Architecture during Delhi Sultanates

New architectural forms and styles were introduced in India during the medieval period. The synthesis of Indian and Islamic architectural features led to emergence of Indo-islamic architecture.

  • The arch and dome were new architectural additions of the period.
  • The use of lime-mortar in the construction of buildings and houses altered the building techniques
  • The development of the true arch was important feature of the architectural style of the period.
  • In the beginning, they converted temples and other structures demolished into mosques. For example, the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque near Qutub Minar in Delhi was built by using the materials obtained from destroying many Hindu and Jain temples.
  • With the arrival of artisans from West Asia the arch and dome began to show up with precision and perfection. Gradually local artisans also acquired the skill. The tomb of Balban was adorned with the first true arch and the Alai Darwaza built by Alaud-din Khalji as a gateway to the Quwwatul-Islam Mosque is adorned with the first true dome.


  • Tughlaqs went for introduction of innovative features in architecture also, such as
    • “batter” or sloping walls
    • use of stone rubble as the principle building material
    • a new type of arch called the four centred arch
    • the emergence of the pointed dome
    • the introduction of an octagonal plan of tomb building.
  • Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq added Tughlaqabad to Delhi.
  • Muhammad bin Tughlaq added Jahanpanha to Delhi
  • Firoz shah Tughlaq added Ferozabad to Delhi.
  • Muhammad bin Tughlaq built the tomb of Ghyasuddin on a high platform.
  • After Tughlaqs Sikander Lodi constructed Jama maszid in Agra, it is the first structure in middle of garden.
  • Later, structures in the middle of garden became an essential feature in Mughal style.