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After the invasion of Timur, the medieval architecture suffered a

setback. No doubt, the Sayyids and Lodis made an attempt to revive

the architectural style of the Khilji period but the deadening effect
of the Tughlaq period could not be completely shaken of
Khizraband and Mubarakbad, the two cities founded by the Sayyid
rulers were built with poor materials and have not withstood the
ravages of time.

The only monuments of this period which have survived are the
tombs. These tombs broadly consists of two categories, first, those
built after the octagonal design of the Tilangani mausoleum;
second, of the orthodox square type. The important mausoleum, of
the first style was the tombs of Mubarak Shah Sayyid Muhammad
Shah Sayyid and Sikandar Lodi.

The tombs of the square designs were Bara-Khan-ka-gumbad, Bara-

Gumbad, Shish gumbad, tomb of Shihab-ud-Din Tajkhan, Dadi-ka-
gumbad and Soli-ka-gumbad.

According to Prof. S.K. Saraswati, “Tombs of this class are

usually higher than those of the octagonal kind, though
horizontally their dimensions are lesser. Yet, in spite of
their added elevation and diversified treatment of the
facade, they lack the solemn dignity of the octagonal
The most notable mosque built during that period include Moth-ki-
Masjid, which was built by Sikandar Lodi’s Prime Minister in early
years of the 16th century. It is the largest building constructed
during this period and is noteworthy for its facade, which was 5
arched openings.

The tombs of the mosque have a pleasant appearance and the

tapering turrets on the back wall have refined contours.


According to Marshall, “The mosque epitomizes in itself all

that is best in the architecture of the Lodis; and displays a
freedom of imagination, a bold diversity of design, an
appreciation of contrasting light and shade and a sense of
harmony in line and colour which combine to make it one
of the most spirited and picturesque buildings of its kind
in the whole range of Islamic art.”
With the downfall of the Delhi Sultanate, number of Indian
kingdoms sprang up. These kingdoms patronized architecture and
constructed a number of buildings. The architecture of these
kingdoms have certain original manifestations which was quite
distinct from the imperial style of architecture.

Though most of the buildings of the various provinces were

subordinate to the main style, yet some of the buildings exhibit
remarkable beauty and originality. The materials used in the
erection of the building in the various provinces also differed. It is
desirable to deal with the architecture in the various kingdoms


Punjab was the first to evolve a style of its own. In fact, Punjab first
came into contact with Islam, and the Muslims constructed the
earliest buildings in the cities of Multan and Lahore. According to
Percy Brown, while the Muslim structures of Lahore were of
Ghaznavide-Suljuqian origin, those at Multan were Arab- Persian

The structures at both the places had much in common yet they
differ from each other in many respects. The structure at Lahore
were built of timber and brick. At Multan the earliest buildings were
two mosques. The first was built by Mohammad-bin-Qasim and the
second was constructed on the ruins of the famous temple of
Audihtya destroyed by Karmathians.

The other important monuments were the tomb of Shah Yusuf

Gardezi built in 1152 A.D., the tomb of Baha-ul-Haq built in 1262
A.D , the tomb of Amir Khan built in 1572 A.D. and the tomb of
Nawab Amir Khan built in 1640 A.D. In addition to this Giasuddin
Tughlaq constructed the shrine Shah Rukh-i-Alam which is
considered as one of the most splendid memorials ever erected in
the honour of the dead.

In Bengal when the artists possessed an inborn sense of art and
adaptability, the architecture underwent frequent changes and a
mixed style of architecture was developed. It combined the
outstanding elements of the Muslim and the Hindu art.

It was characterised by “the use of pointed arches on short

pillars and the Muslim’s adaptation of the traditional
Hindu temple style of curvilinear cornices copied from the
bamboo structures, and of beautifully carved Hindu
symbolic decorative designs like the lotus.”
The earliest Muslim structures in Bengal are the tomb and the
mosque of Jafar Khan Ghazi, which were built mainly out of the
material from the Hindu temples. Another specimen of the Bengal
architecture was Adina Masjid built by Sikandar Shah around 1370
A.D. It was a huge and ambitious structure.

It is considered as one of the wonders of the world in its design. It is

as big as the 8th century great mosque at Damascus. It covers an
area of 507′ and 6″ by 285′ and 6″. The central courtyard itself
consists of 397 feet by 159 feet.

