(Last Updated on : 17/08/2013)
in the Post Mughal Period traces the art and the Mughal
architecture during the later Mughals is one of a dwindling and pathetic story of culmination and massive downfall and curtain call to one of the most influencing and powerful and respected dynasty in world history, Indeed, as is known from historical records, Mughal Empire
, grounded in India by Babur in 1526 A.D., had reached its pinnacle and unprecedented heights and the position was continued unchallenged for several generations down the line, until the death of Aurangzeb
. Mughal architecture
during the later Mughals and their continuous struggle for authority and their successor states, truly has belittled their regal and imposing ancestors, the binding chains of which were so well established by the once 'Mughal Empire'. The historical background to the series of mishaps that had passed through in the interim period, which had resulted in such a dismal state of affairs, will help one understand better regarding the architectural attempts of the later Mughals and their contribution to the illustrious line-up of 'Mughal architecture'.
Emperor Aurangzeb had breathed his last in 1707, but the Mughal Empire endured, at least officially, for another 150 years. It lasted until the British exiled and imprisoned the last Mughal ruler after the historic uprising of Sepoy Mutiny
in 1857. Shah Alam Bahadur Shah I
had succeeded Aurangzeb in 1707. As the empire weakened the nawabs of Murshidabad
established their own successor states, whereas, Sikh, Jat, Maratha and other Hindu rulers asserted their independence; carving out numerous little kingdoms from what once had been a single empire. And herein itself comes the domain of the so-called Mughal architecture during the later Mughals and the difference that they owned with their predecessors and the likeness they were to bear with these independent small 'princely states'. The architecture sponsored by the rulers and inhabitants of these new domains was heavily dependent on the Mughal style established during Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, yet in each case new formal interpretations and meaning are given to older forms. The results were often highly creative expressions, reflecting these houses' political allegiance and religious affiliation. And a strict 'Mughal-ish' architecture under later Mughal rulers, as can be comprehended, was endeavoured to be begun in the still regaining majestic Delhi
or Shah Jahan
; Delhi always had played significant roles during the Mughal Empire, which was much later distorted into a British Delhi of present times. History has the archives ingrained that during the middle Ages, Christians and Muslims fought battles which were Christianised as the Crusades. The nations of Islam
were united in the holy name and the cause for religion and in their unified congregated common wars against the Christian Europeans. As the obvious result Islamic art
was also unified. From Spain to India, the art of the countries of Islam was almost noticeably identical. By the 1400's there was less to unify the Islamic world. Many people in Islamic nations belonged to other religions. The Crusades were over, and Muslim countries sometimes fought against each other. Artistic activity in the Islamic style continues to flourish. Mosques are still being built; objects of metal, clay, and leather are still ornamented with arabesques; books are illuminated with miniatures; and rugs are still woven in the traditional way. However, after 1500, some Islamic artists began to add elements of European art to their work. Today the art of many Islamic countries has an international character, although the scenes or subjects may relate to a single Islamic nation.