Solution: Daily Problem Practice [Medieval India: Week 11]- 27 December

Solution: Daily Problem Practice [Medieval India: Week 11]- 27 December

Q. Give an account of the Malwa style of architecture in medieval India. [10 Marks]


Malwa style of architecture developed in Malwa region during 15th and 16th century. Main examples of the style are found in the cities of Dhar, Mandu and Chanderi.

Important features:

  • Based on Tughlaq style
  • Battered walls
  • Pointed arches with spear head fringe.
  • Combination of arch with pillar, lintel and beam.
  • Buildings are raised on high plinths, accessed by long and stately flight of steps.
  • Prominent use of colour in decoration.
  • Use of different coloured marble, semi-precious stones and glazed tiles.
  • The artisans in Malwa possessed a secret formula for creating Turquoise blue colour.

The style can be divided into 3 phases:

  • First Phase:
    • Dismantling of temples and converting them into mosque.
      • Kamal Maula Masjid (Dhar)
      • Lat Masjid (Dhar)
      • Malik Mughis Masjid (Mandu)
  • Second (Classical) Phase:
    • Monuments of original character. Sober and elegant. More substantial and formal order.
      • Jami Masjid at Mandu
        • Started by Hushang Shah and finished by Mahmud I in A.D. 1440.
        • raised on a high plinth
      • Ashrafi Mahal
        • composed of three distinct buildings
        • tower was in red sandstone
        • patterns of inlaid marble
      • Hushang Shah’s Tomb
        • built by Hushang Shah, completed by Mahmud I in 1440 A.D.
        • made of marble
      • Hindola Mahal
        • built by Hushang Shah
        • walls are thick, battered slope
        • structure was for women
        • ‘T’ shape plan
      • Jahaaz Mahal
        • shape, dimension and position gives the illusion of a ship
        • roof has a series of kiosk, overhang balconies
        • extending along the edge of lake
  • Third Phase:
    • Less austere and more fanciful structures, implying a life of ease and luxury.
    • Main examples are pavilions, loggias, kiosks, terraces etc.
      • Baz Bahadur’s Palace
        • form of summer palace and pavilions
        • ground storey consisted of compartments grouped around a central courtyard with pools or fountains.
        • all the surfaces adorned with painted tiles.
      • Kushk Mahal (Chanderi)
        • Originally seven storeyed, only four storeys now remain.
      • Jami Masjid at Chanderi
        • shape of three domes.


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