Category: Social Life during the Mughal Period


Seventh  Standard

Subject:- History

Topic:- Social life during the Mughal Period

Subtopic:- Taj Mahal

Source:- Wikipedia

 

 

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal ( ताज महल) is a white marble mausoleum (समाधी)located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.

Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkish and  Indian  architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen.

Origin and inspiration

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.

Architecture

Tomb

The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. This large, white marble structure stands on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin.

The base structure is essentially a large, multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners, forming an unequal octagon that is approximately 55 metres (180 ft) on each of the four long sides. The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan; the actual graves are at a lower level.The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is the most spectacular feature. Its height of around 35 metres (115 ft) is about the same as the length of the base, and is accentuated as it sits on a cylindrical “drum” which is roughly 7 metres (23 ft) high. Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome or  amrud  (guava dome). The top is decorated with a lotus design, which also serves to accentuate its height.

The main finial(कळस) was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronzein the early 19th century. This feature provides a clear example of integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The finial is topped by a moon, a typical Islamic motif whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape, reminiscent of traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva.

The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture. As the surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings. In line with the Islamic prohibition against the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs. Throughout the complex, passages from the Qur’an are used as decorative elements.

Abstract forms are used throughout, especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, mosque, jawab and, to a lesser extent, on the surfaces of the tomb. The domes and vaults of the sandstone buildings are worked with tracery of incised painting to create elaborate geometric forms. Mortared areas of the marble buildings have been stained or painted in a contrasting colour, creating geometric patterns of considerable complexity. Floors and walkways use contrasting tiles or blocks in tessellation patterns. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is used.

The interior walls are about 25 metres (82 ft) high and are topped by a “false” interior dome decorated with a sun motif. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas, and each balcony’s exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marble. In addition to the light from the balcony screens, light enters through roof openings covered by chattris at the corners. The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in extremely delicate detail with semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowers.

Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves. Hence, the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Mumtaz Mahal’s cenotaph is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) by 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in).Both the base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. Shah Jahan’s cenotaph is beside Mumtaz’s to the western side, and is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complex. His cenotaph is bigger than his wife’s. The Ninety Nine Names of God are found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription that reads; “He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri.”

Garden

The complex is set around a large 300-metre (980 ft) square charbagh or Mughal garden. The garden uses raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the centre of the garden, halfway between the tomb and gateway with a reflecting pool on a north-south axis, reflects the image of the mausoleum. The garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains. The charbagh garden, a design inspired by Persian gardens, was introduced to India by the first Mughal emperor, Babur. It symbolises the four flowing rivers of Jannat (Paradise) and reflects the Paradise garden derived from the Persian paridaeza, meaning ‘walled garden’. In mystic Islamic texts of Mughal period, Paradise is described as an ideal garden of abundance with four rivers flowing from a central spring or mountain, separating the garden into north, west, south and east.

Most Mughal charbaghs are rectangular with a tomb or pavilion in the center. The Taj Mahal garden is unusual in that the main element, the tomb, is located at the end of the garden. With the discovery of Mahtab Bagh or “Moonlight Garden” on the other side of the Yamuna, the interpretation of the Archaeological Survey of India is that the Yamuna river itself was incorporated into the garden’s design and was meant to be seen as one of the rivers of Paradise. The similarity in layout of the garden and its architectural features with the Shalimar Gardens suggest that they may have been designed by the same architect, Ali Mardan. Early accounts of the garden describe its profusion of vegetation, including abundant roses, daffodils, and fruit trees.

Outlying buildings

The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls, with the river-facing side left open. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleums, including those of Shah Jahan’s other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz’s favourite servant. These structures, composed primarily of red sandstone, are typical of the smaller Mughal tombs of the era. The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure built primarily of marble which is reminiscent of Mughal architecture of earlier emperors. The vaulted ceilings and walls have elaborate geometric designs, like those found in the other sandstone buildings of the complex.

 

Taj Mahal mosque or masjid

                             At the far end of the complex, there are two grand red sandstone buildings that are open to the sides of the tomb. Their backs parallel the western and eastern walls, and the two buildings are precise mirror images of each other. The western building is a mosque and the other is the jawab (answer), whose primary purpose was architectural balance, although it may have been used as a guesthouse The mosque’s basic design of a long hall surmounted by three domes is similar to others built by Shah Jahan, particularly to his  Jama Masjid, Delhi. These outlying buildings were completed in 1643.

