The Moghul Empire
and its Monuments
The Moghuls were descendants of Mongol leader Genghis
Khan. Moghul emperors ruled much of India during the
16th and 17th centuries, constructing its most famous
monuments. The Moghuls, Moslem rulers over Hindu
subjects, generally avoided trying to impose their religious
views. Once the Moghuls began destroying Hindu temples,
their empire soon came to an end.
Emperor Shah Jahan was the greatest Moghul builder, best
known for the Taj Mahal. He constructed the Red Fort in
old Delhi as his capitol.
Nearby, Shah Jahan's last project was the great mosque of
old Delhi (Jami Jasjid), capable of holding 25,000
worshipers, still India's largest mosque. Extravagant
building appears to be one of the main reasons Shah Jahan
was deposed by this son. (Reminds me a bit of what
happened to Ludwig II, Bavaria's great castle builder.)
Earlier, Emperor Akbar built the Moghul Empire
capitol at the glorious complex of Fatehpur Sikri.
This is the Hall of Private Audiences, where Akbar's
throne rose above the floor, supported by columns.
Another famous building at Fatehpur Sikri is this five level
palace, known as the Panch Mahal. The great, unsolved
mystery is why Emperor Akbar abandoned Fatehpur Sikri
so soon after completing it. Located in the middle of
nowhere, it's a ghost town now, except for tourist visitors.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free video of this trip by
clicking on: India and Nepal