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The Mughal architecture in Bengal was different from the Sultanate architecture. It was not an independent or national style, but rather a provincial version of the imperial Mughal architecture in the centres at Agra, Fathpur-Sikri, Delhi or Lahore. In the Sultanate period, the rulers were drawn from various races such as Turks, Arabs Abysinians and Afghans who at the beginning worked nominally as the governors of the Delhi Sultans, but subsequently threw off the yoke of their masters declaring independence and establishing independent dynastic rules. With their independence they cut off all their connections with the centre at Delhi thereby introducing a new independent system in all spheres of life including architecture based on earlier Muslim traditions and local culture. The Mughals in Bengal, on the other hand, like their masters in Northern India were the direct descendants of the Mongol-Timurid race of Central Asia and Persia, and were sent as viceroys to represent the Padishas and their rule. They were mostly the relatives of the emperors or their confidents. What was therefore introduced in Bengal during this period was a direct rule dependant on Mughal life and culture at the centre. Bengal during the pre-Mughal period had an identity of it’s own, but now it was lost and turned into a Mughal province with all Mughal ways in their mini forms. The architecture as has been indicated was no exception.

The number of monuments surviving from the Mughal period in Bengal are more in number than the Sultani period. The reason is nearness of time, and the cheapness of material and easy technique of construction. Because of the simplicity and low expense involved the style got it’s way throughout the length and breadth of Bengal to be emulated subsequently not only by Mughal officers away from the capital, but also by local zamindars eager to contribute to public benevolence. The style continued in the British period with mixtures from European and indigenous Indian elements creating a new Indo-British style showing the continuity of process still maintained in modern mechanized architecture.


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