Construction

The Taj Mahal was built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the centre of Agra in exchange for the land. An area of roughly three acres was excavated, filled with dirt to reduce seepage, and levelled at 50 metres (160 ft) above riverbank. In the tomb area, wells were dug and filled with stone and rubble to form the footings of the tomb. Instead of lashed bamboo, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the tomb. The scaffold (मचाण)was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle. According to the legend, Shah Jahan decreed that anyone could keep the bricks taken from the scaffold, and thus it was dismantled by peasants overnight. A fifteen kilometre (9.3 mi) tamped-earth ramp was built to transport marble and materials to the construction site and teams of twenty or thirty oxen pulled the blocks on specially constructed wagons. An elaborate post-and-beam pulley system was used to raise the blocks into desired position. Water was drawn from the river by a series of purs, an animal-powered rope and bucket mechanism, into a large storage tank and raised to a large distribution tank. It was passed into three subsidiary tanks, from which it was piped to the complex.

The plinth and tomb took roughly 12 years to complete. The remaining parts of the complex took an additional 10 years and were completed in order of minarets, mosque and jawab, and gateway. Since the complex was built in stages, discrepancies exist in completion dates due to differing opinions on “completion”. For example, the mausoleum itself was essentially complete by 1643, but work continued on the rest of the complex. Estimates of the cost of construction vary due to difficulties in estimating costs across time. The total cost has been estimated to be about 32 million Rupees at that time.

The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials. The translucent white marble was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble.

A labour force of twenty thousand workers was recruited across northern India. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers were part of the thirty-seven men who formed the creative unit.

Tourism

The Taj Mahal attracts a large number of tourists. UNESCO documented more than 2 million visitors in 2001, including more than 200,000 from overseas. A two tier pricing system is in place, with a significantly lower entrance fee for Indian citizens and a more expensive one for foreigners. Most tourists visit in the cooler months of October, November and February. Polluting traffic is not allowed near the complex and tourists must either walk from parking lots or catch an electric bus.

 

Seventh  Standard

Subject:- History

Topic:- Social life during the Mughal Period

Subtopic:- Red Fort

Source:- Wikipedia

 

Red Fort

                                The Red Fort (usually called  Lal Qila) is a 17th century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in the walled city of Old Delhi (in present day Delhi, India) that served as the residence of the Mughal Emperors. The fort was the palace for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s new capital, Shahjahanabad, the seventh city in the Delhi site. He moved his capital here from Agra in a move designed to bring prestige to his reign, and to provide ample opportunity to apply his ambitious building schemes and interests. It served as the capital of the Mughals until 1857, when Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled by the British Indian government.

The fort lies along the Yamuna River, which fed the moats that surround most of the walls. The construction of the Red Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648. The Red Fort has had many developments added on after its construction by Emperor Shah Jahan. The significant phases of development were under Aurangzeb and later under later Mughal rulers. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. The earlier Red Fort was built by Tomara king Anangpala, now known as the Qulb Mosque.

History

The RedFort derives its name from the extensive use of red sandstone on the massive walls that surround the fort. Shah Jahan commissioned the construction of the Red Fort in 1638 when he decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. Ustad Ahmad and Ustad Hamid were chosen as the architects for construction of the royal palace. Construction began in the auspicious month of Muharram on 13th May 1638. Construction of the fort was supervised by Shah Jahan himself and was completed in 1648. The Red Fort was originally referred to as “Qila-i-Mubarak” (the blessed fort), because it was the residence of the royal family.  The planning and aesthetics of the Red Fort represent the zenith of Mughal creativity which prevailed during the reign of emperor Shah Jahan. Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan’s successor, added the Moti Masjid to the emperor’s private quarters and constructed barbicans in front of the two main gates, which made the entrance route to the palace more circuitous.

Architectural designs

The Red Fort covers a total area of about 254.67 acres enclosed within 2.4 kilometres of defence walls. The walls are vary in height from 18 m on the river side to 33 m on the city side. The fort is shaped like an octagon with the north-south axis longer than the east-west axis. The use of marble, floral decorations, double domes in the buildings inside the fort exemplifies the later phase of Mughal architecture.

