Friday, 30 September 2011

Islamic Monuments in India

Bibi Ka Maqbara Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Built by Aurangazeb in the memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum (‘Rabeya Durrani’), it was constructed between 1657 and 1661 and finally completed by Prince Ahmad Shah, son of Aurangazeb.  The monument is referred as ‘Taj of the Deccan’ for its close resemblance to the famous Taj Mahal of Agra.   

Bihar Sharif  Bihar. 

This is famous for the tomb of the 14th century Muslim saint Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din.

Charminar Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Often called "The Arc de triomphe of the East", the Charminar was built in 1591AD by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah. It is a beautiful structure with four intricately carved minarets built with granite and lime-mortar. The Charminar depicts the Indo-Saracenic tradition - a symbiosis of the Hindu and the Muslim traditions, which has woven the magic of a rich Deccani culture.

Chowmohalla Palace Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

 Built in 1750 by Nizam Salabat Jung and designed along the lines of the Shah's palace in Tehran, it consists of a group of palaces each used for a specific purpose. It consists of the Khilwat, Aftab Mahal, the Tahniyat Mahal and the Durbar Hall.

Chunar Fort Uttar Pradesh

  Chunar Fort has been a strategic point during the incessant struggles between the Pathans and the Mughals in the 16th century. During 1529-1539, it changed hands many times between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri. The fort remained in his hands of Afghans until 1575 when Akbar won it. Later, it was ceded to the East India Company in exchange for the fort at Allahabad.

Daulatabad Fort  Maharashtra. 

 It was built in 1187 AD by Villama Raja of the Yadava dynasty during whose time it was known as "Devagiri" or the 'Hill of Gods'.  It was plundered by Allauddin Khilji in 1294 AD and became the capital of Muhammad Tughlaq in 1327 AD. The Chand Minar is a 65m high spectacular tower located at this fort built by Allauddin Bahamani in 1453 AD in commemoration of his conquest of Deccan.

Falaknuma Palace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

 Built in 1870 by Nawab Vikar-Ul-Ulmara, the Prime Minister of Hyderabad at a cost of Rs 40 lakhs, it is a stupendous palace which has a library, a picture gallery, and a luxurious reception hall with cabinets containing diamond, crystal and emerald objects. The palace was constructed over a period of seven years and it covers a total area of 9,39,712 square meters. The Falaknuma palace is a rare blend of Italian and Tudor architecture. The Falaknuma also includes the largest Venetian chandeliers.

Golconda Fort Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

 Built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1525, the Golconda Fort epitomizes the opulent nawabi culture of the time. The impregnable fort was cradled by many dynasties and it was of strategic importance to most of the rulers. In 1518, when the Qutb Shahi dynasty was found, Golconda was made its capital. By the 17th century, Golconda became famous as a Diamond Market and gave the world some of the best known diamonds, including the 'Kohinoor'.

Gol Gumbaz

 It the largest dome in the world carved out of a single stone.  Built by Adil Shah, the dome is 51 m high and has a diameter of 37 m.  The dome is an engineering marvel since it stands unsupported by any pillars.  It also has an excellent acoustical system.

Humayun’s Tomb

 New Delhi. The Humayun's tomb was constructed by Hamida Banu (Bega Begum), wife of Humayun, in 1565 AD. Legend has it that the design of the Taj Mahal was modelled on this tomb.

Jama Masjid

 Delhi. Jama masjid is the biggest mosque in India. It was begun by Shah Jahan in 1650 and completed six years later at a total cost of about a million rupees.
Khirki Masjid

 This monument is located in Malviya Nagar in New Delhi.  This mosque and the 'Kalan Masjid' of Nizamuddin are the only two covered mosques in North India.  It was built in 1380 AD by Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah, the Prime Minister of Firoz Shah Tughlaq.  It has beautiful stone lattice windows which are perforated for light and ventilation to the upper storey.  The upper storey has a pillared courtyard that is divided into 25 squares and then each square is subdivided into nine small squares.

Mecca Masjid

 Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Located near the Charminar, this huge and impressive mosque can accommodate 10,000 worshippers at a time. It was started in 1614 by Abdullah Qutub Shah and completed in 1687 by Aurangzeb.

