The Mughals Who Ruled India From 1526-1858, Emerged As Great Patrons Of Architecture

3479 Words Dec 6th, 2014 14 Pages
The Mughals who ruled India from 1526-1858, emerged as great patrons of

architecture. Mughal architectural is a great historical source as it reflects on

imperial ideology of the time. The Mughals drew upon various architectural traditions-

indigenous Indian traditions, Indo Islamic architecture form the Sultanate period,

Persian traditions, European traditions and introduced their own Timurid

traditions of Central Asia. Right from Babur to Aurangzeb, architecture was used to

assert power and seek legitimacy by the Mughals.

Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, coming from the lush lands of Ferghana

and being constantly on the move in India, mainly laid out gardens in Hindustan

instead of large buildings. Yearning for the gardens of his homeland, Babur

introduced a new Timurid garden- the charbagh into India, impacting subsequent

Mughal architecture profoundly. The Charbagh was a symmetrical terraced garden

divided into four equal parts by water channels and raised pathways, dotted with

fountains, pavilions and trees. Catherine Ascher says upon establishing his capital

at Agar he laid out a charbagh called Hast Behisht or Garden of Eight Paradises,

on the banks of the Yamuna. His memoirs record that this served as his main

residence and court. The garden from its name, its flowing water and fruit trees,

was meant to reflect eight levels of paradise on earth, in which Babur resided. He

also laid out a ‘Garden of Victory’ near Fathepur…

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