INDO ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Art and Culture)

News-CRUX-10     27th October 2023        
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Context: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has started restoration and conservation work at Ghiyas-ud- din Balban's 13th century- tomb, located inside the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.

  • It is believed to be the first monument built in the Indo-Islamic architectural style.

Indo-Islamic Architectural Style

  • In the 13th century, Islamic rulers began to settle in Northern India following the Turkish conquest of the region.
  • These rulers introduced new artistic and architectural elements, including calligraphy and ornamentation.
  • The fusion of these new architectural styles with local traditions brought about a significant transformation in Indian architecture.
  • This architectural style is now recognized as Indo-Islamic Architecture due to the blend of Islamic and indigenous influences.

Features Of Indo-Islamic Architecture

  • Arcuade Form of Architecture: This style involves the use of arches and domes, primarily designed to support the weight of the upper structure.
  • Minars: Minars were constructed around mosques and mausoleums.
  • Non-Representational Art: Instead of depicting living beings such as humans or animals, the art primarily featured arabesque geometrical patterns and calligraphy.
  • Arabesque Patterns: Arabesque patterns are characterized by the use of geometrical and vegetal ornamentation, featuring a continuous stem that regularly splits to create a series of balanced leafy and secondary stems.
  • Jali Works: These buildings incorporated intricate jali work, with examples found in structures like the Jaipur Ajmera Fort.
  • Pietra-Dura Technique: This technique involved inlaying precious stones and gems into stone walls, with Lapis Lazuli being a notable example used on the walls.
  • Example: Qutub Minar, Alai Darwaza, Siri Fort, Taj Mahal, Akbar's Tomb,  Bibi ka Maqbara, Safdarjung Tomb and Humayun's Tomb.