Topic outline

    • Rulers and Buildings

      Q38. How did the Mughal court suggest that everyone – the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak – received justice equally from the emperor?

      Ans. The connection between royal justice and the imperial court was emphasised by Shah Jahan in his newly constructed court in the Red Fort at Delhi. Behind the emperor’s throne were a series of pietra dura inlays that depicted the legendary Greek god Orpheus playing the lute. It was believed that Orpheus’s music could calm ferocious beasts until they coexisted together peaceably. The construction of Shah Jahan’s audience hall aimed to communicate that the king’s justice would treat the high and the low as equals creating a world where all could live together in harmony.

      Q39. What are the important architectural features of Humayun's tomb?

      Ans. Architectural features of Humayun's tomb

                             i.        The central towering dome and the tall gateway (pishtaq) became important aspects of Mughal architecture, first visible in Humayun’s tomb.

                            ii.        The tomb was placed in the centre of a huge formal chahar bagh and built in the tradition known as “eight paradises” or hasht bihisht – a central hall surrounded by eight rooms.

                           iii.        The building was constructed with red sandstone, edged with white marble.


      Q40. List the two technological and stylistic developments noticeable from the twelfth century.

      Ans. Two technological and stylistic developments are noticeable from the twelfth century.

                             i.        The weight of the superstructure above the doors and windows was sometimes carried by arches. This architectural form was called “arcuate”.

                            ii.        Limestone cement was increasingly used in construction. This was very high-quality cement, which, when mixed with stone chips hardened into concrete. This made construction of large structures easier and faster.

      Q41. How were the policies of Rajendra I and Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni different?

      Ans. In the early eleventh century, when the Chola king Rajendra I built a Shiva temple in his capital he filled it with prized statues seized from defeated rulers.

      Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni was a contemporary of Rajendra I. During his campaigns in the subcontinent he also attacked the temples of defeated kings and looted their wealth and idols. Sultan Mahmud was not a very important ruler at that time. But by destroying temples – especially the one at Somnath – he tried to win credit as a great hero of Islam.

      Thus, Rajendra I constructed the temple whereas Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni destroyed it. In this way their policies were different.


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