Consider the following:
1. Use of Calligraphy
2. Use of shapes instead of natural forms
3. Dome
Which among the above was / were new elements added by Muslims to Indian Architecture?

Answer: [D] 1, 2 & 3

The New Elements Added by Muslims to Indian Architecture

The Indo-Islamic architecture inculcates the elements of Saracenic, Turkish and Arab architecture.

The Muslims absorbed many features of local cultures and traditions and combined them with their own architectural practices. So, a mix of many structural techniques, stylised shapes, and surface decorations came about through constant interventions of acceptance, rejection or modification of architectural elements.

The first new element added in the Indian architecture was the use of shapes instead of natural forms. This apart, use of calligraphy as inscriptional art was also a new element added to by Muslims.

Muslim added the inlay decoration and use of coloured marble, painted plaster and brilliantly glazed tiles.

The Dome was a new element added by the Muslims. In contrast to the indigenous Indian architecture which was of the trabeated order i.e. all spaces were spanned by means of horizontal beams, the Islamic architecture was arcuate i.e. an arch or dome was adopted as a method of bridging a space. Here, we have to note that the arch or dome was not an invention of the Muslims but was borrowed and improvised from the architectural styles of the post-Roman period.

The Muslims used the cementing agent in the form of mortar / Limestone / Chuna for the first time in the construction of buildings in India.

The Indo-Islamic monuments were typical mortar-masonry works formed of dressed stones. It must be emphasized that the development of the Indo-Islamic architecture was greatly facilitated by the knowledge and skill possessed by the Indian craftsmen, who had mastered the art of stonework for centuries and used their experience while constructing Islamic monuments in India.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module