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

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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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