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.
- They started converting existing structures into the Mosque’s on Qila Rai Pithora (1st of 7 historical cities of Delhi)
- The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was constructed by Qutub-ud-din Aibak around 1192 AD by the demolished material of Hindu and Jain temples
- Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque – first mosque built in Delhi after the Islamic conquest of India
- The Qutub Minar of Mehrauli was built around 1199 by Qutub-ud-din and finally completed by his son-in-law and successor IItutmish (1210-35).
- Another well-known mosque is Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra at Ajmer which was also constructed from the material obtained after demolishing Hindu temples.
Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320)
- The Style developed by them is called as Seljuk style
- Enlarged the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and built a gateway known as Alahi Darwaja to the enclosure of the mosque
- Allauddin Khilji also established the 2nd city of Delhi at Siri and dug a vast reservoir at Hauz Khas (Hydraulically structured) around 1311AD
- 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
- Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq (1320-1325 AD) built Tughlaqabad, the 3rd historical city of Delhi.
- Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, built of red sandstone, is an irregular pentagon in its exterior plan & is of the pointed or “Tartar” shape, crowned by a finial
- Tughlaqs introduced the concept of slopping walls known as “Battar”, combining the principles of arch and the lintel as shown below
Delhi’s 4th 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, Fathehbad and Hissar.
- Arch of this period is heavy, massive, rugged and simple
- Used grey sandstone and employed minimum decoration
- This period was called as ‘crisis period of architecture’ because focus was on strength rather than beauty
- The Sayyid period was too short to evolve elaborate buildings, but the octagonal tombs of the time possess a distinct architectural character.
- The 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) and Sikander Lodi (1517 AD) are all of the octagonal type.
- Enamel tile decoration tended to be richer and more lavish.
- The tomb architecture of this period is of two 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 and made it as his capital. He also repaired Qutub- Minar.