Islamic Realms in Central Asia

During the periods of Seljuks, Safavids and Mughals, designers generated an immense heritage of domed architecture with little touches of Persian and/or Hindu styles.

The Persian Renaissance: From The Timurids to Safavids 

          Seljuks, as a nomadic culture in its previous times they often commissioned monuments taking references from Persian traditions and local artisans. However, they differed with their iwan-shaded courts and became prominent with their public spaces and funerary monuments.
The Mongolians were not settled at first but later they started to erect religious structures after they converted to Islam in Timur’s period. As one of the earliest samples, the Great Mosque of Bibi-Khanym has traces of Persian traditions in the use of arches. It is a hypo-style hall mosque made of marble columns. At the each corners designer placed slender minarets and also to the sides of the entrance iwan, pishtaq. The front facade of the mosque hides the dome like the influence used in Pantheon or Great Mosque of Isfahan. The Persian style capital Samarkand had mostly planned by Ulugh Beg who commissioned to an observatory and madrasas placed symmetrically around the Ragistan plaza.
Safavids in Iran integrated both Persion style and the monumental works of invaders and locals. They treated the capital Qazvin as a garden and made their urban plan based on this idea with a maydan, shah’s mosque, bridges and garden districts. The shah sponsored a caravansary at the entry of the city for pilgrims.This two story arcaded structure became the model for upcoming caravansaries. Although the street were shifting, the geometrical regularity gave the city a coolness and order. The palace Naqsh-i Jahan included a serious of geometrical gardens. One of the most distinctive part of the whole compound is the Ali Qapu with an elevated terrace which resembles ancient Greek temples. Shah Lutfallah Mosque is one of other significant works of the period. It has a dome placed on a tall drum to make it invisible even more. The iwan entry of the Mosque faces the Ali Qapu with acaded facade integrating itself with the palace complex.

The Mughal Empire: Islam Tinged with Indian Diversity
In India Mugals were under the influence of Persian architecture besides their use of Hindu style architectural elements. They used Persian architectural motives and models in relation with Hindu and Islamic traditions. They used architecure as a sign of power and authority and they sponsored a prodigious collection of fortresses, mosques, palaces and gardens etc.
The Tomb of Humayun has a lage enclosed paradise garden, chahar bagh. The designers used water channels lined with stones to be a representation of paradise the channel divides the garden in four parts with the mausoleum in the center. The Persian nine square plan (hasht bihisht) used both for the gardens of Mughals and for the city. The cupola like chhatris of Hindu culture used highly in Mughal structes as used in the Humayun complex. The complex consists madrasa and a kitchen and resemble the imarets of the Ottomans.
          Mughals constructed several of fortress palaces to defend from any kind of threats. Red Fort in Agre stands as a nice example and it, itself is likely of a city and shows a good work of red-masonry.



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