Medieval Art and Architecture in India PDF (UPSC PPT Slides)

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  • India’s medieval period, spanning from the 6th to the 16th century, witnessed a rich tapestry of artistic and architectural expressions that reflected the socio-cultural, religious, and political dynamics of the time. This era marked the confluence of indigenous styles with influences from various invaders, resulting in a unique amalgamation that continues to captivate historians, art enthusiasts, and tourists alike. and in this article, we will discuss the Medieval Art and Architecture in India.

Medieval Art and Architecture in India – Lec 8


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Exploring the Majesty of Medieval Architecture: A Glimpse into the Past

Medieval architecture stands as an enduring testament to the creativity, craftsmanship, and ingenuity of societies that thrived during the Middle Ages, spanning roughly from the 5th to the 15th century. This period, often characterized by feudalism, chivalry, and the rise of various kingdoms, produced architectural marvels that continue to captivate and inspire us today. From towering cathedrals to imposing castles, the structures of medieval times reflect the complex cultural, social, and religious dynamics of an era marked by both hardship and innovation.

Characteristics of Medieval Architecture

Medieval architecture is not confined to a single style but encompasses a variety of forms, each with its unique characteristics. However, some overarching features define this period:

  1. Gothic Architecture: Perhaps the most iconic style of medieval architecture, Gothic structures are characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. Cathedrals like Notre Dame in Paris and the Cologne Cathedral in Germany are prime examples of the grandeur achieved through Gothic design.
  2. Romanesque Architecture: Preceding the Gothic era, Romanesque architecture is marked by thick walls, rounded arches, and barrel vaults. The Durham Cathedral in England exemplifies the Romanesque style, showcasing the durability and solidity that define this architectural tradition.
  3. Castles and Fortifications: The medieval period was fraught with political and territorial conflicts, leading to the construction of castles and fortifications. These structures, such as the Tower of London and Carcassonne in France, served both defensive and symbolic purposes, representing the might and authority of the ruling elite.
  4. Secular and Vernacular Architecture: Beyond religious and military structures, medieval architecture extended to everyday buildings. Timber-framed houses with thatched roofs were common in medieval villages, showcasing the practical and functional aspects of architectural design for the common folk.

Cathedrals: Divine Masterpieces

One of the most awe-inspiring achievements of medieval architecture is the construction of grand cathedrals. These monumental structures, often located in the heart of medieval cities, served as symbols of religious devotion and architectural prowess. The construction of these cathedrals required not only engineering skills but also a deep understanding of symbolic elements. The Chartres Cathedral in France, with its labyrinthine floor plan and intricate stained glass windows, exemplifies the spiritual and artistic heights achieved during this period.

Innovations in Building Techniques

Medieval architects faced challenges that spurred innovation in construction techniques. The pointed arch, a hallmark of Gothic architecture, allowed for taller and more spacious interiors. Ribbed vaults distributed weight more efficiently, enabling the construction of soaring ceilings. The flying buttress, an external support system, provided stability to the walls, allowing for larger windows and intricate decorations.

Legacy and Preservation

Despite the passage of centuries, many medieval structures have endured, a testament to the craftsmanship and durability of their construction. Preservation efforts, such as those applied to the UNESCO World Heritage site Mont-Saint-Michel in France, showcase the ongoing commitment to maintaining these architectural marvels for future generations.

Additional Resources on Medieval Architecture

For those seeking a deeper understanding of medieval architecture, there are valuable resources available that delve into specific aspects of this fascinating subject:

  1. Medieval Architecture PPT for 9th – 12th Grade: This resource is tailored for high school students (grades 9-12) and serves as an educational tool to explore the socio-political changes reflected in Romanesque and Gothic architecture. By comparing these two styles, the presentation provides insights into the evolution of architectural forms during this transformative period.
  2. Medieval Architecture PowerPoint Presentation: This downloadable presentation offers a comprehensive overview of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Aimed at a broad audience, it provides valuable insights into the key features of these architectural styles, allowing viewers to appreciate the distinct characteristics that define medieval structures.
  3. India’s Medieval Architecture: This resource expands the scope of medieval architecture beyond Europe, delving into the unique features of India’s architectural heritage during the same period. Whether viewed online or downloaded as a PDF, this presentation offers a cross-cultural perspective on the architectural achievements of the medieval era, showcasing the diversity and richness of global architectural traditions.

