Rulers and Buildings (Class 7 History Chapter 5 Notes)

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar/Sakeeb
  1. There were two kinds of structures made during the 8th and 18th centuries. First were meant for kings and their officers themselves such as forts, palaces, garden residences and tombs. The second were structures meant for public activity such as temples, mosques, tanks, wells, caravanserais and bazaars.
  2. Rich merchant also built temples, mosques and wells for public use and havelis for themselves.

Engineering Skills and Construction
  1. Monuments sheds much needed light on construction technologies and the skills and maturity of the architecture. For example, during 8th and 13th centuries, trabeate style was popular in construction of temples, mosques, tombs and in buildings attached to large stepped-wells (baolis).
  2. Two major developments are evident from the 12th century. These are 1. The weight of the superstructure above the  doors  and  windows was carried by the arches. This was called “arcuate”. 2. The use of limestone cement in construction increased manifold.

Building Temples, Mosques and Tanks
  1. Temples and mosques are some of the most beautiful constructions of this era as they were places of worship and also demonstrate power, wealth and devotion of the patron.
  2. Several kings who commissioned these temples took the names of their gods as they wished to potrayed like them. For example, the Chola royal patron of Rajarajeshvara Temple, adopted the Rajarajadeva.
  3. On another hand, Muslim Sultans and Padshahs did not claim to be the incarnation of god but Persian court chronicles described themselves as the Shadow of the God.
  4. New kings and rulers used temples and mosques to emphasise their moral right to be rulers and connect with the populace.
  5. They built several water tanks and reservoirs to ensure ample supply of clean and pure water. Hauz-i-Sultani by Iltumish near Delhi-i-Kuhna is one such example.

Why were Temples Destroyed?
  1. Besides showing the devotion to their Gods, they constructed temples for displaying their wealth.
  2. They also destroyed temples to make a political-religious point.

Gardens, Tombs and Forts
  1. Under the rule of Mughals, Indian architecture matured and became complex. Babur,  Humayun,  Akbar,  Jahangir,  and especially Shah Jahan were personally interested in literature, art and architecture.
  2. Babur laid the foundation of a special type of garden known as chahar baghs. They had four equal rectunglar sections with other fancy features. Later, the architecture of chahar bagh was perfected by Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan.
  3. During Akbar's reign, a central towering dome and the tall gateway (pishtaq) became important aspects of Mughal architecture. The patten was first visible in Humanyun's tomb.
  4. During Shah Jahan reign, the Mughal architecture reached its peak. He was known for several construction in Delhi and Agra. The Taj Mahal is the prime example of Mughal architecture.

Region and Empire
  1. Between 8th and 18th century, there was a lot of cultural exchange among different communities. For example, in Mathura, temple architecture drew its inspiration from Mughal architecture in Fatehpur Sikri.
  2. The large empires such Mughal Empire paved the way to the growth and intermixing of artistic and architectural styles. Even after the decline of Mughal Empire, the architecture developed under their rule were adopted by different states.