Authors: Mohammad Afzal Khan
The paper asserts that the development of Mughal art and architecture in India had their linkage with Iran. The study shows, India and Iran were linked together by ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural bonds since time immemorial. This linkage can be found between two countries in its cultural values, traditions and ideas that developed through historical process. Iran being one of the great centres of art, literature and science has had its prosperous cultural and artistic tradition as well that inspired India in a number of ways and its manifestation can be found in the Mughal art and Architecture. The present essay investigates how Indian architecture, particularly the Mughal, was deeply inspired by the Iranian traditions. We have also tried to argue how these Iranian traditions influenced Indian Architecture; what were the channels that influenced Indian culture? What were the roles of Iranian nobles, officials, architects, planners in shaping the image of Mughal architecture, has also been debated. The article reinvestigates contemporary Persian chronicles, European Travellers’ accounts, and biographical dictionaries of nobles, such as, the Zakhirat-ul-Khwanin and the Ma ‘asir-ul-Umara inform us that the Iranian nobles and officials constructed a large number of buildings, for example, havelies, Mosques, tombs, Sarais, bridges, gardens cities and markets, some of them still survives that testify the introduction of Iranian features. The present article re-examines the contribution of these Iranian officials towards the development of Mughal art and architecture which has been ignored by the historians and scholars.
Keywords: Mughal art, Architecture, Indo-Iranian Cultural synthesis, nobles, sarai, havelies