Characteristics of Romanesque and Gothic Architecture

To better understand the nuances of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, it’s essential to recognize their distinct features:

Romanesque Architecture (500 AD – 12th Century):

    • Thick walls for structural stability.
    • Large towers that often served defensive purposes.
    • Semicircular arches, a defining feature of Romanesque buildings.
    • Barrel vaults supporting the weight of the structure.
    • Dark, simple interiors with small windows, usually positioned high on the walls.

Gothic Architecture:

    • Pointed arches, a departure from the semicircular arches of Romanesque style.
    • High, narrow vaults that allowed for greater verticality.
    • Thinner walls are made possible by innovative structural advancements.
    • Use of external support columns to transfer weight, enabling larger windows.
    • Ribbed vaults, pointed arches, and sharp spires characterize later Gothic structures.

As medieval architecture evolved, innovations such as ribbed vaults and pointed arches not only transformed the aesthetic of buildings but also revolutionized construction techniques. The ability to transfer weight to external support columns paved the way for larger windows, contributing to the grandeur and luminosity seen in later Gothic structures.

In conclusion,

  • Exploring the resources and understanding the distinctive characteristics of Romanesque and Gothic architecture allows us to appreciate the depth and complexity of medieval building traditions, transcending geographical boundaries and providing a holistic view of this captivating era in architectural history.

Also Read: India Journalism

Short Table of Medieval Art and Architecture in India

Here is a table:

Features Examples/Characteristics
Architectural Styles Arcuate style, Minars, mortar, spacious calligraphy, arabesque, jaali, water features, Charbagh, pietra dura.
Delhi Sultanate Period Imperial Style: Slave dynasty – Remodeling of Hindu structures (Qutb Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque).
Khilji dynasty – Seljuk style, red sandstone, arcuate style (Alai Darwaza, Siri Fort).
Tughlaq dynasty – Crisis period, grey sandstone (Tughlaqabad, Jahaanpanah, Ferozabad).
Lodhi dynasty – Double domes (Lodi Garden, city of Agra).
Sayyid dynasty – Octagonal tomb, Guldasta decoration, blue tiles (Md Shah’s Tomb).
Provincial Styles Bengal Architecture: Brick, black marble, terracotta bricks, sloping bangla roof (Kadam Rasool Mosque).
Jaunpur Architecture: Sharqui dynasty, no minars in mosques (Atalla Mosque).
Malwa Architecture: Pathan style, well-proportioned staircase, variety of stones (Ashrafi Mahal, Mandu Fort).
Bijapur Architecture: Adil Shah dynasty, beautiful cornice, spherical domes (Gol Gumbaz, Adil Shah’s mausoleum).
Mughal Era Babur: Red sandstone, Tudor arch (Agra Fort, Moti Masjid).
Humayun: Persian influences, Diwan-i-aam, Diwan-i-khaas (Dinpanah).
Akbar: Red Fort in Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Buland Darwaja, Panchmahal, Jodha Bai’s palace.
Jahangir: Focus on paintings (Shalimar Bagh in Kashmir, Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb).
Shah Jahan: Red Fort and Jama Masjid in Delhi, Shalimar Bagh in Lahore, Shahjahanabad.
Aurangzeb: Conservative approach (Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Shalimar Bagh).
Other Architectural Styles Sikh, Rajput, Kashmir, Portuguese, European styles.

Note: This table provides a simplified overview. If you need more detailed information or specific data points, please let me know.


