NIOS Chapter – 13 Indian Architecture: Delhi Sultanate, Regional Kingdoms and Monuments Built by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri

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With the arrival of Turks during the thirteenth century came a new technique of architecture- the architectural styles of Persia, Arabia and Central Asia.

Delhi Sultanate

  • The engineering features of these buildings were the domes, arches and minarets. The palaces, mosques and tombs built by the rulers had these features which were blended with the features of the indigenous architecture and a new synthesis in architecture was achieved.

  • This happened because the Turkish rulers of Delhi utilized the services of the local Indian craftsmen who were very skilful and had already constructed beautiful buildings.

  • The earliest building of this period is Quwwatul Islam Mosque at Delhi and the Qutub Minar.

  • The architecture of this period also shows how indigenous styles were adopted and utilised by the builders.

Regional Kingdoms

  • With the establishment of regional kingdoms in Bengal, Gujarat and the Deccan, beautiful buildings having their own style were constructed.

  • In Mandu the Jama Masjid, Hindola Mahal and Jahaz Mahal were built.

  • The rulers of Vijayanagar, an empire which was established during this period also erected many beautiful buildings and temples and has a number of achievements to their credit.

  • Though only ruins remain but the temples of Vithalswami and Hazar Rama at Hampi are good examples.


  • The Bahamani sultans borrowed from the styles of Persian, Syria, Turkey and the temples of Southern India.

  • The Jama Masjid Gulbarga is quite well known. The countryard of this mosque is covered with a large number of domes and is the only mosque in India which has covered countryard.


  • The advent of the Mughals brought a new era in architecture. The synthesis of style which began earlier reached its zenith during this time.

  • The architecture of Mughal Style started during Akbar’s rule. The first building of this rule was Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi. In this magnificent building red stone was used.

  • The Red Fort and Jama Masjid of Delhi and above all the Taj Mahal are some of the buildings built by Shahjahan.

  • The Taj Mahal, the tomb of Shahjahan wife, is built in marble and reflects all the architectural features that were developed during the Mughal Period.

  • Next, came the British who ruled the country for 200 years and left behind a legacy of colonial style architecture in their buildings.

Monuments Built by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri

  • The Mughal architecture began in the region of Akbar. He erected many important buildings the crowing achievements of his reign was the building of his new capital city of Fatehpur Sikri, 40km from Agra.

  • Fatehpur Sikri is a romance of stones. The Arch of the Buland Darwaja is the most imposing gateway in the world.

  • The tomb of Saint Salim Chisti is exquisite in its beauty. Jodha Bai Palace is a fine example of ancient Indian architecture.

  • The Panch Mahal is a pyramidal structure in five storeys. It was build o the pattern of a Buddhist Vihara.

  • A unique architectural development in the Mughal time was the beautiful gardens developed around the tombs and other buildings.

  • The Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir and Lahore were developed cultural and architectural growth of India.

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