It showcases a very high level of art form and ornamental work. It is believed that the Kohinoor diamond was a part of the furniture. The art work in the Fort is a synthesis of Persian, European and Indian art which resulted in the development of unique Shahjahani style which is very rich in form, expression and colour. Red Fort is one of the important building complexes of India which encapsulates a long period of Indian history and its arts. Even before its notification as a monument of national importance in the year 1913, efforts were made to preserve and conserve the Red Fort, for posterity.

The walls of the fort open at six arched (कमानदार) gates of which Lahore and Delhi gates were for the general public and Khizrabad Gate was for emperor’s personal use. The Lahore Gate is the main entrance; it leads to the domed arcade containing shops called the Chatta Chowk (covered bazaar). Silk, jewellery and other items which catered to the royal household were sold in Chatta Chowk in the Mughal period. It leads to a large open space where it crosses the large north-south street that was originally the division between the fort’s military functions, to its west, and the palaces, to its east. The southern end of this street is the Delhi Gate.

Important structures

Diwan-i-Aam

In the Diwan-i-Aam or the Hall of Public Audiences where the emperor seated in a canopied alcove, would hear complaints and pleas of the commoners through a jharokha (balcony). The hall was ornamented with stuccowork and featured a series of gold columns. It also included a large railing that separated the commoners from the emperor. The Diwan-i-Aam was also used for state functions. The spacious mardana or courtyard behind the Diwan-i-Aam is surrounded by several interesting structures, though the function and purpose of some of them remain an enigma(गूढ).

Diwan-i-Khas

In the Diwan-i-Khas or the Hall of Private Audiences the Emperor held private meetings with courtiers and state guests. The hall comprises a rectangular chamber with engraved arched openings supported on piers(स्तंभ), on all of its sides. Each of the piers is gilded, painted and decorated with floral designs. Pillared chatris (umbrellas) cover the corners of the roof. At the centre of the chamber, the famous Peacock Throne throne was placed over a marble pedestal. The throne was looted in 1739 by Nadir Shah. In 1760, the Marathas removed and melted the Silver ceiling of the Diwan-i-Khas to generate funds for the defence of Delhi from the Afghan invader Ahmed Shah Durrani. Nahr-i-Bihisht or the “stream of paradise” flowed through the centre of the hall.

Nahr-i-Behisht

The imperial private apartments lie behind the throne. The apartments consist of a row of pavilions that sits on a raised platform along the eastern edge of the fort, looking out onto the river Yamuna. The pavilions are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht, or the “Stream of Paradise”, that runs through the centre of each pavilion. The water is drawn from the river Yamuna, from a tower, the Shahi Burj, at the north-eastern corner of the fort. The palace is designed as an imitation of paradise as it is described in the Quran; a couplet repeatedly inscribed in the palace reads, “If there be a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here”. The planning of the palace is based on Islamic prototypes, but each pavilion reveals in its architectural elements the Hindu influences typical of Mughal building. The palace complex of the Red Fort is counted among the best examples of the Mughal style.

Zenana

The two southernmost pavilions of the palace are zenanas, or women’s quarters: the MumtazMahal (now a museum), and the larger, lavish RangMahal, which has been famous for its gilded, decorated ceiling and marble pool, fed by the Nahr-i-Behisht.

Moti Masjid

To the west of the hammam is the MotiMasjid, the Pearl Mosque. This was a later addition, built in 1659 as a private mosque for Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan’s successor. It is a small, three-domed mosque carved in white marble, with a three-arched screen which steps down to the courtyard.The Moti Masjid measures approximately 12 x 9 metres, with a height of nearly 8 metres.

Hayat Bakhsh Bagh

Mughals brought with them the West Asian tradition of developing gardens to symbolically represent paradise on earth. Planning and design of the Hayat Bakhsh Bagh or “Life-Bestowing Garden” was integrated into the design of the Red Fort. The garden comprised many aesthetically designed structures such as, tanks, pavilions, water channels and fountains which complimented flowers of varying colours and trees of various kinds. The pavilions were decorated with stonework and lit by lamps at night. A few other smaller gardens like the Mehtab Bagh (moonlight garden) were also constructed in the Red Fort.

