Brief note on Mughal Empire Art and Architecture
Mughal culture and refinement are best reflected in stone. More than any other forms of art, architecture depends upon rich patrons.
As the might of the Mughal Empire spread and as the great Mughal emperors grew richer, more and more outstanding buildings were constructed in which Muslim motifs were to be found side by side with local Indian traditions.
Akbar’s reign struck a new role in Indo-Muslim architecture. Among his buildings,palaces and fort complex at Fatehpur Sikri, the Jodha Bai Palace, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Jami Masjid, Panch Mahal and Buland Darwaja—are most impressive.
Akbar took keen interest in the work of construction both at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. In these buildings Persian and Central Asian influence are conspicuous in the glazed blue tiles used for decoration in the walls or for tiling the roofs. In the construction of Buland Darwaja the Iranian influence was conspicuous.
Jahangir was not a prolific builder. But his one great work, the tomb of his father at Sikandra, is a highly interesting structure, constructed somewhat in the manner of a Buddhist Vihara.
Shah Jahan’s reign marked the heyday of rich splendor in architecture. During Shah Jahan’s reign fine white marble encrusted with semi-precious and sometimes even precious stones became the main decorative material used in architecture, especially in Delhi and Agra. The Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas and Jami Masjid at Delhi and the Moti Masjid at Agra are among his stateliest constructions. But Shah Jahan is famous as the builder of Taj Mahal, that ‘miracle of miracles’ which is justly regarded as a jewel of the builder’s art. He built it at Agra in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The Mughal architectural traditions influenced the architecture of other parts of the country.