Indo-Persian culture

Indo-Persian culture refers to those Persian aspects that have been integrated into or absorbed into the cultures of the Indian subcontinent.

Persian influence was first introduced to the Indian subcontinent by Muslim rulers of Turkic and Afghan origin, especially with the Delhi Sultanate from the 13th century, and in the 16th to 19th century by the Mughal Empire. In general, from its earliest days, aspects of the culture and language were brought to the Indian subcontinent by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan rulers,[1] such as Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi in the 11th century.

Persian was the official language of the Delhi Sultanate, the Bengal Sultanate, the Bahamani Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and their successor states, as well as the cultured language of poetry and literature. Many of the Sultans and nobility in the Sultanate period were Persianised Turks from Central Asia who spoke Turkic languages as their mother tongues. The Mughals were also culturally Persianized Central Asians (of Turco-Mongol origin on their paternal side), but spoke Chagatai Turkic as their first language at the beginning, before eventually adopting Persian. Persian became the preferred language of the Muslim elite of north India. Muzaffar Alam, a noted scholar of Mughal and Indo-Persian history, suggests that Persian became the official lingua franca of the empire under Akbar for various political and social factors due to its non-sectarian and fluid nature.[2] The influence of these languages led to a vernacular called Hindustani that is the ancestor of today's Urdu and Hindi.

Taj Mahal in March 2004
The Taj Mahal unites Persian and Indian elements. It is the mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, the Persian wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

In contemporary India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Indo-Persian culture has helped produce certain composite traditions within the Indian subcontinent that survive to this day, of which the Urdu language and literature is notable. The legacy of Indo-Persianate culture moreover can also be seen in much of the Mughal architecture within Lahore, Delhi, Dhaka, and Agra, latterly of which the Taj Mahal is world-renowned. Hindustani classical music also received some influence from the Persian culture, but the nature of these influences remain unclear. In many ways, the absorption and assimilation of Persian or Persianate culture within India may be compared to the gradual (if sometimes problematic) absorption of English, British or Western culture generally of which the English language is perhaps the most notable and controversial within both India and Pakistan today. The influence of Persian language moreover may be seen in the considerable proportion of loanwords absorbed into the vernaculars of the north, north-east and north-west of the Indian subcontinent including Punjabi, Gujarati, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Kashmiri and Pashto. Universities in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh also operate Persian language faculties.[3][4][5]


With the presence of Muslim culture in the region in the Ghaznavid period, Lahore and Uch were established as centers of Persian literature. Abu-al-Faraj Runi and Masud Sa'd Salman (d. 1121) were the two earliest major Indo-Persian poets based in Lahore. The earliest of the "great" Indo-Persian poets was Amir Khusrow (d. 1325) of Delhi, who has since attained iconic status within the Urdu speakers of the Indian subcontinent as, among other things, the "father" of Urdu literature.

Delhi sultanate and the Mughal era

Basawan - Alexander Visits the Sage Plato
Alexander Visits the Sage Plato, from Khamsa-e Nizami by the Indo-Persian poet Amir Khusro.

Indo-Persian culture and to varying degrees also Turkic culture flourished side-by-side during the period of the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526). The invasion of Babur in 1526, the end of the Delhi Sultanate, and the establishment of what would become the Mughal Empire would usher the golden age of Indo-Persian culture with particular reference to the art and architecture of the Mughal era.

The Mughal Era to the British Raj: Persian persisted as the language of the Mughals up to and including the year 1707 which marked the death of the Emperor Aurangzeb, generally considered the last of the "Great Mughals". Thereafter, with the decline of the Mughal empire, the 1739 invasion of Delhi by Nader Shah and the gradual growth initially of the Hindu Marathas[6] and later the European power within the Indian subcontinent, Persian or Persian culture commenced a period of decline although it nevertheless enjoyed patronage and may even have flourished within the many regional empires or kingdoms of the Indian subcontinent including that of the Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh (r. 1799–1837).

Persian as a language of governance and education was abolished in 1839 by the British and the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, even if his rule was purely symbolic or ceremonial, was overthrown in 1857 by the British.

