You are on page 1of 4

Red Fort

Soon after laying the foundation or his new Capital city of Shahjehanabad Shah Jchan
started construction of the red sandstone Red Fort or Lal Quila in 163 !"#" on the
ban$s of the ri%er Ju&una" 'he fort too$ nearly nine years to co&plete" (ithin the
walled city) the fortress is in the shape of a rectangle *++ &etres by ,,+ &etres" 'he
ra&part walls are about 3- &etres high" ! &oat surrounds the ra&part" 'wo of the fi%e
gateways of the fort are three storeyed structures flan$ed by octagonal towers" 'hese
are the Lahori .ate and the #elhi .ate" Figures of two huge elephants flan$ the #elhi
.ate" 'he &ain entrance to the fort is through the Lahori .ate" ! co%ered passage
with shops on either side leads to the palaces inside the fort" /arrac$s for soldiers)
audience halls) horse and elephant stables) and orna&ental gardens are other features
of the fort"
So&e of the beautiful buildings are the #iwan0i0!&) #iwan0i01has) 2oti 2ahal) 3ira
2ahal and Rang 2ahal) the latter three) all halls decorated with pietro dura and
patterns in gold and colour and floors pa%ed with &arble slabs" 'he 2oti 2asjid was
added later in 16,- !"#" and is an e4cellent speci&en of the balance and rhyth&
&aintained in 2ughal constructions"
'he #iwan0i0!& 53all of 6ublic !udience7 is an arched pillared durbar hall" ! white
&arble throne) e&bellished with coloured inlay wor$ stands under a &arble canopy"
/elow the throne is a &arble dais inlaid with se&i0precious stones" /ehind the throne)
the wall has beautiful panels of flowers and birds in coloured inlay wor$"
'he #iwan0i01has 53all of 6ri%ate !udience7 is a rectangular central hall with aisles
of arches and painted pillars" 'he four corners of the roof ha%e pillars with chhatris on
the&" 'he walls ha%e the fa&ous %erses of !&ir 1husro which says that 89f there is
paradise on earth it is here:
Humayun's Tomb
3u&ayun;s to&b was built by his widow 3aji /egu& in 1,6, !"#" in #elhi in
1,6*!"#") fourteen years after his death" 'he &ausoleu& stands in the centre of a
s<uare enclosed garden" 'he garden is di%ided and sub0di%ided into s<uares) typical
of 2ughal gardens" 'he lofty double storeyed structure is built on a huge high
platfor& terrace which has a row of calls with arched openings" 'he central cha&ber
is octagonal in shape and contains the to&b" =ach side of the &ausoleu& has a large
arched alco%e in the centre with s&aller ones on either side" 9t has a high &arble
double do&e in the centre and pillared $ios$s with cupolas surrounding it" /uilt of
red sandstone with an inlay of blac$) white and yellow &arble it presents an i&posing
picture" 6lanned by a 6ersian architect and constructed by 9ndian wor$ers) it is a
co&bination of both 6ersian and 9ndian styles of architecture" =ntrance to the
&ausoleu& is through two double storeyed gateways"
Agra Fort
! greater part of the fort at !gra was constructed by !$bar starting in 1,6, !# and
co&pleted it in 1,>- !"#" Situated on the ban$ of the ri%er Ja&una) it is a &assi%e
and grand structure" 'he special feature of this fort is the ?", $&s" long and ?1
&etres high circuitous wall of solid red sand stone" 'he stones are lin$ed with iron
rings so close that not e%en a hair can pass through" 'he entrance to the fort is
through two gateways" 'he &ain entrance $nown as #elhi .ate was the cere&onial
entrance to the fort" 'he other s&aller gateway is called the 3athi 6ol or =lephant
.ate because of the two huge elephants on either side of the gate and was &eant for
pri%ate use"
'he #elhi .ate entrance archway is flan$ed by two double storeyed octagonal
bastions crowned by octagonal do&ed $ios$s" ! balcony separates the two storeys"
'he structure abo%e the balcony has arched recesses" 'he gateway is decorated with
beautiful panels of coloured tiles and &arble inlay wor$"
'he fort is surrounded by a deep &oat" 'he fort for&erly contained nu&erous
buildings of red sand stone but these were later de&olished in the reign of Shah Jehan
who constructed &arble pa%ilions instead" So&e of the i&portant buildings inside the
fort are the Jahangiri 2ahal built for Jahangir and his fa&ily) the 2oti 2asjid) and
2ena /a@aars" 'he Jehangiri 2ahal is an i&pressi%e structure and has a courtyard
surrounded by double0storeyed halls and roo&s" 'he corbel brac$ets) doorways and
the chajja abo%e the& are profusely car%ed"
'he elaborate architecture of the brac$ets see&s to be an i&itation of wood wor$"
'he planning and construction of the fort show that Rajput architectural styles were
freely adopted"

