Architecture Under Akbar

  • Encouraged a hybrid style, containing features of an arcuate system and indigenous elements of trabeated architecture.
  • Buildings mainly used red sandstone as a building material.
  • Widespread use of trabeated construction.
  • Arches used mainly in decorative form rather less in structural form.
  • Dome was of the ‘Lodi’ type, sometimes built hollow but never technically of true double order.
  • Shafts of pillars were multifaceted and the capitals of these pillars invariably took the form of bracket supports.
  • Decoration comprised of boldly carved or inlaid patterns of coloured stones known as opus sectile.
  • He appreciated the resources of indigenous artisans and got them translated into his buildings, most evident at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Agra Fort: Akbar constructed his famous Fort at Agra, made of red sandstone. It was constructed between  1565-74. This was the first time that depressed stone was used, also in the ramparts.
  • Fatehpur Sikri: Akbari Mahal and the buildings, along with the great and original city of Fatehpur Sikri, are made under Akbar with the use of red sandstone with trabeated construction and restricted ornamentation. Jahangiri Mahal is also located here.
    • The city of Fatehpur Sikri was founded as a token of gratitude to Sheikh Salim Chishti. The city was begun in 1569 and completed in 1574, the same year in which the fort at Agra was completed.
    • The most typical and the most well-known building is the Panch Mahal, the highest and the most impressive structure, called the palace of five storeys.
    • Diwan-i-Khas or Hall of Private Audience is of a unique design. The Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri, besides being exceptionally large and imposing, has also a high gateway on the south side called Buland Darwaja, which was added after Akbar’s victory over the Deccan.
    • Only one building at Fatehpur Sikri is built of white marble, the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, Akbar’s spiritual preceptor.
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Fig: Panch Mahal and its gardens

  • Nilkanth Temple or Imarat-i-Dilkhusha (the heart-pleasing abode) is a Mughal architecture temple built on the orders of Mughal Emperor Akbar by the governor of Mandu (Madhya Pradesh), Shah Badgah in 1574 AD. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a popular Hindu pilgrimage site. It is surrounded by dense valleys and is adjacent to the mountain ranges of Nilkanth valleys.
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  • Raja Man Singh and Akbar built a temple of Govind Dev in Vrindavan.
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