Imperial Style during Islamic Era in India

Slave dynasty (1206 – 1290)

  • Also known as ‘Ilbari dynasty‘, as all the ruler’s belonged to Ilbari tribe except Qutubuddin Aibak.
  • The Style developed by them is called ‘Mamluk Style.
  • Started converting existing structures into the Mosque’s on ‘Qila Rai Pithora.
  • The Qutub Mosque (1192 AD) is one such building, whose arcaded aisles were composed of pillars carved in the Hindu style.

  • Named as the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, it is considered as the earliest mosque in India.

  • Qutub-ud-din Aibak also started the construction of Qutub Minar in 1192 (which was eventually completed by Iltutmish in 1230).

  • The Qutub Minar, built to commemorate the entry of Islam, was essentially a victory tower, decorated with several calligraphic inscriptions.

  • Adhai-din-ka-Jhopra, located beyond the Ajmer darga in Rajasthan. It was constructed in 1153 AD & converted into a mosque in 1198 AD.qutub minar

Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320)

  • The Style developed by them is called as Seljuk style‘.
  • Enlarged the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque & built a gateway known as ‘Alai Darwaja to the enclosure of the mosque
  • Allauddin Khilji established the second city of Delhi at Siri, built the Alai Darwaza near the Qutub Minar and dug a vast reservoir at Hauz Khas around 1311AD.alai-darwaja
  • Prominent features of Seljuk Style adopted by the Khiljis were
    • the true arch in the form of a pointed horseshoe
    • broad dome, recessed arches under the squinch
    • perforated windows, inscriptional bands
    • use of red sandstone relieved by marble

Tughlaq art

  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325 AD) built Tughlaqabad, the third city of Delhi.

  • Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, built of red sandstone, is an irregular pentagon in its exterior plan & its design is of the pointed or “Tartar” shape & is crowned by a finial resembling the kalasa and amla of a Hindu temple.

  • Delhi’s fourth city Jahanpanah was built by Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq in mid-14th century. Firoz Shah Kotla ground is the only remnant of its past glory. He is also credited with founding the fortified cities of Jaunpur, Fathabad and Hissar.

  • Kali Masjid, Khirki Masjid and Kalan Masjid also belong to this period, the last two being raised on a tahkhana or substructure of arches.
  • Feroz shah kotla/ Ferozabad by Feroz shah Tuglaq
  • Arch of this period is heavy, massive, rugged and simple and Used grey sandstone and employed minimum decoration.
  • This period was called as ‘crisis period of architecture’ because focus was on strength rather than beauty.Delhi-Tughlaqabad-Fort

7 cities of Delhi:

1.Qila Rai Pithora by Rajput kingTomar.

2.Siri by Alauddin Khilji

3.Tughlaqabad by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.

4.Jahapanah by Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq.

5.Ferozabad by Feroz shah Tuglaq.

6.Dilhi Sher shahi/ Shergad by Sher shah Suri

7.Shahjanabad by Shahjahan.

Sayyid Period

  • Too short to evolve elaborate buildings, but the octagonal tombs of the time possess a distinct architectural character.
  • Decorative features of these tombs consist of the use of blue enameled tiles enhancing the color effect.
  • The Lotus motif crowning the tomb and free use of Guldasta’s used in this period considerably influenced the style of subsequent period.
  • The Tombs of Mubarak Sayyid (1434 AD), Muhammad Sayyid (1444 AD) & Sikander Lodi (1517 AD) are all of the octagonal type.Imperial style

Lodi Period

  • Enamel tile decoration tended to be richer and more lavish.
  • The tomb architecture of this period is of 2 types, though both have grey granite walls.
  • One is octagonal in design having a verandah; the other is square in plan, having no verandah.
  • A spacious somewhat ornamental walled garden encloses the tombs, which gives the whole ensemble elegance.
  • Sikander Lodhi established the city of Agra & made it as his capital.Tomb of Sikandar lodi

The Tomb of Isa Khan (1547 AD), the Tomb of Adham Khan (1561 AD), Moth ki Masjid (c.1505 AD), Jamala Masjid (1536 AD) and the Qila-i-Kuhna Masjid (c.1550 AD) belong to the final phase of the Delhi style of architecture.

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