(Last Updated on : 11/01/2010)
The architecture of Uttar Pradesh mainly encompasses Islamic style of architecture which flourished under the Mughals. It comprises palaces, forts, buildings and monuments. Hinduism had a strong hold over this region, so many architectural creations of Uttar Pradesh is a blend of Hinduism with the Islamic architectural styles. The prominent Islamic architectures are witnessed in the city of Fatehpur Sikri, the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort. Hindu architectural specimens are to be found in Brindavan and Varanasi. The Hindu architecture of Uttar Pradesh constitutes mainly religious temple architecture. The most important places of architectural beauty of Uttar Pradesh are Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra and Vrindavan.
The state of Uttar Pradesh
is embedded in mythology and is mentioned in the Indian Puranas
and other sacred literatures of Indian religion. There is also the mention of architectural edifices that are very old. This region was the holy land of the Hindus. In the 12th century, when it came under Islamic rule, many temples were destroyed and mosques were erected in their place. There was a lot of religious strife, which still persists in Ayodhya
in the north of Varanasi
. Medieval rulers and emperors have left impressive monuments like palaces, forts, temples, and mausoleums, whose external and interior magnificence reminds of the affluence of those times. British colonial buildings which were built for the administration, judiciary, hospitals, police, railways, banks etc. are still seen in most of the cities; their architecture in most cases is simply functional.
in Uttar Pradesh is a site of Hindu architectural creations. Most of the temples of Vrindavan were built under the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar
so there are some Islamic elements that crept into the architecture of these temples. Many temples were destroyed by Aurangzeb
because of his religious intolerance. For example the Govinda Deva temple does not have a shikhara over the mandapa as it was destroyed by Aurangazeb. With its many arches and no sculptures to adorn it, the temple resembles a mosque. The Jagat Kishore temple and the Madan Mohona temple are among the other Hindu architecture of Vrindavan
. In Varanasi there is an amalgamation of Rajput, Hindu and Muslim architecture.
The Mughals who ruled over most of India, made Agra
and Delhi their capital and the third Mughal emperor, Akbar, tried to bring harmony between the two religions. In architecture too, he tried to blend practical sciences of Hinduism
with the Islamic architecture
styles. He incorporated the pillar and beam construction technology of the Hindu architectural style and developed his own unique style of architecture. This style is reflected in his tomb in Sikandra, outside Agra and in the new city that he built, called Fatehpur Sikri
. The Mughal gardens constructed by Babur
in Agra are an outstanding example of Islamic architecture of Uttar Pradesh. Red sandstones and marbles were the main elements of Islamic architecture. The architecture of the Taj Mahal
is by far the most awe-inspiring monument of Uttar Pradesh. Lucknow
the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is a store house of Islamic architecture such as the Asafi Imambara, the Chhota Imambara and the Jami Masjid Friday mosque.
The architectural panorama of Uttar Pradesh is a magnanimous array of Hindu and Islamic architecture. Whether it is the Hindu temples or the Mughal forts architecture of Uttar Pradesh is truly inspirational and makes Uttar Pradesh a coveted place for tourists in the map of India.