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Indo-Saracenic Architecture

The establishment of Islamic power at the end of 12th century in Northern India brought two contrasting cultures  face to face and gave birth to what we call today as the Indo-Saracenic Art or Indian Islamic Art. It drew its inspiration from Syria, Egypt, Northern Africa and Sassanian Persia and its architecture acquired a fundamental character of its own distinguished by standardized forms and concepts.

V.N. O'key/Kamat's Potpourri
Mogul Style Pavilion
Mogul Style Pavilion

Distinguishing Features of Indo-Saracenic Style

  • Onion (bulbous or cocentric) domes
  • Overhanging eaves
  • Pointed arches, cusped arches, or scalloped arches
  • Vaulted roofs
  • Many miniature domes
  • Towers or minarets
  • Harem windows featuring intricate grills
  • Open pavilions

Fusion with European Architecture

Many European architects who arrived in India took the elements of the Indo-Saracenic architecture and applied to the  Gothic and Victorian architecture popular at that time and many buildings built during the 19th century illustrate this school of architecture. The Palace in the city of Mysore (photograph shown below) is a fine example of this style.

Corel Professional Photo/Kamat's Potpourri
Maharaja`s Palace, Mysore
Maharaja's Palace, Mysore


See Also:


5000 Years of Indian Architecture5000 Years of Indian Architecture | Pictures
Introduction and Ancient Architecture | During Golden Age
Medieval Architecture | Islamic and Indo-sarasenic | Modern

Source: 5000 Years of Indian Architecture, The Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1951, New Delhi.

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Kamat's Potpourri Indian Architecture 5000 Years

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