Further, C.E. Bosworth wrote about the Central Asian's Persian (TajiksGhurids) influence on India: "...The sultans were generous patrons of the Persian literary traditions of Khorasan, and latterly fulfilled a valuable role as transmitters of this heritage to the newly conquered lands of northern India, laying the foundations for the essentially Persian culture which was to prevail in Muslim India until the 19th century..."[7]


Bengal was the eastern frontier of the Persian cultural sphere.[8] For over 600 years (1204-1837), the Persian language was an official language in Bengal, including during the provincial period of the Delhi Sultanate; the independent period of the Sultanate of Bengal; and the dominion period of the Bengal Subah in the Mughal Empire. Bengal was the subcontinent's wealthiest region for centuries, where Persian people, as well as Persianate Turks, settled in the Ganges delta to work as teachers, lawyers, poets, administrators, soldiers and aristocrats.[9][10] The Bengali language continues to have a significant amount of Persian loanwords. Several Bengali cities were once centers of Persian prose and poetry. Hafez, one of the masters of Persian poetry, kept a notable correspondence with one of the Sultans of Bengal. The Mughal period saw the zenith of Persian cultural expression in Bengal. During the Bengali renaissance, Persian was studied by Hindu scholars, including Raja Ram Mohun Roy. The use of Persian as an official language was prohibited by Act no. XXIX of 1837 passed by the President of the Council of India in Council on the 20 November 1837.[11]

Bahamani and Deccan sultanates

Complete view of Mahumad Gawan
Ruins of a madrassa built by Mahmud Gawan, the Bahamani minister.
Gol Gumbaz, the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur.

The medieval Bahamani Sultanate and its successor Deccan sultanates of Central India had heavy Persian influence. The Bahamani sultans actively recruited Persian or Persianized men in their administration. Sultan Firuz (1397-1422) would send ships from his ports in Goa and Chaulto the Persian Gulf to bring back talented men of letters, administrators, jurists, soldiers and artisans.[12] The high born Iranian Mahmud Gawan (1411-1481) who rose to become a powerful a powerful minister of that state during the reign of another Bahamani Sultan.[13]

According to Richard Eaton, even the Hindu Vijayanagara empire from the same period was highly Persianized in its Culture. The royal quarters of the capital had many Persian architectural elements such as domes and vaulted arches[14]

The Bahmani Sultanate disintegrated into five Deccan Sultanates, similar in culture. Hyderabad, built by the Golconda Sultanate in the 16th century, was inspired from Isfahan.[15] The use of Persian as a court language in Hyderabad continued under the Nizams of Hyderabad, and was only replaced by Urdu in 1886.[15]

The court language during the Deccan sultanate period was Persian or Arabic, however, Marathi was widely used during the period especially by Adil Shahi of Bijapur and the Ahmadnagar Sultanate.[16] Although the rulers were Muslims, the local feudal landlords and the revenue collectors were Hindus and so was the majority of the population. Political expediency made it important for the sultans to make use of Marathi. Nevertheless, Marathi in official documents from the era is totally Persianised in its vocabulary.[17] The Persian influence continues to this day with many Persian derived words used in every day speech such as bagh (Garden), karkhana (factory), Shahar (city), bāzār (market), dukān (shop), hoshiār (clever), kāḡhaz (paper), khurchi (< khurchi (chair), zamin (land), zahirāt (advertisement), and hazār (thousand).[18]

After the British Raj

Given that the Mughals had historically symbolized Indo-Persian culture to one degree or another, the overthrow of Bahadhur Shah Zafar and the institution of the British Raj in 1858 may be considered as marking the end of the Indo-Persian era, even if, after First War of Independence in 1857, Persian would still retain an audience and even produce commendable literature such as the philosophical poetry of Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938). In Pakistan, Urdu and other regional languages retain extensive Persian vocabulary.

See also


  1. ^ Sigfried J. de Laet. History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century UNESCO, 1994. ISBN 9231028138 p 734
  2. ^ Alam, Muzaffar. "The Pursuit of Persian: Language in Mughal Politics." In Modern Asian Studies, vol. 32, no. 2. (May, 1998), pp. 317–349.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Delhi, the Capital of India By Anon, John Capper, p.28. "This source establishes the Maratha control of Delhi before the British"
  7. ^ Iranica: GHURIDS or Āl-e Šansab; a medieval Islamic dynasty of the eastern Iranian lands.
  8. ^
  9. ^,_The
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (2005). The new Cambridge history of India (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 51–52. ISBN 9780521254847.
  13. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (2005). The new Cambridge history of India (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 59–72. ISBN 9780521254847.
  14. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (2005). The new Cambridge history of India (1. publ. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 99–101. ISBN 9780521254847.
  15. ^ a b "'Persianate culture forms intrinsic part of Hyderabad' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  16. ^ Gordon, Stewart (1993). Cambridge History of India: The Marathas 1600-1818. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University press. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-521-26883-7.
  17. ^ Kulkarni, G.T. (1992). "DECCAN (MAHARASHTRA) UNDER THE MUSLIM RULERS FROM KHALJIS TO SHIVAJI : A STUDY IN INTERACTION, PROFESSOR S.M KATRE Felicitation". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 51/52,: 501–510. JSTOR 42930434.
  18. ^ Qasemi, S. H. "MARATHI LANGUAGE, PERSIAN ELEMENTS IN". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 17 September 2017.