The central nave of the sanctuary 70 feet by 34 feet, with its pointed
archway 50 feet high and 33 feet wide, and trefoil arched mihrab at
the western side, bearing Hindu designs, all point to a work of rich

Another beautiful building is the tomb of Jalaluddin Muhammad

Shah at Sandva. It is considered as one of the finest tombs in
Bengal. It is mainly built of bricks picked from other Hindu
buildings and is a single-domed square edifice. The Dakhil Darwaza
at Gaur is another monument of Bengal.

It is a superb example of brick and terracotta work and displays a

surprising boldness of design and masterly skill. It “shows that the
Muslim rulers still retained their grandiose ideals which found
expression in spectacular monuments, not however devoid of
architectural dignity and power.

The other important buildings in Bengal include Chota Sone ki

Masjid carved inside and out with chiselled designs built in 1510
A.D., a building of great simplicity and impressiveness and Qadam
Rasul built in 1530 A.D.

In the Kashmir valley the Islamic structures were constructed
mainly out of wood and assumed a distinctive form. Sir John
Marshall says that Kashmir architecture like other provincial style,
displays a happy fusion of Hindu and Muslim architectural ideas.

The tomb of Mandani with a mosque attached to it and built in the

reign of Sultan Zain-ul-Abdin’s at Srinagar is a building built in
typical saracenic style. Jam i-Masjid built by Sikandar Shah with
brick, stone end timber is another building of Kashmir style. The
mosque of Shah Hamdan at Srinagar was built only of wood.

At Jaunpur a new style of architecture was evolved in the 15th
century. This style revealed a happy blending of the Hindu and
Muslim architectural ideas. It has massive sloping walls, square
pillars, smaller galleries and cloisters. These are clearly Hindu
features designed by Hindu masons.

The Jaunpur style of architecture resembles that of Tughlaq period

with the difference that they are more ornate and chaste in some
cases. Dr. Ishwari Prasad writes, “The kings of Jaunpur were great
patrons of art and learning. The buildings which they have left
behind bear eloquent testimony of their magnificent architectural

Their distinctive feature is that they show an interesting and

original synthesis of Hindu and Muslim structural ideas which had
its parallel in the attempt made by Hussain Shah of Gaur to found a
religious cult Satyapir with the object of uniting Muhammedan and
Hindu in Divine worship.”
One of the brilliant specimen of the Jaunpur style Is the Atala
Masjid built on the site of the Hindu temple of Atala Devi. Atala
mosque has a curious blending Hindu and Muslim traditions.
Although the structure has no original character and some of the
Tughlaq features are present in it, it has the freshness and vigour of
a new style.

The Jam-i-Masjid constructed under patronage of Sultan Hussain

Sharqi is another fine specimen of the Jaunpur style. It is the largest
and most ambitious of the Jaunpur mosque. It has a height of 85
feet and breadth of 77 feet at the base.

Another building built after the style of Atala Masjid is Lal Darwaza
Mosque. It was built around the middle of the 15th century. The
mosque is known as ‘Lal Darwaza’ because of the colour of its gate.
Although the Lal Darwaza Masjid is built on the pattern of Atala
Masjid, it differs from the later in many respects.

It has a single prophylon lower in height in comparison to its

breadth at the base. There are certain ladies galleries in the mosque
which are situated in the parts of the transepts adjoining the nave,
and not at the far ends as in the Atala Masjid. There are other minor
differences which make the Lal Darwaza mosque an original

Jhanjhiri Masjid is another important religious shrine built by

Ibrahim Shah Sharqi about 1438 A D. Although the monument is
cow in ruins its remains suggest that it was a massive structure. It
was also built in the pattern of Atala Devi Masjid and in the interior
of its surface was covered with profuse carvings.

All the Jaunpur mosques have no minars of the general Muslim

type, but galleries; beautiful open-work screens were provided there
for the accommodation of ladies. The Jaunpur style of architecture
has been greatly admired by critics. For example, Sir John Marshall
has admired the rich decoration of the structures of this style,
Havell also holds that Jaunpur architecture is an interesting
synthesis of the creative impulse of the Hindus and Muslims.
According to Ferguson “The Jaunpur style is distinguished by
its use of pylon or gateway of almost Egyptian mass and
outline.” A. A. Hekmat says that, “No wonder, that Jaunpur with
its magnificent mosques, built during a short span of sixty years,
has acquired great name and fame as one of the important centres
of Muslim architecture.
It developed a special style of structure, known as Jaunpuri which
has travelled to many Islamic cities of India. Dr. P.K. Saraswati says
that though the style begins with a fresh spirit and high aspirations
but the builders themselves seem to have been incapable of
achieving what they attempted to do.

