All About Architecture During Akbar for Competitive Exams Indian Art and Culture

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Agra Fort
  • The architecture of the Akbar period is characterized by a strength made elegant and graceful by its rich decorative work, which reflects many traditional Hindu elements.
  • The style is best exemplified by the fort at Agra (built 1565 – 74) and the magnificent town of Fatehpur Sikri (1569 – 74) , but fine examples are also found in the gateway to the ‘Arab Sarā’ī’ (guesthouse at Humāyūn՚s tomb) , Delhi (1560 – 61) , the Ajmer fort (1564 – 73) , the Lahore fort with its outstanding decoration (1586 – 1618)
  • The capital town of Fatehpur Sikri (named a World Heritage site in 1986) is one of the most notable achievements of Islamic architecture in India.
  • The town, which was deserted only a few years after it was built, is a great complex of palaces and lesser residences and religious and official buildings, all erected on top of a rocky ridge 26 miles (42 km) west of Agra.
  • The Hall of Private Audience (Diwan-i-Khas) is arresting in its interior arrangement, which has a single massive column encircled by brackets supporting a stone throne platform, from which radiate four railed balconies.
  • The most imposing of the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri is the Great Mosque, the Jami Masjid, which served as a model for later congregational mosques built by the Mughals.
  • The mosque՚s southern entrance, a massive gateway called the Buland Darwaza (Victory Gate) , gives a feeling of immense strength and height, an impression emphasized by the steepness of the flight of steps by which it is approached.
  • All these buildings reflected Akbar՚s design and architectural philosophy. This “Akbari” style of architecture
  • For example, Akbar՚s tomb, though Islamic in spirit, is a blend of styles.
  • The magnificent entrance, use of exquisite patterns, excellent jaali work (intricately perforated decorative stone screens) , fine Persian style calligraphy, the charbagh garden layout (four-quartered garden layout, with the main building at the center) , etc. , are representative of Islamic influence.
  • On the other hand, the absence of a dome, use of chhatris (small domed canopies, supported by pillars) , tiers of airy pavilions, etc. , reflect a local influence, which are also found in the buildings built by Akbar in Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
Muslim Buildings Their Own Ideas of Art
  • The employment of Hindu masons and architects who unconsciously introduced in the Muslim buildings their own ideas of art.
  • He established a public works department and his plans were carried out by his able architects and engineers.
  • Even Hindu buildings of Rajut at Amber and Jodhpur were influenced by the Mughal style of Architecture. Not only civil buildings, but also even the Hindu temples could not escape the nationalizing effects of Akbar՚s architecture.
  • While Akbar had freely borrowed from indigenous temple architecture, Hindu temples erected during his reign did not fail to borrow some of the features of the new eclectic style evolved at Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Hindu temples at Vrindaban show clearly that certain of their features are borrowed from the contemporary style of the Mughals.
  • Mosaic and ebony decoration, in which our craftsmen of the Mughal age were proficient, was also lavishly used in the buildings of the time.
  • Glazed tiles and decorative carvings form another special feature of the Mughal architecture.
  • The Turkish Sultana՚s palace at Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest specimens of glazed tile work
Sulatanas Places Jali Wok


  • Fatehpur sikri-panch mahal, jodhabai palace, salim Chishti tomb-inticrate jail work-climax of jail work
  • Akbar built a temple of govinddev at Vrindaban