Rulers and Buildings
Question 1: How is the trabeate principle of architecture different from the arcuate?
Answer: In trabeate style of architecture the roofs, doors and windows were constructed by placing a horizontal beam across two vertical columns whereas the arcuate style has the arches carrying the weight of the superstructure above the doors and windows.
Question 2: What is a shikhara?
Answer: It refers to the rising roof of a Hindu temple. In north India it is called shikhara and in the south it is called gopuram.
Question 3: What is pietra–dura?
Answer: Pietra dura is a term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, highly polished colored stones to create images. In south Asia it is known as parchin kari.
Question 4: What are the elements of a Mughal chahar bagh garden?
Answer: They are placed within rectangular walled enclosures and divided into four symmetrical quarters by artificial channels.
Question 5: How did a temple communicate the importance of a king?
Answer: They gave the kings a chance to proclaim their close relationship with God, which was more important during the period of rapid political change.
Question 6: An inscription in Shah Jahan's diwan-i khas in Delhi stated If there is Paradise on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here. How was this image created?
Answer: It was created by fusing different elements of Mughal architecture in a grand harmonious synthesis. It required careful planning. It was placed within a large courtyard.
Question 7: How did the Mughal court suggest that everyone, the rich and poor, the powerful and the weak-received justice equally from the emperor?
Answer: This was done by using a series of pietra dura inlays in his throne, that depicted the legendary Greek God Orpheus playing the lute. It was believed that the music of Orpheus would calm even the beasts and ensure coexistence and harmony. His hall was constructed in a way to ensure equality and justice to all.
Question 8: What role did the Yamuna play in the layout of the new Mughal city at Shahjahanabad?
Answer: The imperial palace commanded the river front in the new city of Shahjahanabad that he constructed in Delhi. Only specially favoured nobles like his eldest son Dara Shikoh had access to the river. All others had to construct their homes in the city away from the Yamuna River.