Further reading

Adab (gesture)

Adab (Hindustani: آداب (Nastaleeq), आदाब (Devanagari); Bengali: আদাব), meaning respect and politeness, is a pluralistic hand gesture used by South Asian Muslims, as well as many Hindus, while greeting one another. It is associated with Indo-Persian culture. The word is derived from Urdu, through the Arabic word Aadaab, meaning etiquette.

Since the normal greeting of Muslims i.e. "As-salamu alaykum" is meant for Muslims only, and Muslims in India live in a multi-faith and a multi-lingual society, this alternative form of greeting was coined. The use of Adab is especially popular in the Indian city of Hyderabad, where religious pluralism has been historically emphasized; the Nizam of the region stated: "Hindus and Muslims are like my two eyes ... How can I favor one eye over the other?" Fundamentalist elements in the society oppose the use of "Adab" in an all-Muslim society.

The gesture involves raising the right hand towards the face with palm inwards such that it is in front of the eyes and the finger tips are almost touching the forehead, as the upper torso is bent forward. It is typical for the person to say "adab arz hai" (Nastaleeq: آداب عرض ہے, Devanagari: आदाब अर्ज़ है), meaning "I offer my respects to you", or simply just "adab". It is often answered with the same or the word "Tasleem" is said as an answer; sometimes it is answered with a facial gesture of acceptance.

In popular culture today, the adab is often associated with the courtly culture of the Muslim Nawabs.


Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (Persian: ابو الفتح جلال الدين محمد اكبر; October 1542– 27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar I (IPA: [əkbər]), also as Akbar the Great (Akbar-i-azam اکبر اعظم), was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.

Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was a patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature, and created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers. He did much of the cataloging himself through three main groupings. Akbar also established the library of Fatehpur Sikri exclusively for women, and he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm. He also encouraged bookbinding to become a high art. Holy men of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri became centres of the arts, letters, and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived mainly from Islam and Hinduism as well as some parts of Zoroastrianism and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as a prophet, for which he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims. Many of his courtiers followed Din-i-Ilahi as their religion as well, as many believed that Akbar was a prophet. One famous courtier who followed this blended religion was Birbal.Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects. He had Sanskrit literature translated, participated in native festivals, realising that a stable empire depended on the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under Mughal rule were laid during his reign. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim, later known as Jahangir.

Architecture of Lahore

The Architecture of Lahore reflects the history of Lahore and is remarkable for its variety and uniqueness. There are buildings left from the centuries ago rule of the Mughal Dynasty, the Sikh Empire, as well as from the era of the British Raj, whose style is a mixture of Victorian and Islamic architecture often referred to as Indo-Gothic. In addition, there are newer buildings which are very modern in their design. An interesting point about Lahore's architecture is that unlike the emphasis on functional architecture in the west, much of Lahore's architecture has always been about making a statement as much as anything else. Lahore art has always been popular worldwide and thus it lures tourists from all over the world.

The old city houses a number of Lahore architecture, which have a strong influence of the Mughal style. Department of archaeology has excavated many architectural remains of the buildings that were built during the rule of Rama of Ayodhya. Thus it can be said that though most of the buildings of Lahore carry Muslim heritage, there are a few structures, which have the influence of other religions such as Sikhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Zoroastrianism.

However, Lahore architecture also includes the thirteen gates, through which one can enter the city from various directions. Some of the gates are known as Raushnai Gate, Masti Gate, Yakki Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Khizri Gate, Shah Burj Gate, Akbari Gate and Lahori Gate. Some of the other significant buildings of Lahore built during the Mughal rule are Jahangir’s Quadrangle, Maktab Khana, Khilwat Khana, Picture Wall, Kala Burj and Hathi Paer.

Lahore architecture consists of a few mosques as well. An atypical style of all the major buildings was that they were surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Bahá'í Faith and Hinduism

Hinduism is recognized in the Bahá'í Faith as one of nine known religions and its scriptures are regarded as predicting the coming of Bahá'u'lláh (Kalki avatar). Krishna is included in the succession of Manifestations of God. The authenticity of the Hindu scriptures is seen as uncertain.

Family of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The family of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad originated in Samarqand in what is today Uzbekistan and had settled in the Punjab, India in the 16th century. The family held authority over the fortified hamlet of Qadian and surrounding villages since the time of Emperor Babur, and formed the elite of the Mughal Empire, but lost most of its estate following the rise of the Sikh Empire in the region.


The Ghaznavid dynasty (Persian: غزنویان‎ ġaznaviyān) was a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Iran, Afghanistan, much of Transoxiana and the northwest Indian subcontinent (part of Pakistan) from 977 to 1186. The dynasty was founded by Sabuktigin upon his succession to rule of the region of Ghazna after the death of his father-in-law, Alp Tigin, who was a breakaway ex-general of the Samanid Empire from Balkh, north of the Hindu Kush in Greater Khorasan.Although the dynasty was of Central Asian Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits and hence is regarded by some as a "Persian dynasty".Sabuktigin's son, Mahmud of Ghazni, declared independence from the Samanid Empire and expanded the Ghaznavid Empire to the Amu Darya, the Indus River and the Indian Ocean in the East and to Rey and Hamadan in the west. Under the reign of Mas'ud I, the Ghaznavid dynasty began losing control over its western territories to the Seljuq dynasty after the Battle of Dandanaqan, resulting in a restriction of its holdings to modern-day Afghanistan, Pakistan (Punjab and Balochistan). In 1151, Sultan Bahram Shah lost Ghazni to the Ghurid king Ala al-Din Husayn.

History of Bengal

The history of Bengal is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley, located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, at the apex of the Bay of Bengal and dominated by the fertile Ganges delta. The advancement of civilisation in Bengal dates back four millennia. The region was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Gangaridai. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers act as a geographic marker of the region, but also connects the region to the broader Indian subcontinent. Bengal, at times, has played an important role in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas (kingdoms), while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period. A thalassocracy and an entrepôt of the historic Silk Road, Ancient Bengal established colonies on Indian Ocean islands and in Southeast Asia; had strong trade links with Persia, Arabia and the Mediterranean that focused on its lucrative cotton muslin textiles. The region was part of several ancient pan-Indian empires, including the Mauryans and Guptas. It was also a bastion of regional kingdoms. The citadel of Gauda served as capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Hindu Sena Empire (11th–12th century). This era saw the development of Bengali language, script, literature, music, art and architecture.

The Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent absorbed Bengal into the medieval Islamic and Persianate worlds. Between the 1204 and 1352, Bengal was a province of the Delhi Sultanate. This era saw the introduction of the taka as monetary currency, which has endured into the modern era. An independent Bengal Sultanate was formed in 1352 and ruled the region for two centuries, during which a distinct form of Islam based on Sufism and the Bengali language emerged. The ruling elite also turned Bengal into the easternmost haven of Indo-Persian culture. The Sultans exerted influence in the Arakan region of Southeast Asia, where Buddhist kings copied the sultanate's governance, currency and fashion. A relationship with Ming China flourished under the sultanate.The Bengal Sultanate was notable for its Hindu aristocracy, including the rise of Raja Ganesha and his son Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah as usurpers. Hindus served in the royal administration as prime ministers and poets. Under the patronage of Sultans like Alauddin Hussain Shah, Bengali literature began replacing the strong influence of Sanskrit in the region. Hindu principalities included the Koch Kingdom, Kingdom of Mallabhum, Kingdom of Bhurshut and Kingdom of Tripura; and the realm of powerful Hindu Rajas such as Pratapaditya and Raja Sitaram Ray. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Isa Khan, a Muslim Rajput chief, who led the Baro Bhuiyans (twelve landlords), dominated the Bengal delta. Following the decline of the sultanate, Bengal came under the suzerainty of the Mughal Empire, as its wealthiest province. Under the Mughals, Bengal Subah generated 50% of the empire's gross domestic product (GDP) and 12% of the world's GDP, According to economic historian Indrajit Ray, it was globally prominent in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding, with the capital Dhaka having a population exceeding a million people and being more wealthy than all European empires.The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire led to quasi-independent states under the Nawabs of Bengal, subsequent Maratha expeditions in Bengal, and finally the conquest by the British East India Company.

