Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/147

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THE EMPEROR SHAH JAHAN. 143 fully at Ahmadnagar in 1637, that series of persistent Hindu attacks which were destined in the next century to break down the Mughal Empire. The imperial princes, Aurangzeb and his brothers, carried on the wars in Southern India and in Afghanistan for their father Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan's Buildings. — Except during one or two military expeditions, Shah Jahan lived a magnificent life in the north of India. At Agra he raised the exquisite mausoleum of the Taj Mahdl, a dream in marble, ' designed by Titans and finished by jewellers.' His Pearl Mosque, the marble Moli Masjid, within the Agra fort, is perhaps the purest and loveliest house of prayer in the world. Not content with enriching his grandfather Akbar's capital with these and other architectural glories, Shah Jahan planned the re-transfer of the seat of government to Delhi, and adorned that city with build- ings of unrivalled magnificence. Its Great Mosque, or Jama. Masjid, was commenced in the fourth year of his reign, and completed in the tenth. The palace at Delhi, now the fort, covered a vast parallelogram, 1600 feet by 3200, with exquisite and sumptuous buildings in marble and fine stone. The entrance consists of a deeply recessed gateway leading into a vaulted hall, which springs up two storeys high, like the nave of a gigantic Gothic cathedral, 375 feet in length; — 'the noblest entrance,' says Fergusson, the historian of architecture, ' to any existing palace.' The Diwan-i-Kh&s , or Court of Private Audience, overlooks the river, — a masterpiece of deli- cate inlaid work and poetic design. Shah Jahan spent many years of his reign at Delhi, and prepared the city for its destiny as the most magnificent capital in the world under his successor Aurangzeb. But exquisite as are its public buildings, the manly vigour of Akbar's red-stone fort at Agra, with its bold sculptures and square Hindu construction, has given place to a certain effeminate beauty in the marble structures of Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan's Revenues. — Under Shah Jahan, the Mughal Empire attained its highest union of strength with magnificence. His son and successor, Aurangzeb, added to its extent, but at the same time sowed the seeds of its decay. Akbar's land