Marvels of Medieval Art and Architecture in India: A Comprehensive Exploration

The medieval period in India witnessed a rich tapestry of art and architecture that reflected the diverse cultural and historical influences of the time. From the arcuate style and minars to intricate calligraphy and jaali work, the architectural wonders of this era continue to captivate enthusiasts, providing a window into the artistic mastery and socio-political dynamics of the period.

Features of Medieval Indian Art and Architecture:

  1. Arcuate Style: The arcuate style, characterized by the use of arches, is a distinctive feature of medieval architecture in India. This design element not only added aesthetic appeal but also served functional purposes, contributing to the stability and strength of structures.
  2. Minars: Minars, or towering structures, became synonymous with medieval architecture. These were often employed for various purposes, from religious significance to serving as watchtowers. The Qutb Minar, an iconic example, stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of the Delhi Sultanate period.
  3. Mortar: The use of mortar in construction became a crucial innovation, enhancing the durability and stability of buildings. This technological advancement allowed for the creation of intricate structures that stood the test of time.
  4. No Human or Animal Figures: In adherence to Islamic artistic traditions, medieval Indian architecture refrained from depicting human or animal figures. Instead, the focus was on geometric patterns, calligraphy, and arabesque designs to convey aesthetic beauty.
  5. Spacious Calligraphy: Calligraphy played a significant role in decorating structures, with spacious inscriptions adorning walls and facades. This practice not only served decorative purposes but also conveyed religious and philosophical messages.
  6. Arabesque: The arabesque, characterized by intricate and flowing patterns, was a prevalent design element in medieval Indian art. This ornate detailing added a sense of elegance and sophistication to architectural structures.
  7. Jaali: Jaali, or latticed screens, were commonly used in medieval architecture to filter light and air while providing privacy. These delicate screens showcased the mastery of artisans in creating intricate patterns through stone carving.
  8. Water: Water features, such as fountains and pools, were integral to medieval architecture. They not only served practical purposes but also added a sense of tranquility and beauty to the surroundings.
  9. Charbagh: The charbagh, a quadrilateral garden layout, was a prominent feature in medieval architecture. This design principle symbolized order and harmony and was often associated with Islamic gardens.
  10. Pietra Dura: The art of pietra dura, or the inlay of semiprecious stones into marble, reached its zenith during the medieval period. This intricate craftsmanship adorned buildings with exquisite floral and geometric patterns.

Symphony in Stone: Exploring the Distinctive Features of Medieval Art and Architecture in India

Here’s a complete table summarizing the features of Medieval Art and Architecture in India:

Features Examples/Characteristics
Arcuate Style The arch-based architectural style for stability and aesthetic appeal.
Minars Towering structures are often used for religious or watchtower purposes.
Mortar Use of mortar in construction for enhanced durability and stability.
No Human/Animal Figures Adherence to Islamic artistic traditions, avoiding depictions of living beings.
Spacious Calligraphy Decorative use of calligraphy with ample space, conveying messages and aesthetics.
Arabesque Ornate and flowing patterns, adding elegance and sophistication to structures.
Jaali Latticed screens for privacy and light filtration, showcasing intricate patterns.
Water Features Incorporation of fountains, pools, and other water elements for practical and aesthetic purposes.
Charbagh Quadrilateral garden layout symbolizes order and harmony, often associated with Islamic gardens.
Pietra Dura Inlay of semiprecious stones into marble, creating intricate floral and geometric patterns.

This table provides a concise overview of the key features associated with Medieval Art and Architecture in India.

Difference Between Ancient and Medieval Architecture

The transition from ancient to medieval architecture in India marked a shift in style, form, and cultural influences. Notable differences include the emergence of the arcuate style, the use of minars, and the avoidance of human and animal figures in medieval architecture. The incorporation of calligraphy, arabesque, and jaali work also set medieval structures apart from their ancient counterparts.

