Show how the buildings constructed by Sher Shah clearly exemplify his ideals of the attitude towards building art. Discuss their chief features and their importance in the history of development of Indo-Muslim architecture.
Sher Shah was a man of marked constructional propensities and architectural ideals. The few buildings that he has left are each of an exceptional character and clearly exemplify his ideals attitude towards building art. The building projects of Sher Shah fall into two groups of monuments situated one at Sasaram in Bihar and the other at Delhi. Both these groups are important; one as the brilliant finale of an earlier tradition, and the other as anticipating notable future developments. Of the monuments at Sasaram, the most important monument is the mausoleum of Sher Shah. The octagonal type of funerary monument is characteristic of the imperial style of Delhi but it excels the Delhi compositions of this order in its bold and imaginative conception. It was a production of much higher aesthetic plane and is a fitting tribute to the power and imagination of his vigorous and dynamic personality. The mausoleum stands in the middle of a large quadrangular tank 1400 feet in length and rises from a lofty square terrace over 300 feet on each side, with flights of steps descending to the edge of the water. The monument was connected to the main land by an elegant bridge. The square terrace forms an ample court with a substantial domed pavilion at each corner. From the centre of the court rises the octagonal tomb building in three gracefully diminishing stages ultimately crowned by a low and wide dome. The tomb of Sher Shah has been described as thoroughly expressive of Indian genius in building art. The transition from the square to the octagon and from the octagon to the square is smooth and harmonious. Few buildings of the like order can surpass it in the chaste beauty of its lines, in the dignified harmony of its dimension and in the effective distribution of its huge masses Sher Shah also initiated in Delhi a forceful architectural movement that is strongly expressive of his own versatile nature. He laid out a new citadel called the Purana Quila on the site of Indraprastha.
Therefore, Sher Shah was a leading soul in the establishment of the Indo Islamic architecture.
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