Mughal heritage is an architectural style developed by the Mughals during16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever changing extent of their empire in Medieval India. It was an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways and delicate ornamentation.
The province of Punjab in Pakistan showcases several fine examples of Mughal heritage. Lahore displays magnificent specimens of Mughal Architecture in and around Old City. The Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526. During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. His grandson Akbar founded Lahore Fort and fortified the city with different entrance gates few of them still exist. Akbar’s son, Jahangir, built Abari Serai near Shahdra Lahore across River Ravi, Anarkali’Tomb, Hiran Minar near Sheikhupura in memory of his pet dear, and Jahangir’s Quardrangle in Lahore Fort. His son Shah Jahan was called “the Architect King” due to his special taste in marble buildings like his father’s, Jahangir’s Tomb, in Shadra, Palace of Mirrors (Shish Mahal) and Hall of Special Audience (Deewan e Khas) along with Pakistan’s only surviving elephant steps in Lahore Fort. Shah Jahan’s son, Aurangzeb Alamgir, gave Lahore splendid Badshahi Mosque in 1674 which remained world’s largest mosque for the next 200 years.
Mughal architecture presents symmetry, solidity and sublimity. You relish exquisite details in beautiful paintings, refined inlay work, elegant frescos and colorful mosaic work. Best example is Wazir Khan’s Mosque in Old Lahore and Naulakha Pavilion in Lahore Fort’s Shish Mahal.
Mughal gardens have also special features. Those were built by the Mughals in the Persian style of architecture particularly the Charbagh structures with walled enclosures which also include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens.