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Which one of the following was not built by Shah Jahan?
A. Red Fort at Delhi
B. Taj Mahal at Agra
C. Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi
D. Jama Masjid at Delhi

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint: Shah Jahan was a Mughal ruler who ruled from 1628 to 1658. He is particularly known for taking Mughal architecture to a new refined level with a lot of focus on symmetrical planning and uniformity.

Complete answer: Mughal rulers have always been interested in architecture right from Akbar’s time when the empire became politically stable. Mughals understood the importance of architecture as a symbol of self-expression and representation of their political ideals too. Also, unlike other arts, architecture often saw more proximity to the emperor’s taste and involvement.
The option (A), Red Fort at Delhi, was built by Shah Jahan in 1639 as the fortress-palace in his capital city of Shahjahanabad. It comprises principal buildings as Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-aam, Rang Mahal, Moti Mahal and two garden pavilions, Sawan and Bhadon. Symmetry and connectivity both were very important. The east-west axis of fort extended through its Lahori gate met the Chandni Chowk bazaar leading to Fatehpuri Masjid, while north-south axis through Delhi gate led to Faiz bazaar.
The option (B), Taj Mahal at Agra was also built by Shah Jahan in 1532. It was built as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Arjumand Banu Begum. The monument derived its name from her title, Mumtaz Mahal. The layout doesn’t seem to be unique to other contemporary buildings, but Taj was very grand. The major components were the group of tombs and four minarets along with an assembly hall. The surrounding area was also developed in a kind of township called Mumtazabad. Taj Mahal was commissioned after Mumtaz’s death and took about 22 years to complete, so till then she was buried at Burhanpur and then near river Yamuna.
The option (C), Humayun’s Tomb at Delhi, was built by Emperor Akbar as a resting place for his father, Humayun. The monument incorporates a lot of Timurid ideas as the Char Bagh style and the nine-fold plan with eight rooms around the central chamber representing the idea of eight paradises–Hasht Bihisht.
The option (D), Jama Masjid at Delhi, was built by Shah Jahan as part of his capital city Shahjahanabad, near Red Fort. It comprises the main prayer hall with three bays along with two large minarets.
Hence, option (C) is the correct answer.

Note: Red fort was originally called ‘Quila-i-Mubarak’ meaning the blessed fort. It was not just auspicious but also a symbol of sovereignty and remains so even today. Independent India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the Indian flag here on 15th August 1947.