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Indo-Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of styles from various backgrounds that helped shape the architecture of the Indian subcontinent from the advent of Islam in the Indian subcontinent around the 7th century. It has left influences on modern Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi architecture. Both secular and religious buildings are influenced by Indo-Islamic architecture which exhibit Indian, Islamic, Persian, Central Asian, Arabic and Ottoman Turkish influences, many of which themselves were influenced by Indian architecture through the spread of Indian culture before the advent of Islam.
The Mughal Empire, a Islamic empire that lasted in India from 1526 to 1764 left a mark on Indian architecture that was a mix of Islamic, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Central Asian and native Indian architecture. A major aspect of Mughal architecture is the symmetrical nature of buildings and courtyards. Akbar, who ruled in the 16th century, made major contributions to Mughal architecture. He systematically designed forts and towns in similar symmetrical styles that blended Indian styles with outside influences. The gate of a fort Akbar designed at Agra exhibits the Assyrian gryphon, Indian elephants, and birds.
The most well known and visible example of Mughal architecture is the Taj Mahal. It was built for the wife of Shah Jahan, who died in 1631. The main ideas and themes of garden tombs had already been explored by earlier Mughal emperors, and this was the culmination of all those previous works into a national landmark. The 171 meter white tomb rises above a reflecting pool and a fine garden. Four minarets on the corners frame the tomb which has a giant white dome in the center.
Classes of Indo-Islamic Architecture
Indo-Islamic architecture into three broad classes consisting of monuments erected under patronage of the Sultans such as Qutbuddin Aibak, monuments erected by governors of independent provinces, and landmark construction of the Mughals.
- Indian architecture
- Pakistani architecture
- Bangladeshi architecture
- Mughal architecture
- Qutb Shahi monuments in Hyderabad