By Santhi Kavuri-Bauer

Built within the 16th and 17th centuries, India’s Mughal monuments—including majestic forts, mosques, palaces, and tombs, corresponding to the Taj Mahal—are global popular for his or her grandeur and organization with the Mughals, the robust Islamic empire that when governed many of the subcontinent. In Monumental Matters, Santhi Kavuri-Bauer makes a speciality of the in demand function of Mughal structure within the development and contestation of the Indian nationwide panorama. She examines the illustration and eventual upkeep of the monuments, from their disrepair within the colonial prior to their current prestige as safe history sites.

Drawing on theories of energy, subjectivity, and area, Kavuri-Bauer’s interdisciplinary research encompasses Urdu poetry, British panorama portray, imperial archaeological surveys, Indian Muslim identification, and British tourism, in addition to postcolonial state development, global background designations, and conservation mandates. when you consider that Independence, the country has tried to build a story of Mughal monuments as symbols of a unified, secular country. but modern day sectarian violence at those websites keeps to indicate that India’s Mughal monuments stay the transformative spaces—of social ordering, id formation, and nationwide reinvention—that they've been for centuries.

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Extra resources for Monumental Matters: The Power, Subjectivity, and Space of India’s Mughal Architecture

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As a product of the 24 | m o nume n ta l m at t e r s declining times it provides a richly textured picture of how the cultured Muslim elite imbued the Mughal city with poetic symbolism to resist obliteration and to spiritually survive amid the shifting power relations of northern India. The shahrashob came to India from Ottoman Turkey and Persia and became an active genre after 1739, the year Nadir Shah sacked Delhi and turned what was then still a city of peace and prosperity into a scene of dystopian horror.

The mosque was meant to project across the otherwise Hindu cityscape the power of the Mughal state and the religion that it identified with and in whose name it ruled. 20 The morphology of the mosque, defined by tall minarets and domes, thus had two principal imperatives: to proclaim the presence of Mughal rule in India and to identify this rule with Islam. When Hodges came to Benares, the mosque, which continued to be used by local Muslims, proclaimed to the new British power the unsettling fact of continued Mughal influence over the landscape.

The new built environments found in the capitals of Bengal, Hyderabad, and Oudh often combined Mughal spatial rituals and design with local ornamentation, which helped indicate the ruler’s independence. This can be seen most clearly in the inclusion of the distinctive jharoka, or raised platform topped by a cupola, in the public audience halls of new palaces. The Mughal emperor sat in such an elevated seat for his daily durbar, or public audience, a practice essential to performing the political order and making visible relationships of power.

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