According to him the chief defects in the Jaunpur style are: “The
small height of the domes of the mosques which are hidden from
view by the towering height of the massive propylons, the coarse
execution of the schemes, and a lack of sense of structural
propriety.” On account of these defects, the buildings, though
beautiful and impressive, are not as well integrated structures as
one should expect them to be.

Amongst the provincial architectures of India, Gujarat architecture
is the most remarkable. Percy Brown says that the pre eminence of
the architecture form in Gujarat was due to “assiduous patronage
and building ambition” of the dynasty and “the profound artistic
traditions” of the inhabitants, coupled with “the unrivalled
aesthetic resources of the country.”
The Gujarat style is noted for its fine wood-carving, elaborate
ornamentation and delicate graceful lattice work, all elements of
Hindu architecture The Hindu influence over the Muslim buildings
in Gujarat may be due to Hindu ancestry of the Sultans.

The city of Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmed Shah in the first half
of the 15th century. He adorned the city with many buildings, the
most important Building at Ahmedabad erected by Ahmed Shah
was Jam-i-Masjid.

It occupies a large quadrangle and has four cloister on four sides of

the open courtyard. The sanctuary proper consists of an immense
hill with 250 tall p liars and galleries are richly carved. According to
Percy Brown with this mosque the medieval architecture reached
the high water-mark of the mosque design in Western India, if not
in the entire country.

The facade of the mosque with its well-proportioned parts, beautiful

and extensive arches, shapely buttresses, carved moulding; and
stringcourse and battlements combine to make it one of noblest
edifices in the whole world.

The tomb of Ahmed Shah located in the enclosures of the Jam-i-

Masjid, is another important monument. It has a square building
with portico projecting from the middle of each side. The tomb is
covered with a large dome. Though the monument does not possess
any special architectural merits it is an elegant building. But
probably, the most important building in Ahmedabad is the tomb of
Rani Sipri.

It is very small but is ornamented with the most exquisite stone

carvings. Marshall has praised the architecture of this small
building and said “East or West, it would be difficult to single out a
building in which the parts are harmoniously blended or in which
balance, symmetry and decorative rhythm combine to produce a
more perfect effect. The mosque is a small one, only 48 feet by 19
1/2 feet—but this smallness is an asset in its favour, since the
delicate traceries and jewels—like carving of Gujarat, suggestive as
they are of an almost famine grace, show less advantage in bigger
and more virile structures.”

Tin-Darwaza or Triple gateway, a triumphal arch building outside

the royal citadel is another specimen of rare architecture. The
Darwaza is known for its fine balancing and delicate forming.
Another outstanding building was the mosque at Champanir built
by Mahmud Bigarha.

According to Rawlinson this mosque is probably the most imposing

of the Muhammedan buildings in Western India, Ferguson also
describes the Jami Masjid at Champanir as: “architecturally the
finest in Gujarat.”
However, Marshall says: “Its parts are neither so well
proportioned nor so successfully coordinated. The
elevation of the prayer chamber is too cramped; the
minarets flanking the main archway over poweringly
heavy, and the transition from the side wings to the
central halt altogether too abrupt.”
The buildings constructed by the Sultans of Malwa, though mainly
on the Delhi style, are not a duplicate copy of the Delhi architecture.
They possess distinctive style of their own. These buildings are
mainly found at Dhar, Mandu and Chanderi.

The early buildings at Mandu like Kamal Maula Masjid, the Lat
Masjid, located in Dhar and Dilawar Khan’s Masjid and the Malik
Mughis Masjid at Mandu were mainly built out of the material
obtained from the destruction of Hindu temples. They betray great
Hindu influence particularly in their pillars. However, the later
buildings at Mandu display a greater impact of Islamic architecture.

The Jami Masjid at Mandu constructed in 1454 A D. is a great and

beautiful mosque. It has three tombs standing on 12 pillars each.
The great courtyard has 5 arches in the West, three in the north and
two in the east. Martin S. Briggs says, “This is an essentially
Muslim building, free from Hindu treated construction,
and is carried out in red sandstone with marble
According to Ferishta this tomb was built by Mahind Khilji.
However, Marshall is of the opinion that Hushang himself built it.