Temporal Transitions: Contrasting Features Between the Ancient and Medieval Eras

Here’s a complete table summarizing the differences between Ancient and Medieval periods:

Aspects Ancient Period Medieval Period
Time Period Generally considered up to the 6th century AD. Roughly spans from the 5th to the 15th century AD.
Architectural Styles Varied styles based on regional cultures (e.g., Mauryan, Gupta, Chola). Dominated by Romanesque and Gothic styles in Europe; diverse regional styles in other parts.
Building Materials Primarily stone, brick, and wood. Continued use of stone and brick; introduction of pointed arches and ribbed vaults in Gothic architecture.
Building Techniques Relied on traditional construction methods and post-and-lintel systems. Innovations such as pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses in Gothic architecture.
Religious Influence Prevalence of pagan and polytheistic beliefs; construction of temples and stupas. Dominance of Christianity in Europe; construction of grand cathedrals and mosques.
Artistic Representations Rich use of sculptures and carvings depicting deities, kings, and everyday life. Islamic influence limiting depictions of living beings; focus on calligraphy, arabesque, and geometric patterns.
Urban Planning Cities with planned layouts; grid systems common in Roman cities. Expansion and development of medieval cities; emergence of walled cities for defense.
Social Structure Hierarchical societies with clear caste systems (e.g., in ancient India). Feudalistic societies with a strong emphasis on monarchies and aristocracy.
Trade and Commerce Flourishing trade along established routes (e.g., Silk Road, Indian Ocean trade). Continued trade routes and the rise of medieval fairs and markets.
Educational Centers Prominent centers of learning, such as Takshashila and Nalanda in ancient India. Shift towards cathedral schools and monastic education in medieval Europe.
Scientific Advancements Developments in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine (e.g., ancient Greece, India). Limited scientific progress; preservation and transmission of ancient knowledge.
Political Structures Varied political systems including monarchies, republics, and empires. A feudal system with decentralized power and authority. Monarchies and feudal lords.
Military Architecture Fortifications, citadels, and city walls for defense. Castles, keeps, and fortified structures; emphasis on defensive architecture.
Legacy and Preservation Some ancient structures endured, while others faced decay and destruction. Preservation of medieval structures, particularly cathedrals and castles, remains prominent.

This table provides a concise comparison of key aspects differentiating the Ancient and Medieval periods, showcasing the evolution of architecture, society, and culture over time.

Architecture during the Delhi Sultanate Period: Imperial and Provincial Styles

Here’s a complete table summarizing the architectural styles during the Delhi Sultanate period, distinguishing between the imperial and provincial styles:

Aspect Imperial Style Provincial Style
Dynasty Slave Dynasty: Remodeled existing Hindu structures (Qutb Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque) Bengal Architecture: Brick, black marble, terracotta bricks, sloping bangla roof (Kadam Rasool Mosque).
Khilji Dynasty: Seljuk style, red sandstone, arcuate style (Alai Darwaza, Siri Fort). Jaunpur Architecture: Sharqui dynasty, no minars in their mosques (Atalla Mosque).
Tughlaq Dynasty: Crisis period, grey sandstone, focus on strength (Tughlaqabad, Jahaanpanah, Ferozabad). Malwa Architecture: Pathan style, well-proportioned staircase, variety of stones (Ashrafi Mahal, Mandu Fort).
Lodhi Dynasty: Emphasis on tombs with double domes (Lodi Garden, city of Agra).
Sayyid Dynasty: Introduction of octagonal tomb structures, Guldasta decoration with blue tiles (Md Shah’s Tomb).
Characteristics – Remodeling of Hindu structures – Unique regional characteristics
– Use of Seljuk style and red sandstone – Pathan style and well-proportioned staircases
– Crisis period with a focus on strength – Emphasis on a variety of stones and wall mats
– Emphasis on tombs with double domes – Introduction of octagonal tomb structures
– Introduction of Guldasta decoration with blue tiles
Examples Qutb Minar, Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (Slave Dynasty) Kadam Rasool Mosque (Bengal Architecture)
Alai Darwaza, Siri Fort (Khilji Dynasty) Atalla Mosque (Jaunpur Architecture)
Tughlaqabad, Jahaanpanah, Ferozabad (Tughlaq Dynasty) Ashrafi Mahal, Mandu Fort (Malwa Architecture)
Lodi Garden, city of Agra (Lodhi Dynasty)
Md Shah’s Tomb (Sayyid Dynasty)

