Indo-Islamic style of architecture

The establishment of the Delhi Sultanate led to the beginning of a new phase in the cultural development of the country. The assimilation of the Turkish, Arabic and Persian cultures with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism led to the development of a new culture known as the Indo-Islamic culture. This culture was neither purely Muslim nor completely Hindu but was a fusion of both religions. The Mughal Period marked the consolidation of the composite culture in India. The architecture was deeply influenced by the Indo-Islamic style of architecture.

Features of the Indo-Islamic style of architecture

  • The Islamic features introduced the concept of spaciousness, massiveness, and width to Indian architectural designs.
  • The Turks did not carve any human and animal figures on the walls of the structures but instead used geometrical and floral designs. Verses from the Quran were also engraved on the walls of the structures. The Turks and the Mughals borrowed Indian motifs such as the swastika, bell, and lotus.
  • The design of the golden ‘kalash’ at the top of the temple was adopted by the Muslims. They placed a stone ‘kalash’ on the domes of mosques and tombs.
  • The Indian style of architecture was profoundly impacted by the Turkish and Mughal styles. For example, many temples of Vrindavan assimilated the Mughal style of architecture.
  • The Turkish and the Mughal style of architecture influenced the palaces and forts built by many local rulers.
  • The local languages and literature were also influenced by the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. Persian was the official language of the Mughals. This enabled the country to develop close cultural contact with Persia.

Various dresses, social amenities, and festivals that were introduced by the Mughals in India were accepted by the people and became a part of the Indo-Islamic culture. The Turks not only brought new musical instruments such as the ‘rabab’ and ‘sarangi’ with them but also introduced new musical modes. Amir Khusro introduced many Persian and Arabic ragas. He also developed the style of ‘qawwalis’ and ‘khayals’.

Also, Read Emergence of Composite Culture

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