Another building attributed to Hushang is Hindola Mahal or the

swinging palace. According to Percy Brown, “Few buildings in
India present a more striking appearance or are more
solidly constructed than this amazing pile.”
Another important building of Mandu is Jahaz Mahal which possess
arched walls, roofed pavilions and beautiful reservoirs. It has a
distinctive feminine grace, its surfaces are gay with friezes of whitely
coloured glaze.
In addition, the Palaces of Baz Bahadur and Roopmati are also
specimens of Malwa architecture. These buildings seem to have
been built by Sultan Nasir-ud-Din and became the favorite resident
of Baz Bahadur on account of its beautiful location.

It is located on the slope of a hill and consists of rectangular

compositions of arched cloisters and an outer court and a gateway
in front. Though the building does not possess architectural
grandeur they have added to the beauty of Mandu city, and have
earned for it the title of the ”fortress city of India”.

A few Muslim structures were also erected at Chanderi in northern

Madhya Bharat.

These included Kushak Mahal and Jam-i-Masjid. Both these

buildings followed the pattern of architecture at Mandu.
Commenting on the Malwa architecture, Marshall says that the
buildings of Malwa Sultanate, particularly those at Mandu
are “truly living and full of purpose, as instinct with
creative genius as the models themselves from which they
took their inspiration.”
“Part of their distinctiveness,” he continues, “they owe, no doubt,
their impressive size and part to the remarkable beauty of their
stone works which under the transforming effect of time and
weather taken on exquisitely beautiful tints of pink and orange and
amethyst, but in a large measure their distinctive character is due to
peculiarities of construction and ornament, to the happy
proportions of their component parts or to other more subtle
refinements that do not readily admit of analysis.”

In Deccan, the Bahmani sultans evolved a peculiar type of
architecture which combined elements of Indian, Turkish, Egyptian
and Persian architecture. In fact it would not be wrong to say that
no provincial style of Muslim architecture in India was less
influenced by the surrounding indigenous style than the art of the
Bahmani kingdom.
The buildings of Bahmi Sultans are mainly found at Gulbarga,
Bidar, and Bijapur. The earliest Muslim buildings were Jam-i-
Masjid at Daultabad and two devil mosques near Hyderabad. These
buildings were constructed out of material from Hindu buildings or
conversion of Jain temples.

In Gulbarga, the Jam-i-Masjid was built in a purely Islamic style. It

is a rare example of mosque with no open courtyard. As the whole of
its areas has been covered with roof light only comes through its
sidewalls pierced through the arches.

The mosque has stilted domes and narrows entrances typical of

Persian style but otherwise belonging more to Delhi than to Persia.
Broadly speaking, two types of architecture are found in Gulbarga,
the tombs of Ala-ud-DlQ Hasan Bahmani, Muhammad Shall II etc.
and Haft Gumbad (Seven domes) containing the tombs of Mujahid
Shah, Daud Shah,. Prince Sanjar, Ghiasuddin and his family.

In Daultabad the Yadava, the Tughlaq and the Bahmani

architecture were combined. For example, in the Chand Minar, the
Persian styles were adopted. The Madrasa of Gawan is another
example of the Persian style.

It has three storeys with towering minarets at its two front corners.
It is 200 feet by 180 feet and with airy and well lighted lecture-
rooms, a library, quarters for Professors and students, and a
mosque. The facade is inlaid with coloured tiles and decorated with
Quranic texts.

On the decline of Bahmani kingdom, new State like Bidar,

Golconda, Ahmed Nagar, Brar and Bijapur came into existence.
These cities tried to develop the architecture on fresh lines and
adopted some of the Hindu features as well .The finest structure of
this type is Gol Gumas, the resting place of Muhammad Adil Shah.

Towards the close of the 16th century, Ibrahim Rauza built a large
structure including a tomb of the Sultan and a mosque. The tomb
with a bulbous dome has an artistic finish with carved decoration-
Mihtar Mahal is another small mosque which has an outstanding
specimen of the Bahtnni architecture.

Ferguson considers this mosque as superior to any other mosque

found in Cairo. The other outstanding buildings at Bijapur are Sat
Manzil, a small building decorated with mural paintings; and Gagan
Mahal a monument with a notable archway.