Other attractions within Red Fort  

  • The Hammams (Royal Baths)
  • The Muthamman-Burj was the octagonal tower where the emperor appeared before the commoners.
  • The Rang Mahal (Palace of Colours) housed the Emperor’s wives and mistresses. This palace was crowned with gilded turrets. It was painted and decorated with an intricate mosaic of mirrors. It also had a ceiling overlaid with gold and silver that was reflected in a central pool, which was located in the marble floor of the palace.
  • Naqqar Khana (Drum House) was located at the entrance point of the Rang Mahal. Music was played at specific times in the day alongside a large gate. People who visited the fort and would come on elephants, would get off of at this gate.

Red Fort today

Every year on 15 August, the day India achieved independence from the British, Prime Minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort, followed by a nationally broadcast speech from its ramparts. The Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Old Delhi, attracting thousands of visitors every year. It also happens to be the largest monument in Old Delhi.

 

Seventh  Standard

Subject:- History

Topic:- Social life during the Mughal Period

Subtopic:- Mughal Architecture

Source:- Wikipedia

 

Mughal Architecture

 

Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is symmetrical and decorative in style.

The Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat  in 1526 (the Battle of Panipat).During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. The influence of Mughal Architecture lives on in Afghan, Pakistani and Indian architecture today, but yes a few like chahar bagh or four gardens still exists.

Akbar

The emperor Akbar (1556–1605) built largely, and the style developed vigorously during his reign. As in the Gujarat and other styles, there is a combination of Muslim and Hindu features in his works. Akbar constructed the royal city of Fatehpur Sikri, located 26 miles (42 km) west of Agra, in the late 16th century. The numerous structures at Fatehpur Sikri best illustrate the style of his works – the southern gateway of the mosque, which is known as Buland Darwaza, is the largest of its kind in India. The Mughals also built tombs, which include the tomb of Akbar’s father Humayun, and the Tomb of Akbar the Great at Sikandra, near Agra.

Jahangir

Under Jahangir (1605–1627) the Hindu features vanished from the style; his great mosque at Lahore is in the Persian style, covered with enameled tiles. At Agra, the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, which was completed in 1628, was built entirely of white marble and covered in pietra dura mosaic. Jahangir also built the Shalimar Gardens and its accompanying pavilions on the shore of Dal Lake in Kashmir. He also built a monument to his pet deer, Hiran Minar in Sheikhupura, Pakistan and due to his great love for his wife, after his death she went on to build his mausoleum in Lahore.

Shah Jahan

The force and originality of the style gave way under Shah Jahan (1627–1658) to a delicate elegance and refinement of detail, illustrated in the palaces erected in his reign at Agra  and Delhi. Some examples include the Taj Mahal at Agra and the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Jahan. The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) in the Agra Fort and The Jama Masjid at Delhi are imposing buildings, and their position and architecture have been carefully considered so as to produce a pleasing effect and feeling of spacious elegance and well-balanced proportion of parts. Jahan also built the Tomb of Jahangir and sections of the Lahore Fort that include the Moti Masjid, Sheesh Mahal, and Naulakha pavilion which are all enclosed in the fort. He also built a mosque named after himself in Thatta  called  Shahjahan Mosque. Another mosque was built during his tenure in Lahore called Wazir Khan Mosque, by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari who was the court physician to the emperor.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, the “Teardrop on the cheek of eternity” (Rabindranath Tagore), was completed in 1648 by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Its longest plane of symmetry runs through the entire complex except for the sarcophagus of Shah Jahan, which is placed off centre in the crypt room below the main floor. This symmetry extended to the building of an entire mirror mosque in red sandstone, to complement the Mecca-facing mosque place to the west of the main structure.

The Taj Mahal (1630–1648) in Agra, India and the Shalimar Garden (1641–1642) in Lahore, Pakistan, are two sites which are on the world heritage list of UNESCO. The Taj is consideredto be one of the most beautiful monuments of the world and was included in the New Seven Wonders of the World list.

Aurangzeb and later Mughal architecture

In Aurangzeb’s reign (1658–1707) squared stone and marble was replaced by brick or rubble with stucco ornament. Srirangapatna and Lucknow have examples of later Indo-Muslim architecture. He made additions to the Lahore Fort and also built one of the thirteen gates which was later named after him (Alamgir). Aurangzeb also built the Badshahi Mosque  which was constructed in 1674 under the supervision of Fida’i Koka. This mosque is adjacent to the Lahore Fort and is the last in the series of congregational mosques in red sandstone and is closely modeled on the one Shah Jahan built at Shahjahanabad. The red sandstone of the walls contrasts with the white marble of the domes and the subtle intarsia decoration.