The British took control of the region from the late 18th century. The company consolidated their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Battle of Buxar in 1764 and by 1793 took complete control of the region. The plunder of Bengal directly contributed to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, with the capital amassed from Bengal used to invest in British industries such as textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and greatly increase British wealth, while at the same time leading to deindustrialisation in Bengal. Kolkata (or Calcutta) served for many years as the capital of British controlled territories in India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in the expansion of Western education, culminating in development of science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal—a state of India—and East Bengal—a part of the newly created Dominion of Pakistan that later became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971.

History of Pakistan

The history of Pakistan encompasses the history of the region constituting modern-day Pakistan, which is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian Subcontinent and the surrounding regions of South Asia, East Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. Anatomically modern humans are thought to have arrived on the Pakistan between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Settled life which involves the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in Pakistan around 7,000 BCE. The domestication of wheat and barley rapidly followed by that of goats, sheep, and cattle, has been documented at Mehrgarh, Balochistan. By 4,500 BCE, settled life had become more widely prevalent, and eventually evolved into the Indus Valley Civilization, an early civilization of the Old world which was larger in land area than both of its contemporaries Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia combined. It flourished between 2,500 BCE and 1,900 BCE with the headquarters of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, centred mainly in Central and South Pakistan.Indus Valley Civilisation was noted for developed new techniques in handicraft, carnelian products, seal carving, metallurgy, urban planning, baked brick houses, efficient drainage systems, water supply systems and clusters of large non-residential buildings. It was the first civilization to use wheeled transport in form of bullock carts and also used boats. Indus civilisation depended significantly on trade. The trade routes which traverse the Indus Valley linking the Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent and the Orient have attracted people from as far as Greece and Mongolia. In the beginning of the second millennium BCE climate change, with persistent drought, led to the abandonment of the urban centers of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Its population resettled in smaller villages and mixed with Indo-Aryan tribes, who moved into the other areas of Indian subcontinent in several waves of migration, also driven by the effects of this climate change.Gandhara grave culture started to emerge in 1,600 BCE which led to the evolution of Gandhara Civilization in early Vedic period. This Vedic period was also marked by the composition of the Rigveda, which was then spread to other parts of South Asia. Gandhara civilization flourished between 1,500 BCE and 500 BCE with the headquarters of Taxila and Peshawar, mainly centred in North-West Pakistan. It was an educational center of Bactrian Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. It also became a major center for Greco-Buddhism under the Indo-Greeks and Gandharan Buddhism under later dynasties. Famed for its local tradition of Greco-Buddhist Art, Gandhara attained its height under the rule of Kushan Empire. It "flourished at the crossroads of Asia," connecting trade routes and absorbing cultural influences from diverse civilizations. Gandhara laterly became part of Achaemenid Empire along with Indus Valley after the Persion invasions. Besides the Achaemenid presence in Indus Valley, Ror dynasty established in South and Southwest Pakistan.Central Pakistan became part of Macedonian Empire after the defeat of King Porus in the battle of Hydaspes from Alexander the Great. Most of the Pakistan conquered by Maurya Empire during 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. From the 3rd century BCE to 4th century AD, many kingdoms ruled Pakistan including Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, Kushan, Indo-Parthian and Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom. This era saw the emergence of Indo-Greek art and Kushan coinage. During 5th century, White Huns attacked Gandhara, sacked its cities and burnt down its many monasteries and centres of learning. After the White Huns, Gupta Empire dominanted and promoted Hinduism and Sanskrit. But the invasions of Alchon Huns contributed to the fall of Gupta Empire. After the Gupta decline, for next two centuries until the arrival of Islam, Hindu and Buddhist dynasties made hold over the region such as Rais in South Pakistan while Kabul Shahis in North-West Pakistan. Rais were succeeded to Brahmins in 7th century.Islam arrived in Pakistan with the conquest of Makran (Balochistan) by the Rashidun Caliphate during the era of Caliph Umar. Next strong presence witnessed the conquest of Sindh and Multan led by Muhammad bin Qasim against the Raja Dahir of Brahmin dynasty. During the decline of Abbasid Caliphate in the 9th century, the control of Sindh and Balochistan gone to the Arab Muslim Habbari dynasty, which was in turn succeeded to Muslim Rajput Soomra dynasty in the 11th century. Mahmud Ghazni established the Islamic rule over Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by abolishing the rule of Hindu Shahis in the year of 1021 CE. These conquests resulted the conversion of local population to Islam and propagation of Arabic and Persian languages in conquered lands. During the Ghaznavid Era, Lahore was established and became centre of Persian literature, especially Persian poetry. After the fall of Lahore to Ghurid Empire, the permanent rule of Islam over the region was established by the Ghurids with their conquest in the second battle of Tarain.Ghurid Empire was succeeded to Delhi Sultanate which was ruled by five successive dynasties named as Mamluk, Khalji, Tughlaq, Sayyid and Lodi. During initial years of sultanate, Lahore served the capital of Indian subcontinent and laterly, Multan and Lahore after Delhi were the main administrative centres of the sultanate. Mongols attacked Punjab in 1297–98 and in 1306 while Sindh in 1298, but all times decisively defeated by Alauddin Khalji. Timur invaded the Punjab and sacked many cities in 1398 during his campaign of South Asia. After the defeat of Ibrahim Lodhi in the battle of Panipat, the rule of Delhi Sultanate was ended in 1526. The 15th century is considered the "Golden age of Sindh". The period of Delhi Sultanate saw the fusion of Persian and Indian aspects of civilisation, language, culture and

