998 AH (1589–90 CE). Akbar by giving shape to a durable policy of tolerance promoted development and intermingling of art forms. By that time. even with modern technology. While there appears to have been little concern for theoretical astronomy.  Considered one of the most remarkable feats in metallurgy. Babur and Humayun would have followed a liberal policy in such matters. This was visible in paintings. developed a volley gun. music and architecture. The interregnum of Sher Shah had destabilised the Mughal rule in the period prior to Akbar. His patronage also removed the stigma of sacrilege attached to arts like . and twenty other such globes were later produced in Lahore and Kashmir during the Mughal Empire. These Mughal metallurgists pioneered the method of wax casting while producing these seamless globes. Although. but they had adopted India as their home. Mughals were no longer the strangers. The instruments and observational techniques used at the Mughal observatories were mainly derived from the Islamic tradition. 1582). Mughal astronomers continued to make advances in observational astronomy and produced nearly a hundred Zij treatises. and therefore could not give shape to durable policy.  In particular. they did not live long. where Islamic observational techniques and instruments were employed techniques. It is considered a major feat in metallurgy.  Mughal period-art and architecture Mughal rule stabilised during the time of Akbar. a Persian-Indian polymath and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar the Great in the Mughal Empire. Astronomy The 16th and 17th centuries saw a synthesis between Islamic astronomy.
Architecture. Sufi saints etc Moreover. Akbar initiated building activity in a major way. music was patronised by all Mughal emperors. hunting scenes. According to Abul Fazl there were 36 musicians in Akbar’s court. females as well as love scenes started to be painted. Bishan Das etc brought in their influence. although Islamic themes were avoided. Panchatantra. In Islam. reaching zenith under Shahjahan with the construction of Taj Mahal. Music.painting under the orthodox Islamic laws as followed by some of the rulers of the Sultanate. Kalia-daman etc. the painting of human forms is considered sacrilege. headed by Tansen. forms like tarana. Humayun’s tomb. as it means imitating God’s creation – but under Mughals. while the Persian ones were dedh-chashma. paintings of birds and animals became prominent. Manohar. Hindu artists like Dasawnath. but gradually. Baswan. This similarity can also be seen in miniatures and to some extent night scenes of dancing and singing. Even Aurangzeb was an expert veena player. nobles. NalaDamayanti. Ramayana. buildings at Fatehpur Sikri (containing monuments like Panch-mahal. This activity was carried on by his successors. it developed its own forms which had large measure of Hindu influence. mian ki malhar. palaces etc). By Shahjahan’s time. forts containing various structures at Agra and Allahabad were built during his reign. During Jahangir’s time. There was also influence from Rajasthani school eg ek-chashma paintings (one sided face). Later on many books were written on music. The Hindu religious and mythological themes were painted like Razmnama (Mahabharat). Buland-darwaza. In manuscript paintings. Initially it depicted Persian and Central Asian (Chinese Turkmenistan) influence. raag darbari by Tansen – these ragas were Indian in origin. It should be remembered that except Aurangzeb. royalty. Patronage by Mughals led to development of forms like mian ki todi. By the time of later Mughals. Paintings. Mukund. The quality of . themes of nature. portraits of emperors. thumri etc were formed. During Shahjahan’s time the emphasis was on use of marble (while earlier. red sandstone had been used). Hindu stories were given free expressions. the art of portraiture reached a high pedestal – eg.
and use of multifaceted shafts. Early Mughal architecture relied on postandbeam construct ion and scarcely used arches. arabesque and calligraphy. We thus see that Mughal rule particularly from Akbar’s time to that of Shahjahan was quite open to adoption and intermingling of Hindu influence in the royal art forms. mosques. The concepts apparent in Islam like power. gardens and so on. This is a blend of Islamic. The Bulbous domes and convoluted arches – the techniques introduced during Shahjahan were Islamic. pleasure and death are reflected in the forts. In terms of building style. swastic. All these furthered developement of Indo-Islamic forms of art and architecture in India. personality and other artistic inclinations.hansa. In Islamic style the decorative motifs were floral designs. Babur`s victory over Ibrahim Lodi. Islam. The Maqbara in Baroda is an example of the early Mughal architecture and bears very less similarities with the florid style that existed prior to the Mughal era. However. Mughal architecture has its origin in its religion. Mughal architecture is the style that developed in India under the Mughal dynasty in the 16th and 17th centuries. Trabeate technique (use of beams) was extensively used in secular buildings. Some great forts and palaces . during Akbar’s time. Persian and Indian architecture. The buldings of Mughal architecture reflects not on the architectural techniques and wealth but also their love for poetry.architecture deteriorated under Aurangzeb and gradually declined under his successors. Early Mughal architecture: The Mughals were an Indian Islamic dynasty which ruled most of northern India from the beginning of the sixteenth to the mideighteenth century. Mughal architecture came into prominence with the rule of Babur who was the first Mughal emperor in India in 1526. Original Islamic style for domes and arches was Arcuate – which was particularly used in religious buildings. initiated the erection of a mosque at Panipat succeded by another called the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. padma. rather than structural ones. There was also use of decorative arches. the pietr dura (prachin kari) was influence of the Hindu style. there was adoption and intermingling of Islamic and Hindu styles and techniques. tombs. the Mughals also adopted the decorative Hindu motifs like the gaja (elephant). chakra etc. with bracket supports and exquisitely carved capitals. durbars.
