Taj Mahal - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Study day. Mughal India: Art and Culture. Date. Times. Location in the history, literature, and book cultures of the Persian-speaking Middle. The Mughal Empire or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in . The Mughal designation for their own dynasty was Gurkani ( Persian: as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turco-Mongol culture. .. also date back earlier, and was mainly used in the northern Indian subcontinent. The Safavid Empire was based in what is today Iran. form of Islam called Shi' ism, that at the time was completely foreign to Iranian culture.
Indeed, earlier, when Babur had become ill, some of the nobles had tried to install his Brother-in-law, Mahdi Khwaja, as ruler. Although this attempt failed, it was a sign of problems to come.
When Humayun came to the throne of the Mughal Empireseveral of his brothers revolted against him. Another brother Khalil Mirza —30 supported Humayun but was assassinated. The Emperor commenced construction of a tomb for his brother inbut this was not yet finished when Humayun was forced to flee to Persia. Sher Shah destroyed the structure and no further work was done on it after Humayun's restoration.
Humayun's first campaign was to confront Sher Shah Suri. Halfway through this offensive Humayun had to abandon it and concentrate on Gujarat, where a threat from Ahmed Shah had to be met.
Humayun was victorious annexing GujaratMalwaChampaner and the great fort of Mandu. While the Mughals had obtained firearms via the Ottoman EmpireBahadur's Gujarat had acquired them through a series of contracts drawn up with the Portuguese, allowing the Portuguese to establish a strategic foothold in north western India. Humayun gathered an army and marched on Bahadur. Within a month he had captured the forts of Mandu and Champaner.
However, instead of pressing his attack, Humayun ceased the campaign and consolidated his newly conquered territory.
Sultan Bahadur, meanwhile escaped and took up refuge with the Portuguese. He began to gather his army together hoping for a rapid and decisive siege of the Mughal capital. Upon hearing this alarming news, Humayun quickly marched his troops back to Agra allowing Bahadur to easily regain control of the territories Humayun had recently taken. In Februaryhowever, Bahadur was killed when a botched plan to kidnap the Portuguese viceroy ended in a fire-fight that the Sultan lost. Humayun's troops had been delayed while trying to take Chunara fort occupied by Sher Shah's son, in order to protect his troops from an attack from the rear.
The stores of grain at Gauri, the largest in the empire, were emptied, and Humayun arrived to see corpses littering the roads. Further provoking the rebellion, Hindal ordered that the Khutba, or sermon, in the main mosque surrounded. However, his return home had treacherous motives as he intended to stake a claim for Humayun's apparently collapsing empire.
He brokered a deal with Hindal providing that his brother would cease all acts of disloyalty  in return for a share in the new empire, which Kamran would create once Humayun was deposed. This was to become an entrenched battle in which both sides spent a lot of time digging themselves into positions. The major part of the Mughal army, the artillery, was now immobile, and Humayun decided to engage in some diplomacy using Muhammad Aziz as ambassador.
Humayun agreed to allow Sher Shah to rule over Bengal and Bihar, but only as provinces granted to him by his Emperor, Humayun, falling short of outright sovereignty.
The two rulers also struck a bargain in order to save face: Humayun's troops would charge those of Sher Shah whose forces then retreat in feigned fear.
Thus honour would, supposedly, be satisfied. Observing the Mughals' vulnerability, Sher Shah reneged on his earlier agreement.DATING A PERSIAN GUY vs. DATING A AMERICAN GUY
That very night, his army approached the Mughal camp and finding the Mughal troops unprepared with a majority asleep, they advanced and killed most of them. The Emperor survived by swimming across the Ganges using an air filled "water skin," and quietly returned to Agra.
When Humayun returned to Agra, he found that all three of his brothers were present. Humayun once again not only pardoned his brothers for plotting against him, but even forgave Hindal for his outright betrayal. With his armies travelling at a leisurely pace, Sher Shah was gradually drawing closer and closer to Agra. This was a serious threat to the entire family, but Humayun and Kamran squabbled over how to proceed.
Kamran withdrew after Humayun refused to make a quick attack on the approaching enemy, instead opting to build a larger army under his own name.
Humayun was soundly defeated. Sher Shah's founding of the short-lived Sur Empirewith its capital at Delhi, resulted in Humayun's exile for 15 years in the court of Shah Tahmasp I. When he reached SirhindHumayun sent an ambassador carrying the message "I have left you the whole of Hindustan i.
Leave Lahore alone, and let Sirhind be a boundary between you and me. You should go there. Instead, Kamran approached Sher Shah and proposed that he actually revolt against his brother and side with Sher Shah in return for most of the Punjab.
Sher Shah dismissed his help, believing it not to be required, though word soon spread to Lahore about the treacherous proposal, and Humayun was urged to make an example of Kamran and kill him. Humayun refused, citing the last words of his father, Babur"Do nothing against your brothers, even though they may deserve it. In many accounts Humayun mentions how he and his pregnant wife had to trace their steps through the desert at the hottest time of year.
Their rations were low, and they had little to eat; even drinking water was a major problem in the desert. When Hamida Bano 's horse died, no one would lend the Queen who was now eight months pregnant a horse, so Humayun did so himself, resulting in him riding a camel for six kilometres four milesalthough Khaled Beg then offered him his mount.
Humayun was later to describe this incident as the lowest point in his life. Humayun asked that his brothers join him as he fell back into Sindh.
While the previously rebellious Hindal Mirza remained loyal and was ordered to join his brothers in Kandahar.