This table provides a comparison between the imperial and provincial architectural styles during the Delhi Sultanate period, highlighting their distinctive characteristics and key examples.

Imperial Style

Here’s a complete table summarizing the architectural developments under the imperial style during different dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate period:

Dynasty Architectural Features Key Structures
Slave Dynasty Remodeling of existing Hindu structures. Qutb Minar: A monumental minaret initiated by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and completed by Iltutmish, showcasing a fusion of Islamic and Indian architectural styles.
Construction of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, incorporating elements from demolished Hindu and Jain temples.
Khilji Dynasty Introduction of Seljuk style, characterized by intricate geometric patterns and arabesque designs. Alai Darwaza: Constructed by Ala-ud-din Khilji, this imposing gateway made of red sandstone stands as an entrance to the Qutb complex.
Use of red sandstone and the arcuate style (employing pointed arches). Siri Fort: A fortified city built during the reign of Ala-ud-din Khilji, showcasing military architectural innovations.
Tughlaq Dynasty Crisis period marked by grey sandstone structures and a focus on strength and durability. Tughlaqabad: A massive fortress and city built by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, representing a unique blend of military and architectural design.
Utilization of batter style (inward sloping walls for stability). Jahaanpanah: The ‘Refuge of the World,’ an ambitious city complex also constructed by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq.
Ferozabad: A city founded by Feroz Shah Tughlaq, showcasing his architectural and urban planning endeavors.
Lodhi Dynasty Emphasis on tombs with double domes and intricate stone carvings. Lodi Garden: A serene park in Delhi housing several tombs of the Lodhi rulers, known for their distinctive architectural style.
City of Agra: The Lodhi dynasty contributed to the architectural landscape of Agra, leaving behind notable structures.
Sayyid Dynasty Introduction of octagonal tomb structures with Guldasta decoration using blue tiles. Md Shah’s Tomb: An architectural gem featuring the distinctive octagonal design and Guldasta decoration with blue tiles.

This table provides a comprehensive overview of the architectural features and key structures associated with the imperial style under different dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate period.

Precursor Cities of Delhi

A historical journey through mythical Indraprastha to the vibrant streets of Shahjahanabad (Delhi 6) reveals the diverse and evolving urban landscapes that laid the foundation for the architectural wonders of the medieval period.

Here’s a table summarizing the precursor cities of Delhi, including their historical context and notable features:

City Historical Context and Notable Features
Indraprastha (Mythological) Considered a legendary city from ancient Hindu texts, associated with the Mahabharata.
Lal Kot (Tomars) Founded by the Tomar dynasty, Lal Kot served as an early medieval city in the region.
Quila Rai Pithora (Prithvi Raj Chauhan) Established by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, a Rajput ruler. The city had formidable fortifications.
Siri (Alauddin Khilji) Constructed by Alauddin Khilji, it served as the second medieval city of Delhi with notable architectural structures.
Tughlaqabad (Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq) Founded by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq, Tughlaqabad featured a massive fortress and city complex with military significance.
Firoz Shah Kotla (Firoz Shah Tughlaq) Established by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, it included a fortress, palace, and other architectural marvels, showcasing Firoz Shah’s contributions.
Jahanpanah (Mohammad Bin Tughlaq) Built by Mohammad Bin Tughlaq, Jahanpanah was envisioned as a city of refuge with planned infrastructure and fortifications.
Shershah (Sher Shah Suri) Founded by Sher Shah Suri, it played a key role in the Grand Trunk Road and featured impressive architectural structures.
Dinpanah (Humayun initiated, incomplete) Initiated by Humayun but left incomplete, Dinpanah was intended to be a new capital with defensive walls and structures.
Shahjahanabad (Shah Jahan) Established by Shah Jahan, it is the seventh medieval city of Delhi, known for the Red Fort, Jama Masjid, and other iconic structures.
Delhi 6 (Chandni Chowk, Mori Gate, Chawri Bazar, Dariyaganj, Kashmiri Gate, Tis Hazari) Delhi 6 refers to the area within the old walled city of Shahjahanabad, encompassing vibrant markets, historical sites, and diverse neighborhoods.