Nizamuddin Dargah

 New Delhi. Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya (1238-1335 AD) came to Delhi in 1258 AD and became a disciple of the celebrated Sufi mystic Sheikh Farid Shakargunj or Baba Farid. The Hazrat died in 1325 AD. His original tomb, built by Feroz Shah Tughlaq, does not exist anymore and the present structure was built around 1562 AD by Faridun Khan. The tombs of the famous Sufi poet Amir Khusro and that of the Mughal princess Jahanara are located adjacent to the dargah.  The dargah is popularly called as the "Yaran Chabuttrra" or the 'platform of friends'.

Osmania University

 Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Established in 1918 by the late Nizam of Hyderabad, it was the first university in India to impart education in a vernacular language.
Paiga Tombs

 Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Built of lime and mortar, these tombs are excellent examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture.

Purana Qila New Delhi

 It is site where the second Mughal emperor Humayun made a city called Dinpanah (refuge of the faithful).  When Sher Shah Suri overthrew Humayun, he rebuilt the city and called it Dilli Sher Shahi or Shergarh. The Purana Qila has three main gates – the Humayun darwaza, Talaqi darwaza and Bara darwaza. Many believe that the Purana Qila is the site of the legendary city of Indraprastha.  Excavations at the Purana Qila have yielded Painted Grey Ware pottery belonging to 1000BC and coins of the Gupta (about 4-5th century AD) and post-Gupta periods. The Qila-i-kuhna masjid built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541AD is one of the most fascinating buildings in the Purana Qila.

Purani Haveli Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

 Built by the first Nizam of Hyderabad, it is a large building surrounded by high walls where the Nizam used to hold his cabinet council meetings.

Qadam-i-Rasoool Orissa.

 Literally meaning "the foot-print of the Prophet", it is a small shrine in the city of Cuttack built by Nawab Shujauddin Khan, the deputy Nizam of Orissa in 1715 AD.  The architecture is a blend of Hindu and Afghan style of architecture. It is believed that the shrine shelters the footprints of Prophet Muhammad on a circular stone in its central mosque.
Qutub Minar: Delhi. 

The Qutub Minar, a huge tower located in Mehrauli, was built in the honour of the famous saint Khwaja Qutubuddin Bakhtyar Kaki.  It was started in 1192 AD by Qutub-ud-din Aibak but completed by Iltutmish in 1230 AD.  It is hit by lightening twice – first during the reign of Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq and again during Feroze Shah Tughlaq's time. It was renovated by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1369 AD after it was damaged by lightening.  The diameter of the Qutub Minar is 14.32m at the base and about 2.75m at the top.  It measures a height of 72.5m and contains a spiral staircase of 379 steps. The Alai Darwaza, near Qutub Minar, was built by Allaudin Khilji in 1311 AD.
Qutub Shahi Tombs: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

These are a cluster of six magnificent tombs situated a kilometer north of Golconda Fort's Banjara Darwaza built in a unique architectural style which is a mixture of Persian, Pathan and Hindu forms. The tomb of the fifth king of the Qutub Shahi dynasty and founder of Hyderabad - Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah is one of the largest and most imposing of these monuments.
Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid: Delhi

 The Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid was started in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak but was finished four years later. It is considered as the earliest mosque in India. The mosque has beautiful Islamic calligraphy, the arabesque designs and pillars with pre-Islamic Hindu motifs.  The tomb of Imam Zamim, who was the Imam of the mosque during Sikander Lodi's time, is located in the mosque compound.  It also has within its precincts an un-corroded Iron Pillar.
Red Fort:  Delhi

 The fort, built by Shah Jahan, was completed in nine years at a cost of about a ten million rupees. The fort is octagonal in plan, like most Islamic buildings in India. On the north the fort is connected to the smaller Salimgarh fort by a scaffold. The main entrance nowadays is through the Lahori gate. The Chhatta Chowk, Naubat or Naqqar Khana or Hathipol, Diwan-i-Am, the Mumtaz Mahal, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal, the Diwan-i-khas, the Hamam and the Shah Burj give testimony to the magnificence of the fort.
Salarjung Museum 

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. This museum displays the private collection of Nawab Salar Jung III. It houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings, jewellery, armour, precious stones and manuscripts.
Siddi Bashir’s Mosque: Gujarat.

  This is a mosque located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, which is famous for its “shaking” or “swaying” minarets, which are 400 years old.  Each minaret is 20 metres high and has three storeys with carved stone balconies.  The amazing thing about these minarets is that when the top portion of one minaret is shaken, the vibrations travel to the next minaret and it starts shaking back and forth.

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