At Hyderabad, the Char Minar (Four Minar) a triumphal archway is

another striking example of the Deccan architecture. There is
certain aesthetical excellence in the design and conception of this
building. It is strong without being aggressive, is dignified yet

A survey of the various schools of the architectures leads us to the

conclusion that the Muslim brought the architecture of various
countries (Arabs, Persian, Turks, Western and Central Asia,
Northern Africa and South-Eastern and South-Western Europe) in
touch with the indigenous system of architecture prevailing in
various parts of India, and thereby helped in the growth of
numerous Indian styles of architecture like the Jaunpur, Bijapur,
Gujarat etc. Prof. Sarkar and Datta rightly say, “What we usually
call the Mughal art architecture is nothing else but the
continued growth of these fresh Indian styles in a
somewhat modified setting.”
Will Durant says, “It is true that the ‘Afghan’ dynasty used Hindu
artisans, copied Hindu themes and even appropriated the pillars of
Hindu temples, for their architectural purposes and that many
mosques were merely Hindu temples rebuilt for Muslim prayer; but
this natural imitation passed quickly into a style so typically
Moorish that one is surprised to find the Taj Mahal in India rather
than in Persia, North Africa or Spain.”
Confusion was prevailing in India after the last Tughlaq, Nasir-ud-Din
Mahmud Shah Tughlaq died. At this time Timur’s deputy in India and the
Governor of Multan, Khizr Khan marched to Delhi and defeated Daulat
Khan, the military head and occupied the throne. This led to the rise of
the fourth dynasty in power of the Delhi Sultanate. The family asserted
themselves as the descendants of Muhammad (Sayyids).

Khizr Khan, who founded the Sayyid Dynasty and took over as the first
ruler in 1414, originally did not take the title of sultan and continued to be
Rayat-i-Ala or Vassal (feudatory with mutual obligation to the ruler in
exchange for certain privileges) of Timurdis. As a mark of recognition to
his dedication, the name of Mongol ruler Shah Rukh (the fourth son of
Timur lane) was suffixed to his name.
He appointed Malik-us-Sharq Malik Tuhfa as the wazir of his court and
gave him the title of Taj-ul-Mulk. With his help, Khizr khan opposed the
rebellion of Har Singh, the Raja of Katehar. He not only successfully
united Punjab with Delhi and but was also regulated the rebellions of the
governors of several fiefdoms such as Mewat, Gwalior, Etawah and many
more under his rule.

Takhrikh-i-MubarakShahi by Yahya Sirhindi states that Khizr Khan was a

descendant of the Prophet of Islam. His son, Mubarrak Khan, took the
throne after his death. He ruled from 1414-1421 and was succeded by
Mubarak Shah (the son of Khizr Khan).

Mubarak Shah took over the throne in 1421 with a vision of expanding

the empire but he faced the opposition and revolts of the nobles. Despite
the opposition, he was an efficient ruler and retained his rule from 1421-
Mubarak Shah undertook expeditions to suppress rebellion and reinstate
order through different parts of the kingdom. While he was successful in
Bhatinda and the Doab, the Khokhars of Punjab could not be suppressed.
He named himself Muizz-ud-Din Mubarak Shah and minted coins with this
name. To collect revenue and keep anarchy in check, he adopted the
practice of invading his fiefdoms using coercion tactics. New city called
the Mubarakabad was set up by him on the banks of the Yamuna River in
1433 and personally planned the architecture of his tomb: ‘Mubarak
Shah’s Tomb’ during his rule.
His war campaigns had several setbacks and in1443 one of the annoyed
former Minister Sarvar-ul-Mulk, plotted to kill him with the help of other
Hindu courtiers. He was brutally assassinated while preparing for his
prayers. Muhammad Shah (The son of his brother) was enthroned, since
Mubarak Shah did not have a son.

