You are on page 1of 15

Govind Deva Temple, Mathura

Red Fort,Delhi

By Ayush Roy, Class 7-I

Bulland Darwaza

Throne Balcony, Diwan-I-Am

Chahar Bagh

Rulers of Medieval India

At the onset, let us start with the southern peninsula. The most important dynasty to rise out of the southern India was that of the Cholas. The first important ruler of this dynasty was Rajaraja Chola 1 {980-1014AD} followed by his son and successor Rajendra Chola{1014-1035AD}.

Rajendra Chola was killed in 1052 AD fighting The Chalukyas, his successors were far too occupied with their problems within the peninsula to worry about over seas expansion . By the middle of the 12th century Delhi emerged from obscurity, then emerged early medieval period. The Rajputs came into prominence. Places like Kanauj was under Jai Chand, a bitter rival of Prithviraj Chauhan. Prithviraj Chauhan was a Hindu Chauhan King who ruled the kingdom of Ajmer and Delhi during the latter half of the 12th century. He controlled much of todays Rajasthan and Haryana and unified Rajputs against the Muslim Invasions. His elopement in 1175 with Samyukta, the daughter of Jai Chand is a popular romantic tale of India.

Prithviraj Chauhan

The Advent of Mahmud Ghazni

In 1000AD Mahmud of
Mahmud Ghazni

Mohammed Ghuri

Ghazni{Afghanistan} attacked the Indian Territories for the first time and then made it an annual affair, looting Indias wealth. In all he invaded India 11 times. An Afghan Ruler Muhammed Ghuri prepared to attack India. Prithviraj Chauhan was able to defeat him in The First Battle of Tarain in 1191, but was defeated and captured in the second battle. After this defeat Delhi came under Muslim Rulers.

The Beginning of The Slave Dynasty

After Mohammed Ghori returned to his own country leaving Qutbuddin Aibak as his

Viceroy in Delhi, Ghori was assassinated, Aibak became the Sultan of Delhi. This marked The Beginning of The Slave Dynasty. dynasty was Illtutmish{1211-1236AD}, son in law of Aibak.

Qutbuddin Aibak

The first to begin the consolidation of the

Razia Sultan

Ghiyasuddin Balban

Then came the first Woman King- Razia Sultan{ 1237- 1240AD}, daughter of Illtutmish. Ghiyasuddin Balban {1266- 1286AD}, gave The Delhi Sultanate its character and finished the consolidation work.

Rise of Khaljis and Tughlaq Dynasty

Now the Sultanate saw the rise of The Khaljis,

together with Jalauddin Khalji {1290-1296AD} and Alauddin Khalji {1296- 1316AD}. for his soldiers. His administrative methods were quite successful.

Alauddin Khalji constructed a garrison town, Siri

The Khaljis were followed by the Tughlaqs who

Alauddin Khalji
Mohammed Bin Tughlaq

produced three strong rulers- Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq{1320-1324AD}, Muhammed Bin Tughlaq{13251351AD},Firoz Shah Tughlaq{1351 -1388AD}.
opposites. He shifted the capital along with the people from Delhi to Daulatabad and introduced Token currency.

Muhammed Bin Tughlaq was known as mixture of

Firoz Shah Tughlaq

After Firoz Shahs death, The Delhi Sultanate was

sacked thoroughly by Tijmur the Lame, The famous Persian Ruler.

The Lodi Dynasty

The Last Dynasty of Delhi- Lodhis, the founder of

which was Balhul Lodi. The ruler was Ibrahim Lodi{1517 to 1526AD} was a very unpopular King. His governor in Punjab Delawar Khan appealed to the latest runaway from Samarkand for help. That very year, 1526 Zahiruddin Muhammed Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the Battle of Panipat.
Babur{1526-1530AD}, Humayun{1530-1540, 1555-1556}, Akbar{1556-1605}, Jahangir{1605-1627}, Shah Jahan{1627-1658}, Aurangzeb{1658-1707}

Ibrahim Lodi

The Beginning of The Mughal Dynasty

In 1527 and 1528 Babur defeated Rana Sanga, the Rajput Ruler at Khaunna and Chanderis. By the end of it all Babur had firmly established The Mughals as the new order to salute in India. His son Humayun succeeded him in 1530AD. He divided

his inheritance according to his Fathers will, each brother was given a province.
Sher Shah Suri, an Afghan noble defeated Humayun at Chausa{1539} and Kanauj {1540} focing him to flee to Iran. He recaptured Delhi in


1555 but died , in the following year by slipping from the staircase of his library.
Babur was a great man, soldier and poet and his son too was a poet.