Fatehpur Sikri which is located 26 miles west of Agra. but Jahangir`s interests were painting and garden architecture. The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula completed in 1628. This is one of the most resplendent examples of that class of ornamentation that can be found anywhere. has an intricate ground plan with central octagonal chambers. The Tomb of Akbar`s father Humayun. Akbar`s mausoleum was built in Jahangir`s time. surrounded by pools with seats which can only be reached by stepping stones. The shalimar Gardens and other pavillions on the shore of Kashmir`s Dal lake was also magnificantly built by him. excelling any similar entrance in India in its size and structure. The great mosque is one such epitome of architectural brilliance unmatched in elegance and splendor. The south gateway is well known. Mausoleum to Humayun is another important signifier of the early mughal architecture. Jahangir`s own tomb. Jahangir`s reign was noted for architectural works. Most of Akbar`s buildings are almost entirely in red sandstone. have no dome. Fatehpur Sikri defines Akbar`s finest styles of architecture.of the early Mughal period can be traced in the reign of Akbar(1556-1605) in Agra. like I`timaduddulah`s and Akbar`s tombs. which is joined by an elegantly faceded archway. Akbar and Mughal architecture : Emperor Akbar was the first Mughal ruler during whose rule we find the emergence of wonderful Mughal architecture. kiosks. minarates and ornamentation are only evident. surmounted by cupolas. In Gujarat a nd many other places we find the presence of a style. Jahangir was the person who was responsible for the development of the Mughal garden. Akbar`s tomb at Sikandra are some such finest work of architectural magnificance which broadly highlights the Mughal architecture prototypes. was built entirely of white marble and covered wholly by pietra dura mosaic. "Verinag" and "Chashma-Shahi" are gardens built by Jahangir beautifully around spring. which is a blend of Muslim and Hindu characteristic features of architecture. He built massively and the style was unique which was developed in his rule. which is covered with enameled tiles. The extensive use of white marble as a material and inlay as a decorative motif . was constructed in the late 1500s and bears the testimony to the era of his royal heritage. exempted at times through marble inlay. His style basically was Persian like his great mosque at Lahore. The Shalimar Bagh. Lahore and Fatehpur Sikri. the tomb placed in a garden at Delhi. which rapidly progressed with his reign. Jahangir & Mughal architecture: Jahangir`r reign during 1605-1627 saw the decline in the Hindu influence on Mughal architecture. and pinnacles ructure of the kind and of great virtue. is distinguished by a series of pavilions on carved pillars. the tomb appealed due to its decoration with various styles of inlay. After Itimad-ud-daulah died his daughter commissioned the construction in white marble of his exquisite tomb at Agra which was finished in 1628.
Aurangzeb`s concern seems to be for garden architecture than construction of palaces. lapis lazuli and precious stones. which consisted entirely of jewels and precious metals and stones. with its magnificent Red Fort. Later Mughal architecture: Art and architecture almost took a backseat in Aurangzeb`s rule. It is made in white marble. is the finest example of Mughal architecture combining Persian. The Red Fort contains the imperial Mughal Palace. Shah Jahan replaced old structures along with the addition of new ones. The Taj is among the seven wonders of the world. The Moti Masjid is highly representative of purity. is again one of Shahjahan`s excellence. Tradition and innovation was very intelligently regarded in shahjahan`s architectural extravaganza. the Red Fort and three mosques has survived the ravages of time. The Hall of Public Audience. The letters 30 feet or more above the line of the eye appear to be exactly of the same size as those a foot above the floor level. The Jama Mosque of Delhi and the Pearl Mosque of Agra are reminiscent of the style that was eminent in mughal era. Marble. malachite. which continued the saga of the succession of tombs out of which the Taj Mahal is a magnicant piece of art. Near the city of Old Delhi. was used for the constructions. and other than parts of the wall and three of its original 14 gates. cornelian.and gracefulness which was his appreciable contributions to the Agra Fort. Shah Jahan took ten years to build the city. The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) built by Aurangzeb in the Red Fort at Delhi incorporated a three-domed sanctuary with a raised central arch and mini-domed pillars projecting out of the roof to resemble minarets. this is absolutely a revelation of the great mastery and perspective of the artists. or iwan. which is situated in Delhi. . His reign from 1659-1707 marked the shift from the art loving Mughals to a more orthodox ruler under whom the decline set in. Shahjahan & Mughal architecture:Mughal architecture reached its perfection in Shahajahan`s reign(1627-1658). In the palace fort of Agra. An inlay of black marbles was used for the re-bulding of The Diwan-I-Am. Due to his policies to overpower Hinduism.balance. he made the Great Mosque towering over the Hindu holy city of Venaras. The Taj Mahal is described as "A Dream in Marble" and the mosaic is studded with onyx. Taj Mahal: Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal`s approximated estimate is 32 million rupees. in the fort contains the Peacock Throne. A standard mosque form was developed in his reign where the eminence of three domes over the sanctuary in conjunction with a raised central arch. but it is timeless and priceless due to its beauty and valor. Humayun`s tomb was the first of the tombs. Shah Jahan built a new capital. and engaged minarets could be seen. There are inscribed texts from the Koran round the tall doorways which appear like designs. Fatehbad near Agra is one of the most impressive of these gardens. jasper. carbuncle. which was easily available in Rajasthan. Shahjahanabad. Turkish and Indian styles. and cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world`s heritage". his fanatical zeal was destructive and this further was responsible for the decline of the flourishing art and architecture since ages.were the two major innovations distinguishing the Mughal architecture in the later years.
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