Additional monuments from this period are associated with women from Aurangzeb’s imperial family. The construction of the elegant Zinat al-Masjid in Daryaganij was overseen by Aurangzeb’s second daughter Zinat al-Nisa. Aurangzeb’s sister Roshan-Ara who died in 1671. The tomb of Roshanara Begum and the garden surrounding it were neglected for a long time and are now in an advanced state of decay. Bibi Ka Maqbara was a mausoleum built by Prince Azam Shah, son of Emperor Aurangzeb, in the late 17th century as a loving tribute to his mother, Dilras Bano Begam in  Aurangabad,  Maharashtra. The Alamgiri Gate, built in 1673 A.D., is the main entrance to the Lahore Fort in present day Lahore. It was constructed to face west towards the Badshahi Mosque in the days of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Another construction of Mughal era is the Lalbagh Fort (also known as “Fort Aurangabad”), a Mughal palace fortress at the Buriganga River in the south western part of Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose construction started in 1678 during the reign of Aurangzeb.

Mughal gardens

Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Islamic style of architecture. This style was influenced by Persian gardens and Timurid gardens. Significant use of rectilinear layouts are made within the walled enclosures. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens. The famous gardens are the Char Bagh gardens at Taj Mahal, Shalimar Gardens of Lahore, Delhi and Kashmir as well as Pinjore Garden in Haryana.

Seventh  Standard

Subject:- History

Topic:- Social life during the Mughal Period

Subtopic:- Mohur

Source:- Wikipedia

 

Mohur

 

A Mohur is a gold coin that was formerly minted by several governments, including British India and some of the Princely States which existed alongside it, the Moghul Empire, Nepal, and Afghanistan. It was usually equivalent in value to fifteen silver rupees. It was last minted in British India in 1918, but some princely states continued to issue the coins until their accession to India after 1947.’Mohur was also used during mughal period ‘ Similar coins were also issued by the British authorities in denominations of 2/3 Mohur (10 Rupees) and 1/3 Mohur (5 Rupees), and some of the Princely States issued Half Mohur coins (equal to 7 Rupees and 8 Anna).

The Mohur coin was first introduced by Sher Shah Suri during his rule in India between 1540 and 1545 and was then a gold coin weighing 169 grains. He also introduced copper coins called Dam and silver coins called Rupiya that weighed 178 grains. Later on, the Mughal Emperors standardized this coinage of tri-metallism across the sub-continent in order to consolidate the monetary system.

Etymology

The word ‘Mohur’ or ‘Mohor’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Mudra’ which means ‘symbol’, ‘seal’, as also ‘ring’ (as finger ornament). Ancient rulers used to seal their documents and acts with their ring dipped in wax or ink. Also, when paying someone, a golden ‘mudra’ used to be granted. Centuries later, the word remained in use for currency in spite of the form changing from ring to coins.

 

Seventh  Standard

Subject:- History

Topic:- Social life during the Mughal Period

Subtopic:- Buland Darwaza

Source:- Wikipedia

 

 

Buland Darwaza

 

Buland Darwaza ( बुलंद दरवाज़ा), meaning ‘high’ or ‘great’ gate in Persian. It is located in Fatehpur Sikri which is located 43 km away from Agra, India. It is also known as the “Gate of Magnificence.” Buland Darwaza or the loft gateway was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat.

Architecture

The Buland Darwaza is made of red and buff sandstone, decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble and towers above the courtyard of the mosque. The Buland Darwaza is semi octagonal in plan and is topped by pillars and chhatris with Buland Darwaiosks on the roof, stylized battlement and small turrets and inlay work of white and black marble. On the outside a long flight of steps sweeps down the hill giving the gateway additional height. A Persian inscription on eastern archway of the Buland Darwaza records. Akbar’s conquest over Deccan in 1601. It is 40 metres high and 50 metres from the ground. The total height of the Structure is about 54 metres from the ground level. It is a 15-storied high gateway that guards the southern entrance of the city of Fatehpur Sikri. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza throws light on Akbar’s religious broad mindedness.

Inscription

On the main gateway an Islamic inscription written in Persian reads “Isa (Jesus), son of Mary said: ‘The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it. He who hopes for a day, may hope for eternity; but the World endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer for the rest is unseen.’

 

 

 

 

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