The Ottoman and the Mughal Empires, though widely recognized for their political prowess, military expansion, and systems of religious tolerance, are also renowned for their architectural contributions. Structures like the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul and Red Fort in Delhi immediately capture the grandeur and magnificence of the empires of the Ottomans and Mughals, simultaneously serving as symbols of their artistic patronage and testaments to their splendor. Beyond establishing the empires' greatness, however, architecture was often directly tied to a specific agenda, reflecting poiitical goals, religious doctrines, and particular ideologies. A closer analysis of three cities in each of these empires - Istanbul in the Ottoman and Agra and Delhi in the Mughal - reveals the highly significant role of architecture. As each of these cities was a capital in the empire and thus a seat of imperial power, they invite a natural comparison. Architecture, through its ability to capture political, social, and religious objectives, was perhaps one of the most effective and visible methods of creating and maintaining legitimacy, projecting power and control, and expressing evolving images of kingship.
"Images of Kingship: Statebuilding, Patronage, and Architecture in the capitals of the Mughal and Ottoman Empires,"
Augsburg Honors Review: Vol. 4
, Article 1.
Available at: https://idun.augsburg.edu/honors_review/vol4/iss1/1