Gardens, Tombs and Forts

The Mughal rulers were very much interested in art, literature and architecture.

There was large scale consturction of gardens, forts and tombs during Mughal period.

Let us look at the Gardens under the Mughals

Babur was interested in planning and laying out formal gardens.

These gardens were placed within rectangular walled enclosures and were divided into four quarters by artificial channels.

As they were symmetrically divided into quarters, they were called chahar bagh or four gardens.

Some of the most beautiful chahar baghs were constructed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan in Kashmir, Agra and Delhi.

Several architectural innovations were made during Akbar’s reign, especially in tombs.

Tombs Under Mughals

The best example of great architecture on tomb is the Humayun’s tomb in Delhi.

The tomb is placed in the centre of a huge chahar bagh and built in the tradition known as eight paradises.

The eight paradise is a hall surrounded by eight rooms.

The buildings of tomb were constructed with red sandstone, edged with marbles.

During Shah Jahan’s period, different styles of Mughal architecture were fused togethe, specially in forts.

Forts Under Mughals

During his reign, many constructions were done in Delhi and Agra.

The ceremonial halls for public and private audience were known as Diwan-i-aam and Diwan-i-Khas.

They were placed within a large courtyard and these courts were described as forty pillared halls.

Shah Jahan’s audience halls were specially constructed to resemble a mosque.

The base on which his throne was placed was described as the qibla.

Qibla is the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays.

People used to face that direction when the court was in session.

This architectural feature resembles king as a representative of God on earth.

Shah Jahan also led the construction of Red Fort in Delhi.

Behind the emperor’s throne were a series of pietra dura.

In which legendary Greek god Orpheus was depicted playing the lute.

It was believed that Orpheus’s music could calm ferocious beasts

In Pietra dura beautiful, ornate patterns are carved into marble or sandstone.

Initially Shah Jahan’s capital was Agra, where the nobles had constructed their homes on the bank of Yamuna.

The homes of nobles were also constructed in chahar bagh format.

Apart from chahar bagh format there was another style called the river front garden.

Shah Jahan adapted the river front garden for the construction of Taj Mahal.

It was constructed with white marbles mausoleum placed on terrace by the edge of river and garden to its south.

This architectural form was made to control the access that nobles had to the river Yamuna.

Shah Jahan also got constructed a new city called Shahjahanabad in river front style.

Only his favoured nobles like Dara Shukoh was given access to river while others had to construct their homes away from river.

Revision

Babur was interested in planning and laying out formal gardens. These gardens were placed closed within rectangular walls and divided into four quarters.

Some of the most beautiful chahar baghs were constructed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan in Kashmir.

Humayun's Tomb is considered as the greatest example of tomb structure. The tomb is placed in the centre of a huge chahar bagh and built in the tradition known as eight paradises.

Shah Jahan led the construction of many buildings like TajMahal and Red Fort. The Public and Private halls had a unique design called forty pillared halls.

The throne in the halls was placed in the direction of qibla. Qibla was the direction faced by Muslim while offering prayer.

Shah Jahan also used the style Pietra dura for construction of Red Fort and the Taj Mahal.

The End