What factors led to the amalgamation of the foreign and indigenous styles of architectures in medieval India. Critically examine the outcome of this amalgamation.

Published: May 1, 2016

Factors led to the amalgamation of the foreign and indigenous styles
There were three important factors which led to the amalgamation of the foreign and indigenous styles of architectures:

  • Muslim rulers had to employ Indian architects and masons
  • Early Muslim rulers used the material of Hindu temples in making their mosques and tombs
  • Hindu and Jain temples were converted into mosques, by making necessary alterations.

Critical Examination of the outcome
Prior to this amalgamation, the Hindu / Jain monuments were recognized by craftsmanship, ornamental richness and general design. On the other hand, the Islamic architecture was identified with too much simplicity {geographical lines and angles only}, arches, domes, plain walls and spacious interiors.
The amalgamation toned down the exuberance of the sculptural decoration of Hindu / Jain architecture while the too much simplicity of the Islamic architecture got little more decorative with the use of calligraphy etc. Further, the Hindu system of construction based on column and architrave was replaced with arches, vaults and domes. These were some of the features that marked the evolution and development of a new-type of Hindu-Muslim architecture. The result was that there were lots of massive and extensive buildings impressive domes, tall minarets, lofty portals, open courtyards and massive walls bereft of sculpture.

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