Architecture Under Shahjahan

  • Marble replaced red sandstone as the principal building material.
  • Decorative art of inlaying with delicate carvings in marble, like filigree and inlay with pietra dura work. It was copied from Florentine pietra dura, locally known as Parchin Kari.
  • Arch used in his buildings became foliated, the dome became bulbous with a constricted neck, and pillars raised with shafts capitals.
  • He demolished some of Akbar’s simple pink sandstone structures in the Agra Fort and replaced them with more luxurious-looking, magnificent marble buildings.
  • Some lavishly decorated buildings credited to him are Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khas, Moti Masjid, as well as the Jama Masjid in Delhi.
  • Taj Mahal: Shahjahan constructed the Taj Mahal, the tomb of his beloved wife, Anjumand Bano Begum titled Mumtaz Mahal. Taj is a square tomb built on a raised terrace, with graceful tall minarets at its four comers. The dome has acquired a lotus pattern below the finial. Like Humayun’s tomb, it was laid in a Charbagh, or garden with water channels and full of flowers.
  • Shahjahanabad: In 1638, Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and laid foundation of Shahjahanabad, Seventh City of Delhi, containing his famous citadel, Red-Fort (begun in 1639 & completed in 9 years). It consists of a Diwan-i-Am & Diwan¬≠-i-Khas.
  • Luxury and love of constructing magnificent buildings, patronised by Jahangir and Shahjahan ended abruptly with Aurangzeb.
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