This table provides a concise overview of the precursor cities of Delhi, highlighting their historical significance and the rulers associated with their establishment.

Provincial Style

Here’s a comprehensive table summarizing the provincial styles of Bengal, Jaunpur, Malwa, and Bijapur architectures, along with notable examples:

Regional Style Architectural Features Notable Examples
Bengal Architecture Use of brick, black marble, and thin terracotta bricks. Kadam Rasool Mosque of Gaur: A significant mosque showcasing the use of these materials in Bengal architecture.
Characteristic sloping Bangla roof design. Adhina Mosque of Pandua: Another example of Bengal architecture with distinctive features.
Jaunpur Architecture Associated with the Sharqui dynasty in Uttar Pradesh. Atalla Mosque: An iconic mosque showcasing the unique characteristics of Jaunpur architecture.
Notable for the absence of minars in their mosques.
Malwa Architecture Exhibits Pathan style with well-proportioned staircases. Ashrafi Mahal: A palace in Mandu with intricate design elements, including well-proportioned staircases.
Utilization of a variety of stones, wall mats, large windows, and high-rise pavilions. Jahaz Mahal: A striking structure in Mandu featuring diverse architectural elements.
Mandu Fort: The fort itself is an architectural marvel showcasing the regional style.
Bijapur Architecture Belonging to the Adil Shah dynasty, known for its beautiful cornices, spherical domes, and 3-facet arches. Gol Gumbaz: An impressive mausoleum with the world’s second-largest dome.
Adil Shah’s Mausoleum: A tomb featuring the characteristic elements of Bijapur architecture.
Jami Masjid: A grand mosque exemplifying the unique architectural style of Bijapur.

This table provides an overview of the distinctive architectural features and notable examples associated with Bengal, Jaunpur, Malwa, and Bijapur provincial styles.

Also Read: Free PPT Slides

Mughal Style

Here’s a comprehensive table summarizing the architectural contributions of various Mughal emperors and their associated structures:

Mughal Emperor Architectural Features Notable Structures
Babur Initial architectural contributions during the early Mughal period. Notable structures not explicitly mentioned.
Humayun Early Mughal architecture with a focus on Persian influence. Humayun’s Tomb: A precursor to the grander Mughal tombs, featuring Persian architectural elements.
Akbar Utilization of red sandstone. Agra Fort: A massive fortress showcasing Akbar’s architectural style.
Introduction of the Tudor arch. Moti Masjid: A small but elegant mosque within the Agra Fort complex.
Construction of various structures, including administrative buildings. Diwan-i-aam and Diwan-i-Khaas: Audience halls within Agra Fort.
Jahangir Focus on paintings and ornate details. Akbar’s Tomb in Sikandra: Initiated by Akbar but completed during Jahangir’s reign.
Shalimar Bagh in Kashmir: A terraced Mughal garden with water features.
Noor Jahan’s contributions to the Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb.
Shah Jahan The epitome of Mughal architecture known for grandeur and symmetry. Taj Mahal: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Use of red sandstone and white marble. Agra Fort: Further modifications and additions, including the Jahangiri Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Construction of Fatehpur Sikri, a planned city. Buland Darwaja: The grand entrance to Fatehpur Sikri.
Salim Chishti’s Tomb: A revered Sufi saint’s tomb within Fatehpur Sikri.
Panchmahal and Jodha Bai’s Palace in Fatehpur Sikri.
Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) and Pachisi Court in Fatehpur Sikri. The impressive Ibadat Khana and Pachisi Court structures.
Aurangzeb Known for a more conservative approach to architecture. Red Fort, Delhi: Further modifications to the existing fort.
Construction of the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. Jama Masjid, Delhi: Additional features and renovations.
Shalimar Bagh, Lahore: Continuing Shah Jahan’s garden tradition.
Establishment of the city of Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). City of Shahjahanabad: Including the famous Chandni Chowk area.
Md. Azam Shah Last Mughal emperor to take significant architectural initiatives. Bibi Ka Maqbara: Also known as the “Poor Man’s Taj Mahal” in Aurangabad.
Zinat Mahal: A palace known for its architectural elegance.