Akbar the Great

Akbar The Great

Akbar was undoubtedly the greatest ruler of India. Ascending the throne at a tender age of 14, Jaluluddin Muhammed Akbar{15561605AD} started to prove why he earned the epithet of Akbar The Great. 1556-1576- Akbar became independent of his regent Bairam Khan. In 1556, Akbar led his first army to the Famous battlefield of Panipat. The second battle of Panipat was fought between him and Hemu, the prime minister of The Sultan of Bengal.

The Famous Akbar The Great along with his one of his nine gemsThe Wise Birbal

If The First Battle of Panipat signaled the arrival of the Mughals, the second was of greater importance. With this victory, Akbar sent a clear signal all over India- he was doubtedly THE MUGHAL KING. He fought battles all over India and had an empire that stretched from the Present day Karnataka in the south right upto the HinduKush in the north. Rajasthan in the west, Bihar and Bengal in the east. Akbar was not only a good military man, but also a good diplomat and statesman, famous for his Rajput Policy. This turned them from bitter enemies to staunch allies. His court was famous for The Nauratans, Abul Fazal, Raja Birbal the wit, legendary singer Miya Tan Sen. In 1581, he started a national religion Din-i-Illahi, an amalgam of Hindu, Islam and Zoroastrianisim.

Jahangir and his son Shah Jahan

In October 1605 Akbar fell ill, Jahangir was crowned emperor by his father on his deathbed. He continued the military campaigns started by Akbar. The Sisodiya, ruler of Mewar , Amar Singh accepted his supremacy. Prince Khusro revolted against him. Prince Khurram, The Future emperor, Shah Jahan revolted against in the last years of his reign. The single most person important person in Jahangirs life was his wife, the enigmatic, Nur Jahan , whom he married in 1611. She was the real power behind Jahangir. Shah Jahan ascended the throne in 1627. He was the greatest builder of the Mughal Dynasty. In 1639, he decided to shift his capital to Delhi and construct a new city on the banks of Yamuna, to be called ShahJahanabad. His Greatest achievement was the breathtaking Taj Mahal, built in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The end of his rule saw one of the most bitter battle of succession . In 1657, he fell ill. Aurangzeb finally defeated all his brothers and had Shah Jahan imprisoned in The Agra Fort.


Shah Jahan


Aurangzeb ruled India as a single largest state. He succeded not because he was crueller butt because he was more efficient and skilled. He was a firm and capable administrator who retained his grip of power until his death at the age of 88. From 1681, he virtually transferred his capital to Deccan, superintending the overthrow of the two remaining Deccan kingdoms in 1686-87 and fruitlessly trying to crush the Maratha rebellion by Shivaji.

In his zealousness to promote Islam, he made many fatal blunders and needless enemies. He had the 9th Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur tortured and executed.
Aurangzeb ended his embittered life in Aurangabad in 1707. The gallery of The Great Mughals is completed by Aurangzebs son Bahadur Shah whose reign lasted for only for 5 years. This was the time when a certain East India Company of England suddenly realised they had stumbled upon a gold mine named India.


Buildings of Medieval India

Kandariya Temple

The religious built in the reigns of the Cholas, Hoysalas, Chandela e.t.c had their individual dynastic characteristics. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva was constructed by King Dhangadeva of the Chandela Dynasty. An ornamenated gateway led to an entrance, and the main hall where dances were dances were performed. The Chief Deity was kept in The Main shrine{Gharbhagriha}, the place for ritual worship where only the king, his immediate family and the priest gathered. The Khajuraho Temple Complex contained Royal Temples where commoners were not allowed and were and were elaborately decorated with carved sculptures. The Rajarajeshwara Temple at Thanjavur had the tallest Shikhara of its time. As their were no cranes in those days, architects built an inclined path to the top of the temple, placed the boulder on rollers and rolled it to the top. The largest temples were all constructed by kings. The lesser Deities in the Temple were the Gods and Goddesses of the allies. The Temple were the miniature model ruled by the king and his allies.

