Cultural Development During Medieval Period

A new style of architecture known as the Indo-Islamic style was born. The distinctive features of Indo-Islamic architecture were the dome, lofty towers or minarets, arch and the vault.

The Mughal rulers were great lovers of nature. They took pleasure in spending their time in building beautiful forts and gardens. The famous Mughal gardens like the Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh are important elements of cultural heritage.

The pietra dura or coloured stone inlay work on marble became very popular in the days of Shah Jahan and the finest examples of this type of work are available in the Red Fort in Delhi and the Taj Mahal at Agra.


Humayun had spent more than twelve years in Persia as a refugee. He brought painters with him to India when he became the ruler of Delhi once again in 1555. Famous among them were Mir Sayid Ali and Abdus Samad who nurtured the tradition of painting manuscript. An example of it is Dastan-e-Amir Hamza, which has nearly 1200 paintings.

The period also witnessed the flowering of portrait and miniature paintings.

Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan continued to give patronage to these artists and as a result, the Mughal school of painting continued to flourish. Akbar as a liberal ruler extended his patronage to painting. He also employed a large number of Hindu painters like Daswant and Basawan Lal. Consequently, there was a fusion of Persian and Indian styles (of painting) during his period.

The Mughal school of painting reached its zenith under Jahangir who was a famous painter. His court was adorned with famous painters like Ustad and Abul Hasan. Mansur was famous for his miniature painting. However Aurangzeb due to his orthodox views and political preoccupations, stopped patronising music and painting.