architecture that caused the formation of Indo-Persian culture, Indo-Islamic architecture, Delhi Sultanate literature and Hindavi language. This all has clear impact on the modern Pakistan. Urdu formerly known as Hindavi is the national language of Pakistan.The early modern period started with the Mughal Empire came into power. Mughul rule was briefly interrupted by Sur Empire which is credited to built Grand Trunk Road, a road connected the Pakistan with Afghanistan and India. The religion of Sikhism also originated during Mughal era in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Mughal rule was the time of economic development, prosperity and peace for Pakistan which remained nearly two centuries and also the Golden age of region. They are responsible for spreading Urdu and built numberless Masjids, mausoleums, madrasas and forts in Pakistan. The art, architecture, culture, cuisine and language of Mughal Empire greatly influenced the art, architecture, culture, cuisine and language of modern Pakistan. During the decline of Mughals in late 18th and early 19th century, Sikhs, Durranies and Marathas invaded central and north-west Pakistan while Kalhoras and Talpurs established themselves in south and southwest Pakistan. Around 1760's, the Sikh power in heartland of Pakistan was emerged in the form of twelve separate Misls.In early 19th century, large parts of Central and North Pakistan was conquered by Ranjit Singh and credited to establish Sikh Empire. During this era, Sikh architecture and culture was flourished. But Anglo-Sikh Wars proved a poison nail for Sikh rule. Pakistan is of that region that which became part of British rule very late as compare to other parts of South Asia. Talpurs defeated in 1843, Sikhs in 1849 and Balochs in 1873 by British. Public uprising against British led the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which was quickly quelled by the East India Company. This marked the beginning of British Raj, and saw rapid infrastructure development, economic decline, and famines. Two Nation Theory which was proposed by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan initiated the Pakistan Movement along with Indian independence movement in the early 20th century. After World War II, British announced they will leave subcontinent before July 1948. Indian subcontinent was partitioned and declared independent on 14th August, 1947 and thus Pakistan emerged on the map of world as an independent state.

India–Iran relations

India–Iran relations refers to the bilateral relations between the countries India and Iran. Independent India and Iran established diplomatic relations on 15 March 1950. During much of the Cold War period, relations between the Republic of India and the erstwhile Imperial State of Iran suffered due to their different political interests—non-aligned India fostered strong military links with the Soviet Union, while Iran enjoyed close ties with the United States. Following the 1979 revolution, relations between Iran and India strengthened momentarily. However, Iran's continued support for Pakistan and India's close relations with Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War impeded further development of Indo–Iranian ties. In the 1990s, India and Iran supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against the Taliban regime. They continue to collaborate in supporting the broad-based anti-Taliban government led by Ashraf Ghani and backed by the United States. The two countries signed a defence cooperation agreement in December 2002.From the economic perspective, Iran is the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, supplying more than 425,000 barrels of oil per day, and consequently India is one of the largest foreign investors in Iran's oil and gas industry. In 2011, the US$12 billion annual oil trade between India and Iran was halted due to extensive economic sanctions against Iran, forcing the Indian oil ministry to pay off the debt through a banking system through Turkey.From the geopolitical perspective, even though the two countries share some common strategic interests, India and Iran differ significantly on key foreign policy issues. India has expressed strong opposition against Iran's nuclear programme and whilst both nations continue to oppose the Taliban, India supports the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan unlike Iran.According to a BBC World Service Poll conducted at the end of 2005, 71% of Iranians viewed India's influence positively, with 21% viewing it negatively, the most favourable rating of India for any country in the world. Also, due to Iran being on good terms with both India and Pakistan, Iran has offered to serve as a mediator between the two.