Rajarajeshwara Temple

Khajuraho Temple

Somnath Temple

Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was a contemporary of Rajendra 1, destroyed temples specially the one at Somnath. Constructing places of worship provided rulers of each dynasty to proclaim their relationship with God. Sultan Illtutmish won universal respect for constructiong a large reservoir outside, called Hauz-I Sultani{Kings Reservoir}. Sometimes these tanks and reservoirs were part of the temple, mosque, e.g- At Golden Temple with Holy Sarovar , and Jami Masjid[built by Shah Jahan} at Shahjhanabad. The main goal of Islamic art was to express beauty as an aspect of God,realised in the Mosque whose pointed arch,dome,tall minaret, lofty portal e.t.c fulllfilled the aspiration of a devoured Muslim. In Delhi, the Quwwatul Islam Mosque was built by Qutbuddin Aibak in 1192. True Arch, the Keystone at the center of the arch tranferred the weight of the superstructure to the base of the arch{Alai Darwaza at Quwwatul Islam Mosque}. In the southeast corner of the mosque, Aibak built the world famous Red Sandstone Minaret, Qutb Minar completed by Illtutmish in 1229 and subsiquently repaired by Alauddin Khalji, Muhammed Tuglaq, Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

Qutb Minar, Quwwatul Mosque

Jami Masjid Golden Temple

Medieval Structures under Khaljis and Tughlaqs and The Beginning of The Mughals.

By the time of Alauddin Khalji, Indian Muslim architecture had come under the influence of Saljuk techniques and styles of which Ala Darwaza is the most beautiful. Under the Tughlaqs, ornamentations was replaced by lineaments and masses. The Khirki and Kalan Masjid are distinguished by their fortress like appearance. The palace fort of Firoz, known as Kotla Firuz Shah set the pattern for later day palaces. Under the Mughals, architecture became more complex. The first Mughal monument of significance is the Humayuns Tomb {Built by his widow}. It is the central feature of a large enclosed garden with channels for running water {Chahar Bagh, four gardens} and built in the tradition known as Hasht Bihisht- A central hall surrounded by 8 rooms. Akbars buildings are almost entirely in Red Sandstone, occasional marble inlay eg- The interior of Jami Masjid in Fatehpir Sikri and his mausoleum in Sikandra. The Jahingiri Mahal shows the adaptation of Hindu style of architecture to the Muslim style off living. Fatehpur Sikri consists of the Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-I-Khass, Queens Apartment, courtyards, Mosque where a hundred thousand men could pray at the same time.

Humayuns Tomb with Chahar Bagh

Jahangiri Mahal

Lahori Gate at Red Fort

Grandeur of The Taj at night

Jama Masjid, Delhi

The Mughals liked Bangla Dome{ thatched hut} so much that they used it in their archtecture. Akbars Mausoleum was built in Jahangirs time. With the reign of Shah Jahan began architectural activity distinguished by a high regard for tradition and also innovative. The Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan was the tomb of his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal, standing on the Banks of Yamuna. We have a square garden{Chahar Bagh Format}gh with a long pool in the centre in which the Taj is constantly reflected. Today we stand in complete awe and is mesmerised by beauty of the Taj. Shah Jahan constructed a new city, mosque a palace fort know as ShahJahanabad. The Red Fort at Delhi is enclosed by lofty wall of Red Sandstone and its public entrance is called LahoriGate. Behind the emperors throne at thr Red Fort were a series of Pietra Dura inlays depicting The legendary Greek God, Orpheus playing the lute. It was believed that Orpheuss music could calm ferocious beasts until they peacefully co existed. The Jami Masjid at Delhi, the largest mosque in India represents the consummation of Mosque architecture.

Bangla Dome

Badshahi Mosque
With the end of Shah Jahans rule, the creative impulse of Indian Muslim architecture was exhausted. The Badshahi Mosque at The Red Fort in Delhi, built by Aurangzeb has no outstanding architectural merit. As construction activity increased between the 8th 18th century there was considerable sharing of ideas. In Vrindavan, near Mathura, Temples were constructed in architectural styles similar to Fatehpur Sikri. The creation of large empires helped in the cross fertilisation of artistic forms and architectural styles . Even though The Mughal waned in the 18th century, architectural styles developed under them were constantly adapted by other rulers whenever they tried to establish their kingdom.