Muhammad Shah ruled from 1434-1444. He lost the trust and support

of the Nobles as he was an inefficient ruler who misused his power and
authority. Wanting to have a pleasurable life he was extremely lethargic.
He could not control and check the internal-rebellion among the nobles in
the court and eventually his authority of rule was just a meager area of
around 30 miles while the rest of the Sultanate was ruled by the nobles.
His death in 1444, led to the succession of his son Alam Shah.
Alam Shah like Muhammad Shah, Alam Shah was also an incapable
ruler; he spent his entire life in Baduan, a place he thoroughly loved as a
visitor. The advantage of his weakness and lack of control in Central
Authority got Bahlol Lodhi, (the governor of Lahore and Sarhind) to
gather strength and take control over Delhi in 1447 by replacing Alam
Shah. Alam Shah stayed in and ruled Baduan till 1478 and his death
marked the end of the Sayyid dynasty.
Conclusion: The dynasty established by Khizr Khan, and led forward by
Mubarak Shah, started getting disintegrated after the rulers Muhammad
shah and Alam Shah ascended the throne and the sultanate was
voluntarily abdicated to Bahlol Khan Lodi due to their incompetence.

Sayyid dynasty, rulers of India’s Delhi sultanate (c. 1414–51) as

successors of the Tughluq dynasty until displaced by the Afghan Lodīs.
This family claimed to be sayyids, or descendants of the Prophet
Muhammad. The central authority of the Delhi sultanate had been fatally
weakened by the invasion of the Turkic conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) and
his capture of Delhi in 1398. For the next 50 years, north India was virtually
divided between a number of military chiefs, the strongest of whom were
the Sharqī sultans of Jaunpur.
Delhi: tomb of Muhammad ShahTomb of the Sayyid emperor Muhammad Shah, Delhi.Arian
Zwegers (CC-BY-2.0) (A Britannica Publishing Partner)

The first Sayyid ruler of Delhi was Khizr Khan (reigned 1414–21), who had
been governor of the Punjab. He and his three successors occupied
themselves in raids to collect revenue, barely maintaining themselves
against the Sharqī sultans to the east and the Khokars to the northwest.
Khizr’s successor, Mubārak Shah, had some success, but, after the latter’s
assassination in 1434, his two successors, Muḥammad Shah and ʿĀlam
Shah, proved incapable. ʿĀlam Shah abandoned Delhi for Badaun in 1448,
and three years later Bahlūl Lodī, already ruler of the Punjab, seized Delhi
and inaugurated the Lodī, the last dynasty of the Delhi sultanate.
during Sayyid
and Lodi
Dynasty, Islamic
Architectures during the Sayyid Dynasty and Lodhi
dynasty were class apart and defined the quality
of art and craft that prevailed during that period.
The construction of Islamic architecture during the
Tughlaq dynasty was relaxed under the Sayyid and
Lodhi rule. Due to the inheritance of greatly
weakened state treasury, both the dynasties were
not able to construct monumental buildings. So
their desire for architectural constructions were
projected in small tombs and mausoleum built
throughout Delhi. The pattern of architecture
during Sayyid and Lodhi dynasty was therefore
restricted to tombs and sculptor only.

The architectures during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty

made smaller influence to the cities where they
ruled. Whatever they constructed mirrored the
broken spirit of the rulers of both the dynasties. No
famous building arts, capital cities, imperial
palaces and fortresses were created during their
regime at Delhi. They were also not credited for
any mosques or colleges. During the entire regime
of the Sayyid and Lodhi, they constructed several
monuments as memorials to the dead. This
architectural period during Sayyid and Lodhi
dynasty was known as the period of the macabre
(word probably derived from ‘maqbara’ or the
cemetery in Arabic). A large number of tombs
were constructed around the capital. The three
royal tombs of Mubarak Sayyid, Muhammed
Sayyid and Sikandar Lodi reflect the prototype of
architecture during Sayyid and Lodhi dynasty.
Apart from these, other famous architectures of
Sayyid and Lodi dynasties in the Delhi
neighbourhood are Bara Khan ka Gumbad, Chota
Khan Ka Gumbad, Shish Gumbad, Bara Gumbad,
Tomb of Shihab-ud-din Taj Khan, Poli ka Gumbad
and Dadi ka Gumbad.

Architecture during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty

developed a new form of Islamic architecture
which was later followed by the Mughals. Sayyids
and Lodis constructed the tombs in two different
forms; one pattern was based on octagonal plan
surrounded by arched walkway with one storey in
height and the other one was based on square
plan without walkway with two or three storey in
height. In both the cases, the building had a dome
with pillars on each side of the octagonal and the
square variety. An important feature of the
architecture during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty is the
amazing measurements of height and width to
match with the structure of the basements. The
height and width of each octagonal face is thirty
feet, including the basement. The ornamental
pinnacles or guldasta is present at the corners.
This measurement is also half the total height of
the building including the finial. Each octagonal
face contains three arched openings divided by
pillars. The central opening of the octagonal face is
slightly broader than the two other openings. The
tomb chamber inside is octagonal in plan along
with an “arch and beam” opening in each face.
The square type tomb structure and also the
octagonal type tomb structure mark the pattern of
architecture during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty.

