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Architectural Development during Delhi Sultanate Era

17-MAR-2017 17:15

The Indo-Islamic architecture manifested the aesthetic heritage of the new sultans that includes both religious and secular structures. While indigenous architecture is Trabeate i.e. the space is spanned by mean of beams laid horizontally; the Islamic form is Arcuate, whereby arches are used to bridge a space. The dome is the prominent feature of the mosque in contrast to the Sikhar of Hindu temples.

 Art and architecture

Features of Sultanate Architecture

 Features of Architecture

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

1. Arch and dome method which dispensed with the need for large number of pillars to support the roof and enabled the construction of large halls with a clear view.

2. Use of superior mortar to hold the stones.

3. Use of slab and beam method.

4. Decorative exuberance, such as use of geometrical shapes, calligraphy, inspirational art etc.

5. Synthesise of indigenous motif such as ball motif, lotus etc.

Glimpse of Sultanate Architecture

1. Qutub Minar

 Qutub Minar

Source: s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com

It is a towering 73 meter high tower founded by Qutub-ud-Din Aibak and completed by Iltutmish in the memory of the Sufi Saint Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki. The last two storeys were completed Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

 Qutub Complex

Source: wordpress.com

The Qutub Minar complex comprises of the Quwwat-us-Islam Mosque, a 7 metre high iron pillar, the tomb of Iltutmish, Ala’i-Darwaza and the Ala’I Minar.

2. Qutub-ud-Din Aibak built the city of Dilli, Iltutmish built the city of Sultangurhi and Balban built the city of Kailagurhi.

3. Tomb of Balban

 Tomb of Balban

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

It is first example of true arch and is located at the archaeological park in Mehrauli.

4. Alai Minar

 Alai Minar

Source: im.hunt.in

It contains a dome, which for the first time was built on correct scientific lines and also has arches of very pleasing proportions.

5. Alauddin Khilji built new fort and imperial township of SIRI. In siri, he built the Mahal Hazar Satun, the palace of thousand pillars, Hauz-i-illahi, a water tank and the Jamait Khana mosque at the Dargah of nizamuddin Auliya.

6. Alai Darwaza

 Alai Darwaza

Source: www.columbia.edu

It was constructed with a dome shaped gate made of red sandstone and decorated with stunning Turkic features made of white marble inlay and inscriptions engraved in the ancient Naskh Script and screens made with Lattice stones depicting unique Turkic craftsmanship.

7. Alauddin Khilji’s tomb and madarsa

 Khilji tomb

Source: 4.bp.blogspot.com

It is located in the Qutub Complex, which is located near the Mehrauli Archaeological Park. It was built by Ala-ud-din Khilji, as a college for the education on Islamic scriptures and theology that consists of rooms and halls built around a quadrangular court.

8. Tughlaqabad

 tughluq tomb

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

The Palace cum Fortress Complex of Tughlaqabad was constructed by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. Mohammed-bin-Tughlaq built the Tomb of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq on a high platform which marks a new trend in architecture for imposing skyline. He also built Jahanpanah, one of the cities of Dilhi. Firoz Shah built Hauz Khas, a pleasure resort and also built Firoz Shah Kotla fort. The Tughlaqs rulers started building the tombs on an elevated platform. They combine the principles of arch and done with Islam and as are evident in Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s construction of Hauz Khas.

9. Lodhi Garden

 Lodhi Garden

Source: upload.wikimedia.org

It is the finest example of the synthesis of dome, arch, slam and beam. Other examples of architecture are Masjid Moth, Bara Khan and Chota Khan.

Hence, the architecrural excellence of the Sultanate period witnesses the evolution and development of Indo-Islamic Architecture by synthesising geometrical shapes, calligraphy, inscriptional art etc.

Sufi Movement in India: A Detailed Summary

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