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BayanaThe Sources of Mughal Architecture$
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Mehrdad Shokoohy and Natalie H. Shokoohy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474460729

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460729.001.0001

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The Chatrī: its Origin, its Basic Forms and its Variants in Bayana

The Chatrī: its Origin, its Basic Forms and its Variants in Bayana

(p.330) Chapter Six The Chatrī: its Origin, its Basic Forms and its Variants in Bayana

Mehrdad Shokoohy

Natalie H. Shokoohy

Edinburgh University Press

The pavilions known as chatrīs are familiar features of North Indian architecture to the extent that Lutyens and Baker adopted them for New Delhi. Their antecedents in temple architecture and the traditional architecture of Iran, as well as their meaning, are intriguing: a canopy representing heavenly protection. The prevalence and variety of the form in Bayana is considered through detailed typological survey beginning with funerary chatrīs: the standard ones with four columns roofed with corbelled or true domes, also octagonal and hexagonal plans, or arranged in series as open rectangular canopied buildings. Indian prototypes and Persian wooden canopies, still standing or depicted in miniatures, are considered. Wooden pavilions in India are known from the sources, and early stone chatrīs for gateways are frequently found, while the Buland Darwāza to the shrine of Ḥamīd al-dīn Chishtī in Nagaur is a famous example with reverberations elsewhere. Bayana preserves experimental forms including a walled chatrī with twelve columns and the Baṛe Kamar: a tomb foreshadowing the arrangement of the tomb of Iʿtimād al-daula in Agra. The symbolic role in the minbars of early mosques is highlighted to explain how the emblematic form is deeply rooted in Indo-Iranian tradition.

Keywords:   Lutyens, Sir Edwin, Baker, Herbert, Temple Architecture, Iran, Nagaur, Shaikh Ḥamīd al-dīn Chishtī, Agra, Iʿtimād al-daula

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