Amongst the octagonal and square tombs of the

architecture during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty,
octagonal tombs were reserved for the rulers and
the square type tombs were reserved for the
nobles of their courts. All the monuments were
supposed to erect within a year or two either
before or after their demise. Among the several
monuments found in the city, three large
mausoleums are of the rulers themselves, while
the others are the resting places of several nobles
of their court. The architecture of the tomb
building of the three rulers Mubarak Sayyid,
Muhammed Sayyid and Sikandar Lodi are identical,
the only exception is the crown of the dome of
Mubarak Sayyid which is four feet lower than the
other two tombs. They measures 30 feet each to
the octagonal side, 74 feet width, and the height
of the dome, excluding the finial is 54 feet, except
the Mubarak Sayyid’s tomb which is 50 feet.
The next architectural development of Sayyid and
Lodi dynasty was the tomb of Sikandar Lodi, built
in A.D. 1517. It reproduced the design of the tomb
of Mohammed Sayyid.

Apart from all the three tombs of the rulers of the

Sayyid and Lodi dynasty, most of the other tombs
are isolated structures, without any surrounding
wall, and if they were originally contained walls,
these have since disappeared. Moreover away
from the capital, several other architectures of the
Sayyid and Lodi dynasty in same pattern are
present in the towns of Kalpi in Bundelkhand and
Lalitpur in the Jhansi district. The tomb present in
Kalpi is known locally as the Chairs Gumbaz,
popular for its Eighty-four Domes. This Islamic
architecture is believed to be a tomb of one of the
Lodi kings. The tomb present in Lalitpur is popular
as Jama masjid.

The character and treatment of the monuments

and tombs and the over all pattern of architecture
during Sayyid and Lodi dynasty indicate the fact
that Delhi and its surrounding area during that
time attained a separate style of expressiveness
through the etching, cutting and structuring of the
stones which was later redefined by the Mughals.
1. Sayyid Dynasty (1414-1444)• In the 14th century under the Timurid
rulers, Islamic architecture underwent a change.• The narrow
horseshoe arch was replaced by the true arch, an idea imported
directly from Persia. However, Indian masons weren‟t completely
convinced of its holding power.• They began using wooden beams as
supports, and eventually the four- centred arch minus the beam support
came into vogue.• During the Sayyid and the Lodi Dynasties, more than
fifty tombs of different sizes were constructed.• The Tombs of Mubarak
Sayyid (d. 1434 AD), Muhammad Sayyid (d.1444 AD) are of the
octagonal type.
2. Tomb of Mubarak Sayyid • The Mubarak Sayyid Tomb is octagonal in
plan with a massive dome and eight octagonal roof kiosks (chhatri) on
each side. • The roof kiosks occupy the middle of the sides and stone
buttresses are set at the vacant corners of the structure. • This design
gives the tomb a pyramidal effect as a whole. • The funerary mosque
stands near the tomb, and it is assumed that the tomb and mosque
once stood within precinct walls. • This is the only mosque built by the
3. Tomb of Mubarak Sayyid (1434 AD)• Enlargement and refinement of the
proportions of Tughlaq prototype• 9 m long side of octagon with arched
colonnade• The merlons on the parapet and kiosks above the
verandahs• 15 m high dome squatly placed over 21 m wide octagonal
base – improved in tomb of Muhammed Sayyid a decade later
4. Tomb of Mubarak Sayyid
5. Tomb of Muhammad Shah Sayyid• This beautiful octagonal maqbara
(tomb) of Muhammad Shah Sayyid is located near the south-west corner
of the Lodi Garden.• The tomb was built in 1444 for the third Sayyid
sultan Muhammad Shah.• The architecture follows the style of the
Khan-i-Jahan Telangani maqbara and the Mubarak Shah Sayyid
maqbara with some modifications.• It has a fuller dome on a raised seat
surrounded by chhatris.• Each of the octagonal side has a three-arch
opening, bordered by inclined columns at each corner. This is arguably
the best example of Sayyid monuments.• The tomb is beautifully
ornamented and some of the orginal coloured plaster-work is still