Throughout each have made historical changes for

Throughout history, many great empires have existed. They each have made historical changes for their time, however none quite stand to the Mughal Empire. Its influence and culture has was far reaching and made an impact for not only their regional area, but internationally as well. They have succeeded at spreading and flourishing in areas such as architecture, clothing, music, food, and language. These influences undoubtedly shaped future generations.  With the establishment of the Mughal rule, the Indo – Islamic architecture was changed and revitalized. The new rulers brought a blend of prevalent architecture forms and techniques brought from Central Asia and Persia, with the result of their efforts being the emergence of some of the most intricately designed building in India/Pakistan. The first emperor, Babur, did not devote much time on architecture projects. However, even then,  he still laid out gardens throughout India. Humayun was Babur’s successor. But within a decade of him gaining power, he was dethroned and sent into exile in Persia. The blossoming of the Mughal architecture started with Akbar. He encouraged a hybrid style of architecture, which showed apparent foreign aspects. Under his rule, he built Humayun’s Tomb, the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, as well as his own tomb. Akbar’s son Jahangir was not a notable builder, however Jahangir’s son, Shah Jahan, was one of the greatest builder in India’s history. Most of India’s greatest architectural feats stem from Shah Jahan reign. The period in which he ruled is regarded by many to be the golden age of Mughal architecture. He built many monuments, the best known being the Taj Mahal, which entombs his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal design was seen with great detail, with foreign architects being asked to help build. The building took twenty years to complete. Additional changes during his reign included marble being replaced by red sandstone as the principal building material, and the decorative art of the introduction of semiprecious stones as inlay material, called pietra dura (prachin kari). Shah Jahan also introduced the India’s staple bulbous domes and elaborate arches in his buildings.  The Mughal Empire reached its best years during the ruling of Shah Jahan. Due to his accomplishments, he is believed by many to be one of greatest Mughal emperors.The Taj Mahal itself was located in Agra. It is a white marble mausoleum built between 1632 and 1648 and was constructed by 20,000 men. It represents the Islamic garden of paradise. The mausoleum itself rests in the middle of a large square base. It has four identical outside appearances, each having a large arch shaped doorway. It was built with a large dome and canopy which combined both the Islamic symbol crescent moon and the Hindu symbol of the trident. The central dome has a lotus design and is surrounded by four smaller pavilion type buildings, each of which also has the same lotus symbol. Four tall minarets extend from the corners of the base. This is used to call Muslims to prayer. The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal include calligraphy and verses from the Quran. Since the Muslim tradition forbids the decoration of graves, the bodies of Shah Jahan and his wife are buried in a simple plain casket underneath the mausoleum. In contrast, there is an inner tomb which features vines and flowers made out of various precious materials. It is surrounded by lattice screens with decoration patterns constructed through the use of calligraphy and geometry.The Taj Mahal however is not a relic from the past, but conversely is a centerpiece in Mughal culture. It not only shows us different techniques used, but gives us insight on just how powerful the Mughals influence is. This building created centuries ago still affects us today. Currently its modern day worth is just over a billion. It is known worldwide as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, with two to four million people visiting annually. 


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