Persians in the Mughal Empire - Wikipedia
Kamran Mirza and Askari Mirza instead decided to head to the relative peace of Kabul. This was to be a definitive schism in the family. Humayun headed for Sindh because he expected aid from the Emir of SindhHussein Umrani, whom he had appointed and who owed him his allegiance.
Also, his wife Hamida hailed from Sindh; she was the daughter of a prestigious pir family a pir is a Shia or Sufi religious mystic of Persian heritage long settled in Sindh. En route to the Emir's court, Humayun had to break journey because his pregnant wife Hamida was unable to travel further. Humayun sought refuge with the Hindu ruler of the oasis town of Amarkot now part of Sindh province.
The date of birth is well established because Humayun consulted his astronomer to utilise the astrolabe and check the location of the planets. The infant was the long-awaited heir-apparent to the year-old Humayun and the answer of many prayers.
Shortly after the birth, Humayun and his party left Amarkot for Sindh, leaving Akbar behind, who was not ready for the grueling journey ahead in his infancy. He was later adopted by Askari Mirza. For a change, Humayun was not deceived in the character of the man on whom he has pinned his hopes. Emir Hussein Umrani, ruler of Sindh, welcomed Humayun's presence and was loyal to Humayun just as he had been loyal to Babur against the renegade Arghuns. While in Sindh, Humayun alongside Emir Hussein Umrani, gathered horses and weapons and formed new alliances that helped regain lost territories.
Until finally Humayun had gathered hundreds of Sindhi and Baloch tribesmen alongside his Mughals and then marched towards Kandahar and later Kabul, thousands more gathered by his side as Humayun continually declared himself the rightful Timurid heir of the first Mughal Emperor, Babur. After Humayun set out from his expedition in Sindhalong with camels mostly wild and loads of grain, he set off to join his brothers in Kandahar after crossing the Indus River on 11 July along with the ambition to regain the Mughal Empire and overthrow the Suri dynasty.
Among the tribes that had sworn allegiance to Humayun were the Magsi, Rind and many others. His other brother Askari Mirza was now ordered to gather an army and march on Humayun.
Humayun - Wikipedia
When Humayun received word of the approaching hostile army he decided against facing them, and instead sought refuge elsewhere.
Akbar was left behind in camp close to Kandahar for, as it was December it would have been too cold and dangerous to include the month-old toddler in the forthcoming march through the dangerous and snowy mountains of the Hindu Kush. Askari Mirza found Akbar in the camp, and embraced him, and allowed his own wife to parent him, she apparently started treating him as her own. Humayun fled to the refuge of the Safavid Empire in Persia, marching with 40 men, his wife Bega Begum and her companion through mountains and valleys.
Amongst other trials the Imperial party were forced to live on horse meat boiled in the soldiers' helmets.
These indignities continued during the month it took them to reach Herathowever after their arrival they were reintroduced to the finer things in life. Upon entering the city his army was greeted with an armed escort, and they were treated to lavish food and clothing. They were given fine accommodations and the roads were cleared and cleaned before them. The top of the platform is reached through a lateral flight of steps provided in the centre of the southern side.
The ground plan of the Taj Mahal is in perfect balance of composition, the octagonal tomb chamber in the centre, encompassed by the portal halls and the four corner rooms. The plan is repeated on the upper floor. The exterior of the tomb is square in plan, with chamfered corners. The large double storied domed chamber, which houses the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, is a perfect octagon in plan.
The exquisite octagonal marble lattice screen encircling both cenotaphs is a piece of superb workmanship. It is highly polished and richly decorated with inlay work.
The borders of the frames are inlaid with precious stones representing flowers executed with wonderful perfection. The hues and the shades of the stones used to make the leaves and the flowers appear almost real. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is in perfect centre of the tomb chamber, placed on a rectangular platform decorated with inlaid flower plant motifs.
- Mughal Empire
- Persians in the Mughal Empire
- Safavid Empire (1501-1722)
The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is greater than Mumtaz Mahal and installed more than thirty years later by the side of the latter on its west. The upper cenotaphs are only illusory and the real graves are in the lower tomb chamber crypta practice adopted in the imperial Mughal tombs.
The four free-standing minarets at the corners of the platform added a hitherto unknown dimension to the Mughal architecture. The four minarets provide not only a kind of spatial reference to the monument but also give a three dimensional effect to the edifice. The most impressive in the Taj Mahal complex next to the tomb, is the main gate which stands majestically in the centre of the southern wall of the forecourt.
Collecting guide: Classical Indian painting
The gate is flanked on the north front by double arcade galleries. The garden in front of the galleries is subdivided into four quarters by two main walk-ways and each quarters in turn subdivided by the narrower cross-axial walkways, on the Timurid-Persian scheme of the walled in garden. The enclosure walls on the east and west have a pavilion at the centre.
The Taj Mahal is a perfect symmetrical planned building, with an emphasis of bilateral symmetry along a central axis on which the main features are placed. The mosque and the guest house in the Taj Mahal complex are built of red sandstone in contrast to the marble tomb in the centre. Both the buildings have a large platform over the terrace at their front. Both the mosque and the guest house are the identical structures. They have an oblong massive prayer hall consist of three vaulted bays arranged in a row with central dominant portal.
The frame of the portal arches and the spandrels are veneered in white marble. The spandrels are filled with flowery arabesques of stone intarsia and the arches bordered with rope molding.
Taj Mahal represents the finest architectural and artistic achievement through perfect harmony and excellent craftsmanship in a whole range of Indo-Islamic sepulchral architecture. It is a masterpiece of architectural style in conception, treatment and execution and has unique aesthetic qualities in balance, symmetry and harmonious blending of various elements.