Buland Darwaza
! &agnificent gateway was added later in 1,>10>? to co&&e&orate his con<uest of
.ujarat" /uilt of red sand stone and &arble it is said to be the 8&ost perfect
architectural achie%e&ent in the whole of 9ndiaA" ! flight of steps lead to the gateway
which is about ,3 &etres in height and 3* &etres in width" =ntrance is through a
huge arched do&ed recess" ! broad rectangular strip bordering the archway has
calligraphic inscriptions on it" !t the corners are slender turrets" 'he beautiful
perforated parapet and the row of $ios$s with cupolas add to the dignity of the
&onu&ent" !n inscription on the gateway testifies to !$bar;s religious toleration"
Jehangir though a lo%er of art was fond of natural beauty and so de%oted his ti&e to
the laying of beautiful gardens such as the Shali&ar and Bishat /agh in Srinagar)
1ash&ir and to &iniature paintings" Cut of the few of his constructions of note are
!$barDs to&b at Si$andra and the to&b of his father0in0law 9t&ad0ud0#aula both near

Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
'he 2ausoleu& of !$bar at Si$andra near !gra was started by !$bar and co&pleted
by his son Jahangir in 161? !"#" who changed the original design of his father"
#esigned on the &odel of a /uddhist Eihara) it is set in the centre of a s<uare
garden" 'he enclosure wall on each side has a gateway" 'he &ain gateway has four
white &arble &inarets in the four corners" 'he 2ausoleu& has fi%e terraces) rising
fro& the base&ent) one abo%e the other) di&inishing in si@e as they ascend" 'he red
sand0stone entrance gateway is the largest and is richly decorated with inlaid coloured
stone wor$" (ith its char&ing proportions) it is by itself a wor$ of art"
Jama Masid, Del!i
'he Ja&a 2asjid in #elhi is the largest &os<ue in 9ndia and was built between 16,+0
16,6!"#" 9t is constructed on a high platfor& and approached by a flight of steps on
three sides" 'he &ain entrance is a double storeyed gateway and leads to a %ast s<uare
courtyard which is enclosed by pillared corridors" 'he prayer hall) rectangular in plan
has a facade of ele%en arches" 'he high central arch is flan$ed by tall slender &inarets
with cupolas" (hite &arble panels with inscriptions fra&e the arches" 'hree do&es
with alternate blac$ and white &arble stripes sur&ount the prayer hall" Cn the eastern
corners) stand two tapering four storeyed &inarets"
Fate!"ur Sikri
!$bar;s greatest architectural achie%e&ent was the construction of Fatehpur Si$ri) his
Capital City near !gra" 'he construction pf the walled city was started in 1,6* !"#"
and co&pleted in 1,>- !"#" contained so&e of the &ost beautiful buildings F both
religious and secular which testify to the =&peror;s ai& of achie%ing social) political
and religious integration" 'he religious edifices worth &entioning are the Ja&i
2asjid and Sali& Chisti;s 'o&b" 'he to&b built in 1,>1 !"#" in the corner of the
&os<ue co&pound is a s<uare &arble cha&ber with a %erandah" 'he cenotaph has an
e4<uisitely designed lattice screen around it"
'he secular ones include Jodh /ai;s palace) the 6anch 2ahal) the #iwan0i0$has and
the /uland #arwa@a" Jodha /aiDs palace is a large building consisting of roo&s on all
four sides of a courtyard" 'he centre part and four corners of the building are doubled
storeyed" ! s&all chapel attached has niches in the wa$$s for idols" 'he panch 2ahal
is a fi%e stored structure) each storey s&aller in si@e as they go up) the last one being
only a $ios$"
'he #iwani 1has) an outstanding structure was &eant for the =&peror to sit in
audience with his &inisters and listen to disputes and discussions" ! no%el structure)
it is a large hall with a giant &onolithic pillars in the centre with a circular railed
platfor& on top li$e a cup which is supported by a circular array of beautifully car%ed
brac$ets" Fro& the Central platfor& branch out four diagonal railed galleries
sy&boli@ing !$bar;s supre&acy o%er his do&inions" 'he gallery is continued on all
four sides of the hall" 'he audience sat in the galleries and in the hall below gi%ing it
the effect of a two0storey building" Sitting in the centre) !$bar heard discourses and
discussions on religions"
Ta Ma!al
'he 'aj 2ahal in !gra) a drea& in white &arble was built by Shah Jehan as a
&e&orial to his belo%ed wife 2u&ta@ /egu&" /uilt on the ban$s of the ri%er Ju&na)
it was started in 163? !"#" and too$ ?? years to co&plete" 2arble fro& 2a$rana and
precious stones fro& different parts of the world were used in its construction"
6lanned by 9sa) a 6ersian architect it is a &asterpiece of architecture" 'he 'aj is
situated in the centre of a high &arble terrace" ! &arble &inaret of four storeys
stands on each of the four corners of the terrace" 'he &inarets are crowned with
do&es" 'he &ain structure is a s<uare" ! huge) %aulted recess with s&aller arched
recesses in two storeys on either side &a$e up the facade of the building on all sides"
!n octagonal hall with an e4<uisite perforated &arble screen contains the cenotaphs
of 2u&ta@ and Shah Jehan" 'he %aulted ceiling is crowned in the centre by a large
bulbous do&e which tapers off into a foliated crest" !round the do&e are four
cupolas" 'he surface of the walls F e4terior and interior and the cenotaphs are
beautifully decorated with pietra dura) floral and geo&etrical designs" /orders of
inscriptions decorate the &ain archways"
! 2os<ue on the west and a corresponding structure on the east in red sand0stone
co&plete the effect of sy&&etry" Situated in a large enclosed rectangular garden with
fountains) orna&ental pools and water0courses) entrance to the 'aj is by a &ajestic