It includes architecture that belongs to Turkish, Iranian, Delhi Sultanate, Deccan Sultanate, Mughals and other Muslim rulers which have exhibited an influence of local architecture as well. Muslim architecture was different because it used bricks, apart from stones, alongwith lime and mortar.
Indo-Islamic architecture is divided into two following broad categories –
I. Pre Mughal or Sultanate or Imperial period
II. Mughal architecture – mainly at Delhi, Agra, and Lahore
III. Deccani Style – mainly architectures of Bijapur, Golconda
IV. Provincial Style – Apart from the major Islamic rulers many provincial styles also gained influence. Architecture of Bengal, Mandu, Bijapur and Jaunpur is regarded as distinct.
Earliest examples are from Turkish rulers who arrived in 13th century. One major departure from earlier buildings was that Muslims forbade representation of human forms in their holy places and thus it was replaced by geometrical patterns, calligraphy and elaborate stone and plaster work.
Indo-Islamic architecture also retained many features of the Indegenous architecture – for example – Turned Lotus, Kalash on the domes and Ornamentation of Indian Art were adopted in the the construction of Mosques in India.
Indo-Islamic style replaced Trabeate style with Arcuate style. TRABEATE ARCUATE
Its entrance is lintel shaped.
Its entrance is shaped in form of archs.
In this, minars were not present.
In this, minars were present.
Stone was the primary material that was used.
In this, brick, lime and limestone mortar was predominantly used.
The distinctive features of Indo-Islamic architecture were –
Instead of Shikhara, dome became the central element. Central Dome was most prominent part and it was topped by an inverted lotus motif and a metal or stone pinnacle above it.
The walls in all buildings were extremely thick and were largely constructed of rubble masonry, which was easily available.
Lofty towers or minarets were another distinctive element which exhibited Persian influence.
Instead of flat roofs, arches became an integral part of the architecture.
Now, limestone mixed mortar was used as a cementing method.
In this phase there was more reliance on local materials.
Human images and other images in general are not shown as Islam prohibits portrayal of Allah in image form and instead, decoration took form of Calligraphy using Arabesque method (an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines, leaves and flowers).
Geomatrical and symmetrical patterns are used
There is intricate Jali work on the walls which signifies importance of light in Islam
Water channels and ponds are also an integral part for both beautification and utility. Persian and Arab areas are hotter and water is important ingredient of architects.
A lot of ‘decorative techniques’ were used including Pietra Dura. The technique is used in later architect which involves embedding of colored stones into each other to make an intricate flowery design on walls, floors etc. Other decorative techniques included – use of various motifs of flowers etc, calligraphy, precious stones like Lappis Lazuli, use of intricate jail work, multiple foliated arches etc. Walls were also decorated with cypress, chinar and other trees as also with flower vases.
Gardens were important part, and among these Chahar Bagh have special place.
Forts and minars were also distinguishing features of Indo-Islamic architecture. Forts of Chittor, Gwalior, Daulatabad, earlier known as Devgiri and Golconda are some of the prime examples. Among minars, two most striking minars of medieval times are the Qutub Minar in Delhi and the Chand Minar at Daulatabad which was built in 15th century. The everyday use of the minar was for the azaan or call to prayer. Its phenomenal height, however, symbolised the might and power of the ruler.
Tombs were another important feature. The idea behind the tomb was eternal paradise as a reward for the true believer on the Day of Judgement. This led to the paradisiacal imagery for tomb construction like gardens and source of water. Tombs of Ghyasuddin Tughlaq, Humayun, Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan, Akbar and Itmaduddaula etc were built.