Mughal architecture reached its pinnacle during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan (1628–58), with the beautiful Taj Mahal serving as its crowning achievement. The tomb was commissioned by Shah Jahan to house the remains of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Other notable buildings from this era include the Shalimar Bagh in Lahore and the Red Fort in Delhi.
The Mughals were masters of water management and used this skill to create some stunning gardens and parks. These include the Shalimar Bagh in Lahore and the Hindoo Rajarani in Madhya Pradesh.
However, the Mughals also had a dark side that is evident from some of their actions such as the destruction caused by their wars or the execution of people without trials. This mixed legacy has made Mughal architecture unique and interesting.
The Taj Mahal Shah Jahan era architecture is an Indian construction style that thrived under the patronage of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–58), with the beautiful mausoleum at Agra, the Taj Mahal, as its greatest achievement. The tomb was designed by the emperor's favorite architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, and is considered one of the highest expressions of Muslim-Hindu art collaboration in history. It is also regarded as a symbol of love and eternal remembrance.
The Taj Mahal was not the only monumental building constructed during Shah Jahan's reign. He also played an important role in building several other structures around Agra including the Red Fort, which was used as the imperial residence, and Fatehpur Sikri, which was intended to be the new capital city of India but never completed. However, none of these buildings have equal status or recognition as the Taj Mahal.
The inspiration for the Taj Mahal came from a poem by Persian poet Khwajah Mu'in al-Khanqani called "Diwān-i Khwajah" ("Khwaja Mu'in's Gift"). Khwaja Mu'in was a court poet at the Mughal Empire who died in 1629.
The Taj Mahal, characterized by Rabindranath Tagore as a "teardrop on the face of time," is the pinnacle of Mughal architecture (Indo-Islamic architecture constructed by the Mughals in the 16th century). In commemoration of his wife, Mumtay Mahal, Emperor Shah Jahan constructed the Taj Mahal entirely of white marble. The tomb further distinguishes itself from other Indian monuments with its exquisite detail and precision: the flower patterns on the dome are identical to those found in nature. It is considered one of the greatest works of human creativity and has been described as a "miniature city" for its variety of structures including mosques, temples, palaces, and tombs.
The Taj Mahal was originally called the "Mumtaz Mahal", which means "the jewel of the queen". It was designed by Firozshah, the son of Emperor Jahangir, but died before it could be completed. His brother, Dara Shikoh, then continued the work. The construction site was located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside Delhi and the building took about twenty years to complete. The emperor also ordered that several other buildings be constructed around the monument, such as the Masjid-i-Jehangiri (Jehangir's mosque), now used as an archival library. These additional structures increase the size of the estate to over 100 acres (400,000 square meters).
The Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, is one of the most famous Mughal structures. Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor, constructed the Taj Mahal. He built the Taj Mahal for Mumtaz Mahal, his wife. The building's construction began in 1632 and was finished in 1648. It is considered one of the greatest works of love by any husband for any wife.
Other notable monuments of the Mughal Empire: Ii-Qaum Superstructure, Chandni Chowk, Jama Masjid, Old Delhi. Ii-Qaum Superstructure is also known as Ii-Qaum Mosque after its builder Ii-Qais Khan. It is one of the largest mosques in India with over 20 courtyards, multiple gates, and over 250 rooms. The complex also has a library, reading room, and an astronomical observatory. Chandni Chowk is a commercial district in old Delhi that dates back to 18th century when it was a hunting lodge called Chandni Chanur. Today, it is known for its shopping opportunities, including jewelers, tailors, and cobblers. It is open daily from 9am to 6pm.
The Jama Masjid or "Big Mosque" was originally built in 827 AD by Raja Jaisingh. It was later rebuilt by Shah Jahan in 1656. This mosque is especially large because it has been expanded over time by adding new walls and minarets.