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Mughal Architecture Pakistani Architecture Indian Architecture Lahore Fortress Alamgiri Gate

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'Mughal architecture' refers to the unique architectural style that developed during the reign of Mughal rule in India between the fifteenth and eighteenth century. Its three most prominent centres were Agra, Delhi (both erstwhile Mughal capitals are in contemporary India) and Lahore in Pakistan, which was the occasional residence of their rulers. This style arose from the fusion of Indian and Islamic architecture and amalgamated many aspects of local arts and craft of the Northern India. It is characterised by round domes, wide halls, painted tiles and use of red and white marble. Its unique features include three walled 'Iwan' and the double dome and arch structures which developed during the zenith of Mughal architecture under Shah-jehan, who also built Taj Mahal.

The tomb of Shah-Rukh-e-Alam is probably the oldest structure of architecture resembling a style that is very nearly Mughal. It was built in the fourteenth century. This architecture achieved its glory in the days of Mughal rule beginning sixteenth century.

Lahore host the most impressive samples of Mughal architecture within Pakistan. The largest of them is the Lahore Fortress built in sixteenth and seventeenth century along with its famous Alamgiri gate and Naulakha Pavilion. Then there is the Wazir Khan Mosque which was built in the 1630s. Another grand building is the Badshahi Mosque built during the reign of emperor Aurangzeb.

Shah-jehan Mosque of Thatta in Sind is another impressive structures belonging to the Mughal style of architecture. Another impressive structure of this style is the Rohtas fort built near Jhelum by Sher Shah Suri, who did not belong to the Mughal dynasty but occupied the throne of Delhi by defeating the Mughal prince Humayun. The Mughal emperor, Jehangir buit a beautiful Hinar-Minar in Sheikhpura. After his death, his Mausoleum was constructed by his wife in Lahore.

Jehangir's son, Shah-jehan's period was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He constructed Lahore fortress, including the Shish Mahal and the Moti Masjid. Later, Aurangzeb, who imprisoned his own father, Shah-jehan and killed his borthers to occupy the Mughal throne built the Alamgiri Gate and Badshahi Mosque there.

All these structures are a treat to the eye and great places to visit. They remind one of the golden age of Mughal rule and the prosperity of the land in those days. They are all a must watch if you are visiting these places. Newer buildings such as Lok Virsa Heritage Museum in Islamabad have tried to replicate some features of Mughal architecture.

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