Heart Pleasing and Praiseworthy Buildings: Reviewing Mughal Architecture in the light of Primary Sources

Abdul Rehman, Munazzah Akhtar

Abstract


Saleh Kambo, a court historian of Shah Jahan (1628-58), while discussing the buildings, frequently used the phrases such as “makan dilnasheen hai az nasheman hai nuzhat aafreen” which means “heart pleasing buildings and praiseworthy mansions”. Every Mughal building designed surpassed its predecessor in terms of its design quality and decorative details. From the selection of the site to final design, specialized knowledge and expertise were employed to achieve the final product. The buildings and spaces around them not only had experiential qualities but were also practical in use. Throughout the Mughal period there has been constant experimentation in art and architectural design, which resulted in highly refined structures. This paper discusses the architecture of Mughal period, in terms of form, composition and its practical use, as described in the primary sources of the period. The paper also highlights the variety of expertise and knowledge, which Mughal architects and builders possessed, from the process of site selection to finalization of building designs and its minutest details.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama. Transl. Zaidi, Nazir Hassan, Lahore:1974.P- 06.

Dar, Saif-ur-Rehman. Astrolabes and Astrolabe makers of Lahore. Lahore Museum Bulletin, vol. VII, No. 1-2, Lahore:1994. P-66.

Qaisar, Ahsan Jan & Verma, S.P. Art and Culture: Painting and Perspective. New Delhi: 2002. P-82

Khavandamir, Qanun-i-Humayun. ed. M. Hidayat Hosain, Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta: 1940. P-05.

Dar, Saif-ur-Rehman. Astrolabes and Astrolabe makers of Lahore. Lahore Museum Bulletin, vol. VII, No. 1-2, Lahore:1994. P-163.

Badauni, Abdul Qadir. Muntakhab at Tawarikh, vol. II. Transl. T.W. Haig 1899, reprint Karachi: 1976. P-268.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama vol. III. Transl. Zaidi, Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-27.

Babur, Zahirud-din Muhammad. Babur-Nama. Transl. Beveridge, Annette S., London:1922.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama vol. II. Transl. Zaidi, Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-260.

Denoting a system of geometry based on the rules of Euclid, 3rd Century B.C Greek mathematician.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama vol. III. Transl. Zaidi, Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-27.

Chughtai, Muhammad Abdullah, A family of great Mughal Architects. Islamic culture, Hyderabad: 1937. P-202-03.

Subtelny Maria E., A Medieval Persian Manual in Context: The Irshad al zira’a in Late Timurid and early Safavid Khurasan. Studia Iranica. No. 22- 2, Paris: 1993. P-26.

Gauvin Bailey, The Sweet Smelling Notebook: An unpublished Source on Garden Design. Muqarnas: The Garden in the times of the Great Muslim Empires (special supplement VII), E.J.Brill, Leiden: 1997. P-129-39.

Rabani, Ahmad. Maqalaat-e-Molvi Muhammad Shafi, vol. IV. Majlis Taraqeye-adab, Lahore: 1972. P- 33-43.

Jahangir, Nooruddin Muhammad, Tuzuk-IJahangiri: Memoirs of Jahangir. (Ed.) Beveridge, Henry (transl) Rogers, Alexender, New Delhi: 1968. P-368.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama, vol. III. Transl. Zaidi, Dr. Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-28.

Ibid, p.27.

Jahangir, Nooruddin Muhammad, Tuzuk-IJahangiri: Memoirs of Jahangir. (Ed.) Beveridge, Henry (transl) Rogers, Alexender, New Delhi: 1968. P-152.

Beach, Milo C. & Koch, Ebba. King of the world: the Padshahnama : an imperial Mughal manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. Washington D.C: 1997. P-131-32.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama, vol. II. Transl. Zaidi, Dr. Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-06.

Lahori Abdul Hamid. Badshanama. vol.I. Transl. E.Koch, cf. transl. Nur-Baksh 1903-04. P-91.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama, vol. III. Transl. Zaidi, Dr. Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-28.

Barraud, Richard Andre. Modular planning of the Taj Mahal, in The complete Taj Mahal. Thames & Hudson Ltd., London: 2006. P-108.

Ibid, p 109.

Rehman, Abdul & Anbrine, Shama. Unity and Diversity of Mughal Garden Experiences, in Middle East Garden Tradition: Unity and Diversity. (ed.) Michel Conan, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C: 2007. P-225.

Latif, Muhammad. Lahore: The architectural remains. Lahore: 1892. P-122.

Mubarak, Abul Fazl. Ain-i-Akbari, vol. I. (Ed.) H. Blochmann, H. S. Jarrett, 1868. P-100.

Ali Mardan Khan, a Persian from Kerman, was viceroy of Punjab (which then stretched from Kabul to Delhi) under the rule of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He was Qandahar‟s governor under Safavid ruler Shah Tahmasp before surrendering the province to the Mughals and taking refuge in Dehli in 1637. In 1639, Ali Mardan was given the title of Amir-ul-Umara and was made a Haft Hazari (commander of 7,000 troops), for his services to the Mughal court.

Ganj-Ali-Khan was the ruler of Kerman, Herat, and Qandahar during the reign of Shah Abbas I from 1596-1621. His architectural undertaking in Kerman, Ganj-Ali-Khan Complex is well known. However, he was also the patron of many other buildings, gardens, and Qanats in his thirty years reign. Soroush, Mehrnoush and Khazraee, S. Emadeddin. Patronage and the Hidden Aspects of the History of Iranian Art, GOLESTAN-E HONAR, Vol. 4, No. 3 (Serial No.: 13), 2008.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama, vol. II. Transl. Zaidi, Dr. Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-32.

Foster, William. Early Travels in India 1583- 1619. London: Oxford University Press, 1921. Reprint: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi: 1985. P-165-166.

Kambo, Saleh Muhammad. Shah Jahan Nama, vol. III. Transl. Zaidi, Dr. Nazir Hassan, Lahore: 1974. P-31.






Copyright (c) 2016 Abdul Rehman, Munazzah Akhtar

Powered By KICS