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Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is symmetrical and decorative in style.
The Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526 (the Battle of Panipat) . During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. Six Mughal buildings are declared as World Heritage Site. They are Humayun's tomb, Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort and of course Taj Mahal Several monuments from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan are included in tentative list.
The emperor Akbar (1556–1605) built largely, and the style developed vigorously during his reign. As in the Gujarat and other styles, thede the tomb of Akbar's father Humayun, and the Tomb of Akbar the Great at Sikandra, near Agra. Akbar created the famous Fort cumcity complex Fatehpur sikri. It included buildings like Diwan-i-am, Diwan-i-khas, Panch mahal, Palace of Jodha Bai, Buland Darwaza and hundreds of buildings.
Under Jahangir the Hindu features vanished from the style; his great mosque at Lahore is in the Persian style, covered with enameled tiles. At Agra, the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, which was completed in 1628, was built entirely of white marble and covered in pietra dura mosaic. Jahangir also built the Shalimar Gardens and its accompanying pavilions on the shore of Dal Lake in Kashmir. He also built a monument to his pet deer, Hiran Minar in Sheikhupura, Pakistan and due to his great love for his wife, after his death she went on to build his mausoleum in Lahore.
Shah Jahan 
Rather than building huge monuments unlike his predecessors, Shah Jahan built elegant edifices.His predecessors built huge buildings to demonstrate their power.The force and originality of their building style gave way under [Shah Jahan] to a delicate elegance and refinement of detail, illustrated in the palaces erected in his reign at Agra and Delhi. Some examples include the Taj Mahal at Agra and the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan. The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) in the Agra Fort and The Jama Masjid at Delhi are imposing buildings, and their position and architecture have been carefully considered so as to produce a pleasing effect and feeling of spacious elegance and well-balanced proportion of parts. Shah Jahan also built the Tomb of Jahangir and sections of the Lahore Fort that include the Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, and Naulakha pavilion which are all enclosed in the fort. He also built a mosque named after himself in Thatta called Shahjahan Mosque. Another mosque was built during his tenure in Lahore called Wazir Khan Mosque, by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari who was the court physician to the emperor.
Taj Mahal 
The Taj Mahal, the "teardrop on the cheek of eternity" (Rabindranath Tagore), was completed in 1648 by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Its longest plane of symmetry runs through the entire complex except for the sarcophagus of Shah Jahan, which is placed off centre in the crypt room below the main floor. This symmetry extended to the building of an entire mirror mosque in red sandstone, to complement the Mecca-facing mosque place to the west of the main structure.
The Taj Mahal (1630–1648) in Agra, India and the Shalimar Garden (1641–1642) in Lahore, Pakistan, are two sites which are on the world heritage list of UNESCO. The Taj is considered[by whom?] to be one of the most beautiful monuments of the world and was included in the New Seven Wonders of the World list.
Aurangzeb and later Mughal architecture 
In Aurangzeb's reign (1658–1707) squared stone and marble was replaced by brick or rubble with stucco ornament. Srirangapatna and Lucknow have examples of later Indo-Muslim architecture. He made additions to the Lahore Fort and also built one of the thirteen gates which was later named after him (Alamgir). Aurangzeb also built the Badshahi Mosque which was constructed in 1674 under the supervision of Fida'i Koka. This mosque is adjacent to the Lahore Fort and is the last in the series of congregational mosques in red sandstone and is closely modeled on the one Shah Jahan built at Shahjahanabad. The red sandstone of the walls contrasts with the white marble of the domes and the subtle intarsia decoration.
Additional monuments from this period are associated with women from Aurangzeb's imperial family. The construction of the elegant Zinat al-Masjid in Daryaganij was overseen by Aurangzeb's second daughter Zinat-al-Nisa. Aurangzeb's sister Roshan-Ara who died in 1671. The tomb of Roshanara Begum and the garden surrounding it were neglected for a long time and are now in an advanced state of decay. Bibi Ka Maqbara was a mausoleum built by Prince Azam Shah, son of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the late 17th century as a loving tribute to his mother, Dilras Bano Begam in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The Alamgiri Gate, built in 1673 A.D., is the main entrance to the Lahore Fort in present day Lahore. It was constructed to face west towards the Badshahi Mosque in the days of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Another construction of Mughal era is the Lalbagh Fort (also known as "Fort Aurangabad"), a Mughal palace fortress at the Buriganga River in the southwestern part of Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose construction started in 1678 during the reign of Aurangzeb.
Mughal gardens 
Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Islamic style of architecture. This style was influenced by Persian gardens and Timurid gardens. Significant use of rectilinear layouts are made within the walled enclosures. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens. The famous gardens are the Char Bagh gardens at Taj Mahal, Shalimar Gardens of Lahore, Delhi and Kashmir as well as Pinjore Garden in Haryana.
Mughal Bridges 
See also 
- History of the Taj Mahal Agra, Retrieved on: 20 January 2009.
- Anon. "The Taj mahal". Islamic architecture. Islamic Arts and Architecture Organization. Retrieved 22 may 2009.
- Taifoor, S.M. Glimpses of Old Dacca. Dhaka, 1956.
- India: A History. New York, USA: Grove Press. 2000. ISBN 0-8021-3797-0.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Further reading 
- Prof R Nath/Ajay Nath. The Taj Mahal: History & Architecture (Agra -2010).
- Prof R Nath/Ajay Nath. Monuments of Delhi (Architectural & Historical) (Agra- 2010) - English translation of Syed Ahmed Khan's Urdu work 'Athar'al-Sanadid of 1846 with original sketches and inscriptions.
- Smith, Edmund W. (1901). Moghul Colour Decoration of Agra, Part I. Govt. Press, Allahabad.
- Rezavi, Syed Ali Nadeem (2002). "Iranian Influence on Medieval Indian Architecture", The Growth of Civilizations in India and Iran. Tulika.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mughal architecture|
- Mughal Gardens (Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution)
- Jali/Jharokha/Jala/Jalaka (from Mughal Architecture, Agra, India)
- Mughal Architecture, Agra, India