|A good name for Kings is achieved by means of lofty buildings...
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From great-great grandfather to father, the Mughals had supported the arts, setting the precedent for Shah Jahan. He was fascinated by painting and jewelry,as his father Jahangir had been, and the fine arts flourished under Shah Jahan as they had in no previous reign.
Like his grandfather, Akbar the Great, Shah Jahan was passionate about architecture. Not content with the hand-me-down buildings in Akbar's Red Fort, he replaced them with resplendent palaces of pure white marble. As soon as the Agra Fort was completed, he moved the Mughal capital from Agra back to the ancient site of Delhi where he built a magnificent new city, owing nothing to his ancestors, yet keeping the long-established legacy of the Delhi throne. (The palaces of Shahjahanabad, now Old Delhi, are also faced entirely in white marble. Consequently, the reign of Shah Jahan is sometimes referred to as the "reign of marble.")
Shah Jahan spent incalculable wealth on his preoccupations: a life of ease, pageantry and pleasure, expeditions to expand his dominion and the creation of his celebrated edifices. Unlike the buildings of Akbar which show such eclectic delight in diversity, Shah Jahan's constructions demonstrate cool confidence in a new order.
In his structures, the Hindu and Islamic traditions are not simply mixed but synthesized in a resolved form
For all the beauty of the embellishments used in the Taj Mahal and his other buildings, it is the stylistic unity and harmony of design that is Shah Jahan's greatest accomplishment, providing the finishing touch in the Mughal style of architecture.
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