Rulers and Buildings
Text Book Page No. 60
What would have been the impact of a building like the Qutb Minar on observers in the thirteenth century?
The building like Qutb Minar would have had a huge impact such as that of Taj Mahal today, on the observers in the thirteenth century.
Text Book Page No. 62
What differences do you notice between the shikharas of the two temples?
The difference of height can be noticed between the shikharas of the two temples.
Can you make out that the shikhara of the Rajarajeshvara temple is twice as high as that of the Kandariya Mahadeva?
Yes, one can easily make out that the shikhara of the Rajarajeshvara temple is twice as high as that of the Kandariya Mahadeva.
Text Book Page No. 63
Compare Figures 2(a) and 2(6) with 5(a) and 5(b).
- The figures in 2(a) and 2(6) show an arch which is pointed from the middle.
- This is the “trabeate” or “corbelled” style of architecture.
- The figures 5(a) and 5(b) show arches which are rounded from the middle. They have a key stone in the middle.
- This is “arcuate” style of architecture.
Describe what the labourers are doing, the tools shown, and the means of carrying stones.
- The labourers are placing cemented plaster to construct the floor of the fort.
- Some labourers are carrying stone by rolling it by big iron roads or by carrying it on shoulders.
- Some labourers are shown to be assisting the masons.
- Horses are also employed to carry stones and other construction materials. Textbook Page No. 65
Can you find it on Map 1 in Chapter 3?
Yes, hauz-i Sultani or the Delhi-i Kuhna can be easily located on Map 1 in Chapter 3.
Text Book Page No. 66
In what ways do you think the policies of Rajendra I and Mahmud of Ghazni were a product of their times? How were the actions of the two rulers different?
(1) When the two contemporaries Rajendra I and Mahmud of Ghazni live looting the temples of other states and kings was considered as a normal activity.
(2) Temples were the centres of honour for any state or king. And by destroying the temple, the king and his statesmen were humiliated. Temples were looted as they had untold wealth.
(3) The only difference in the actions of Rajendra I and Mahmud of Ghazni was that latter destroyed Hindu temples reoccurringly in order to become a hero of Islam, i.e., he had communal intentions behind destroying temples. Whereas Rajendra I destroyed temples and reestablished their duties at the temples that he constructed in his state. Thus, he didn’t have communal intentions behind his actions.
(4) Also, Mahmud of Ghazni used the looted wealth of temples in constructing a capital city for himself.
Text Book Page No. 72
Look at the illustration and try and identify the bell towers.
The bell towers are those constructed upto third floor and stand tallest in the building.
Text Book Page No. 73
You are an artisan standing on a tiny wooden platform held together by bamboo and rope fifty metres above the ground. You have to place an inscription under the first balcony of the Qutb Minar. How would you do this?
I would stand up on the tiny wooden platform held together by bamboo and rope, hanging fifty metres above the ground. And then I would do the work of inscribing by the tools such as hammer and chisale.
Exercise Questions and Answers
How is the “trabeate” principle of architecture different from the “arcuate”?
|Roofs, doors and windows were made by placing horizontal beam across two vertical columns.||The weight of the superstructure was carried by arch. A keystone was placed at the centre. It transferred the weight of the superstructure to the base of the arch.|
|It is also called corbelled technique.||The keystone was called “true” arch.|
|Example is the Q u w w a t –a l – I s l a m mosque at Delhi.||Example is Alai Darwaza at delhi.|
|The arch was pointed from the middle.||The arch was rounded from the middle.|
What is a shikhara?
Shikhara is a superstructure above the main shrine (garbhagriha) in which main deity is placed in the temples. The construction of shikhara was the most tedious and long lasting task in the temple construction.
What is pietra-dura?
Pietra-dura was an architectural technique mostly used in the buildings of Shah Jahan. In this technique coloured hard stones were placed in depressions carved into marbles or sandstones creating beautiful ornate patterns.
What are the elements-of a Mughal chahar bagh garden?
The elements of a Mughal chahar bagh garden are as under :
- The garden was placed within rectangular walled enclosures and divided into four quaters by artificial channels.
- The four divisions were symmetrical.
How did a temple communicate the importance of a king?
- Temples were constructed to demonstrate the power, wealth and devotion of the parton king.
- Often the names of king and the main deity were similar. For example, Rajarajeshvara temple built by king Rajarajadeva. For the worship of hisgod, Rajarageshvaram.
- The other subordinate deities in a temple symbolised the actual subordinates of a king.
- The temple was a miniature model of the world’ruled by the king and his allies.
- As they worshipped their deities together in the royal temples, it seemed as if they brought the just rule of the Gods on earth.
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?
The architectural design of Shah Jahan’s diwan-i khas (audience hall) in Delhi’s Red fort, created the image of Paradise on Earth. Some of thg’main features are as under:
(1) Emperor’s throne was placed in west direction. In Islam it is the direction towards Mecca from India. Therefore, emperor was equated with the place of God in Islam?
(2) Everyone who attended the court faced west, a direction faced by Muslims while praying.
(3) The depiction of legendary Greek God Orpheus behind the king’s throne gave the message that the king’s justice would treat the high and low as equals, creating a world where all could live together in harmony.
(4) These features gave the image of Paradise on earth.
How did the Mughal court I suggest that everyone-the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak – received justice equally from the emperor?
(1) Behind emperor’s throne were a series of pietra dura inlays that depicted the legendary Greek God Orpheus playing the lute.
(2) It was believed that Orpheus’s music could calm ferocious beasts until they coexisted together peaceably.
(3) This image communicated that the king’s justice would treat high and the low as equal which create a world where all could live together in harmony.
What role did the Yamuna play in the layout of the new Mughal city at Shahj ahanabad?
- The Yamuna played a significant role in the layout of the new Mughal city at Shahjahanabad.
- The imperial palace commanded the river-front in the new city of Shahj ahanabad in Delhi.
- Only specially favoured nobles, such as Dara Shukoh (son of Shah Jahan), were given access to the river.
- All the others had to construct their homes in the city away from the river Yamuna.
- The city of Shahjahanabad was established on the one side of river Yamuna whereas in Agra, the constructions were done on both sides of the river Yamuna.
The rich and powerful construct large houses today. In what ways were the constructions of kings and their courtiers different in the past?
- The constructions of kings were done over a large area with especial raw materials such as red sandstone, marble, diamonds, etc.
- On the other hand, buildings had plan for water system, tanks and gardens.
- The directions were of special considerations. For example, placing of throne in diwan-i khas in the west direction.
- The new innovations were always welcomed in the constructions by kings. For example, pietra-dura.
- Buildings made by kings often had fusion of regional architecture such as Gujarati, Rajasthani and Bangla domes.
- It can be assumed the buildings of nobles must not have had such features.
Look at Figure 4. How could that building be constructed faster today?
By the use of cranes and heavy duty machines, the same building as in figure 4 can be constructed faster; today.
Find out whether there is a statue of or a memorial to a great person in your village or town. Why was it placed there? What purpose does it serve?
Students, do themselves.
[Hint : The person depicted in the statue must have done a great deed. The main purpose of the statue is to inspire others for doing great deeds as was done by the man in image.]
Visit and describe any park or garden in your neighbourhood. In what ways is it similar to or different from the gardens of the Mughals?
Students, do themselves.
[Hint : See whether the four symmetrical divisions are there or not. If yes, then the garden is somewhat similar to the gardens of Mughals. Otherwise, it is different. Also, study the fountain system or water system, tanks in the garden that you visit.]