Publication date : June 2012 (version 1.1)
Length : 100 pages
This Approach Guide to the Highlights of Delhi & Agra serves as an ideal companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of the art and architecture of the great Islamic Mughal Empire.
Mughal, in Arabic and Persian, means Mongol. The Empire acquired its name due to the fact that Babur, a Timurid prince who invaded India and unified control of the Delhi area, was descended from Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. Although the Timurids were of Turkicized Mongol origin, they embraced Persian cultural traditions.
In India, the Timurids’ Persian-inspired architectural heritage naturally served as the foundation for the Mughal style. However, it is far from being a Persian tradition replanted on Indian soil. The Mughals created a unique style of their own by perfecting earlier Persian forms and incorporating some building practices and aesthetic preferences of the indigenous Hindu population.
This Approach Guide begins by laying out the defining characteristics of the blended Mughal architectural style: first, its Timurid-influenced foundations; and second, its unique Hindu features. To make it easier to identify the defining characteristics for each style, this guide includes high-resolution images that highlight key architectural elements.
With the stylistic framework in place, it then offers detailed profiles of the top architectural sites in Delhi and Agra:
- In Delhi, this guide takes you on a tour of Humayun’s Tomb, the Jama Masjid, and Safdarjung’s Tomb. There are also brief profiles of several non-Mughal sites: Qutb Minar, Quwwat-al-Islam Mosque, Alai Darwaza Gateway, Ghiyath ad-Din Tughluq’s Tomb, and Moth-Ki Masjid.
- In Agra, this guide takes you on a tour of Akbar’s Tomb, the Tomb of I’timad ad-Dawla (aka Baby Taj), and the Taj Mahal.
Each site’s profile places it in the overall landscape of Mughal architecture, highlights its distinctive features, and provides a context for understanding how it relates to similar sites.
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