Mughal Empire: The inspiration for Art and Architecture

Mughal Empire: The inspiration for Art and Architecture

Known as the “gunpowder empire”, the Mughal Empire was founded by the Mongol leader Babur in 1526 after triumphing the first battle of Panipat. The heartland of the empire was located in the northern Indian Indus-Gangetic plains around the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Lahore.

 Overshadowing a rather belligerent rule of Mughals, the era had deep impact on art and culture and their footprints continue to influence genres of art, music, literature, cinema, and architecture till date. Like any other imperial empire, Mughals apparently emphasized on creating architecturally colossal monuments, forts and palaces marked by intricate carvings and palatial gardens in all of their edifices deeply inspired by Persian art and culture. In fact, Mughal dynasts had a thing for splendid and geometrically well aligned gardens full of flowers, creepers and fountains. And the impact has been quite multifaceted.

 

 

Mughal Textiles - An exemplification of luxury and royalty

Mughal textiles were woven in strands of richness and class. Along with Silk, Tus (wild goat’s hair) and Pashmina, light and warm wool dominated the Mughal textile era. The ever so admired Pashmina shawls have been worn by the royals and the elites of the region for centuries. The silk of that time was finely embellished with zari yarns and lace. From mid-seventeenth century onwards, floral motifs flooded the design patterns which till date are celebrated amongst the designer community.

 

Mughal Gardens - A quintessence of artistry

Mughals’ heritable attributes clearly reveal their love for landscapes and constructions. Most of their creations were guided by a pre-defined layout, inspired by nature and Mughal courts. Their beautiful gardens (jaharana) represented a feel of heaven on earth, emanating the sanctity of nature which continues to be an impressive part of their heritage. Carrying over their Persian influence in architecture, the gardens were groomed to include pools, fountains, and canals.

 

 Mughal Clothing – Imbued with splendour and panache 

Right from the avam (general public) to the emperors, much prominence was given to the Mughal clothing style and design. While people wore more of silk and muslin, the emperor was usually seen in velvet and brocade robes. The fabrics were available in a variety of designs, ranging from dots and checks to waves and florals.
While the men wore robes and paijamas which were accompanied by a chogha (long sleeved overcoat), pagri (turbans ornamented with gold and precious gems) and patka (adorned sash) – tied to the waist; the women were usually seen wearing bright and vibrant kurtas, salwars, churidars, dhilja, ghagra and farshi. 

 


Mughal Chogha worn by the men of that time, while classic Anarkali, churidar and Farshi were worn by the women.

Persian Inspiration

From crafts to wall paintings, buildings to gardens and clothing to music; Mughals were greatly inspired by the Persian culture. Be it the rich plum embroidery or designs of birds such as the Nightangle; the dense embellishments, geometrical and floral motifs seen extensively in the Mughal art are all an illustration of the Indo-Persian ties.

 

 

 

 

 Modern Era – Sublime Revival of the Mughal Culture

Abstracting cues from the Mughal era, designers are continuously experimenting and improvising this regal heritage for their collections.

Chashme Shahi Collection by Tarun Tahiliani

Inspired by the Chashme Shahi gardens in Srinagar

The Mughal Garden Collection by Sabyasachi Mukherjee

 The heavy embellishments done on turquoise brocade depicts the Mughal royalty

Peplum Kurta with Dhoti Pants

Bold and dark shades dappled with dots and floral patterns depicts Mughal power and culture

Mughal Collection by Anita Dongre

Classic mustard and brick red lehenga bursting with Mughal inspired floral motifs

Mughal Collection (Amazon Fashion Week Spring Summer 2017) by Shalini James

Repainting the Mughal Princesses in pastel shades to give a contemporary touch

Romance of the Mughals Collection by Poonam Bhagat

Weaved in zari yarns the collection is inspired by the grandeur and luxury of the Mughal period

Taking inspiration from the intricate Mughal architecture and design, our Mughal prints dipped in vibrant colors and flecked with classic floral motifs have hit the top in our best seller list. Ignite that spark of royalty in you with these elaborate prints on cotton and design your own.

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