This table provides an overview of the Mughal architectural styles and notable structures associated with each emperor.

Other Architectural Styles: Sikh, Rajput, Kashmir, Portuguese, and European Styles

Here’s a comprehensive table summarizing various architectural styles, including Sikh, Rajput, Kashmiri, Portuguese, and British styles, along with notable examples:

Architectural Style Key Characteristics Notable Examples
Sikh Style Multiple chhatris, shallow cornices, fluted domes. Shri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple): A sacred Sikh shrine in Amritsar with distinctive Sikh architectural features.
Foliations in design. Gurudwara buildings influenced by Sikh architectural principles.
Rajput Style Hanging balconies, cornice with an arch shape. Mehrangarh Fort: Located in Jodhpur, known for its intricate Rajput architecture.
Ranthambore Fort, Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Gwalior Fort, etc.
Influence from Mughal architecture.
Kashmir Style Cellular layout, enclosed courtyards. Martand Sun Temple, Anantnag: Representing Kashmiri architectural elegance.
Straight-edged pyramidal roofs, column walls. Temples at Avantipora, including Avantiswami Temple and Pandrethan Temple.
More number of steps in design. Jantar Mantar, Lab, City Palace of Jajpur, Rambagh Palace, Udaivilas Palace, etc.
Portuguese Style Iberian style with patio houses and baroque elements. Se Cathedral, Goa: A grand cathedral showcasing Portuguese architectural influence.
Contrasting colors in design. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Castella de Aguanda, Church of St. Anne in Goa.
Diu Fort: Reflecting Portuguese military architecture.
European Styles British Indo-Gothic, Neo-Roman, Victorian styles. Bombay (Churchgate, Gateway of India): Indo-Gothic architecture in Mumbai.
Large construction with thin walls and large windows. Calcutta (St. Paul Cathedral): Neo-Roman architectural influence.
Pointed arches, steel structures. Madras (Ripon Building): Victorian architectural marvel.
Post-111, Edwin L. Herbert, B. Anonymous Confluence, circular buildings. Sansad Bhawan, Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi: Blend of European and Indian styles.

This table provides an overview of various architectural styles, highlighting their key characteristics and iconic examples across different regions and historical periods.


  • Medieval art and architecture in India represent a dynamic and diverse period marked by the fusion of cultural influences and evolving architectural styles. From the imperial grandeur of the Delhi Sultanate to the provincial nuances of Bengal, Jaunpur, Malwa, and Bijapur, and the opulence of the Mughal era, each architectural style contributes to the rich tapestry of India’s historical and cultural heritage. As we traverse the landscapes of ancient cities and explore the marvels of architectural craftsmanship, we gain a profound appreciation for the artistic legacy that continues to shape our understanding of India’s storied past.

Also read Previous Notes: Temple Architecture in India PPT Download (UPSC PPT Slides)

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