James Achilles Kirkpatrick

Lieutenant Colonel James Achilles Kirkpatrick (1764 – 15 October 1805) was the British Resident at Hyderabad from 1798 to 1805. He also built the historic Koti Residency in Hyderabad, a landmark and major tourist attraction.

Mughal architecture

Mughal Architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation. Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

The Mughal dynasty was established after the victory of Babur at Panipat in 1526. During his five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. His grandson Akbar built widely, and the style developed vigorously during his reign. Among his accomplishments were Agra Fort, the fort-city of Fatehpur Sikri, and the Buland Darwaza. Akbar's son Jahangir commissioned the Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir.

Mughal architecture reached its zenith during the reign of Shah Jahan, who constructed the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. The end of his reign corresponded with the decline of Mughal architecture and the Empire itself.

Mughal gardens

Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Persian style of architecture. This style was heavily influenced by the Persian gardens particularly the Charbagh structure. Significant use of rectilinear layouts are made within the walled enclosures. Some of the typical features include pools, fountains and canals inside the gardens.


Pakistan (Urdu: پاکِستان‎), officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اِسلامی

جمہوریہ پاکِستان‎), is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles). Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China in the far northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent. The ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, and was later home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Muslims, Turco-Mongols, Afghans and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire (partially) and, most recently, the British Indian Empire. Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a similarly diverse geography and wildlife. Initially a dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah.A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is also a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector. It is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, and is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class. Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, terrorism, poverty, illiteracy, and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.

Pakistani poetry

Pakistan has a rich and diverse tradition of poetry that includes Urdu poetry, English poetry, Sindhi poetry, Pashto poetry, Punjabi poetry, Saraiki poetry, Baluchi poetry, and Kashmiri poetry. Sufi poetry has a strong tradition in Pakistan and the poetry of popular Sufi poets is often recited and sung.

Persian poetry is still common in Pakistan as a literary vehicle as Indo-Persian culture was prevalent for centuries amongst the ruling classes in South Asia. Many Sufi poets wrote their Kalam in Persian. Pakistan's best known poet Mohammad Iqbal also wrote many volumes of poetry in Persian.

Poetry is widely read across Pakistan. Gatherings for the recitations of poetry known as Mushaira frequently take place. Verses of popular poets are also used as political slogans by political activists. The national poet of Pakistan is Muhammad Iqbal.

Persianate society

A Persianate society is a society that is based on or strongly influenced by the Persian language, culture, literature, art and/or identity.The term "Persianate" is a neologism credited to Marshall Hodgson. In his 1974 book, The Venture of Islam: The expansion of Islam in the Middle Periods, he defined it thus: "The rise of Persian had more than purely literary consequences: it served to carry a new overall cultural orientation within Islamdom.... Most of the more local languages of high culture that later emerged among Muslims... depended upon Persian wholly or in part for their prime literary inspiration. We may call all these cultural traditions, carried in Persian or reflecting Persian inspiration, 'Persianate' by extension."The term designates ethnic Persians but also societies that may not have been ethnically Persian or Iranian but whose linguistic, material or artistic cultural activities were influenced by or based on Persianate culture. Examples of pre-19th-century Persianate societies were the Seljuq, Timurid, Mughal, and Ottoman dynasties, as well as the Qarmatians who entertained Persianate notions of cyclical time even though they did not invoke the Iranian genealogies in which these precepts had converged. "Persianate" is a multiracial cultural category, but it appears at times to be a religious category of a racial origin.

Persians in the Mughal Empire

Persian people were among one of the major ethnic groups, who accompanied the ethnic Turco-Mongol ruling elite of the Mughal Empire after its invasion of the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan. Throughout the Mughal Empire, a number of ethnic Persian technocrats, bureaucrats, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, poets, artists, theologians and Sufis migrated and settled in different parts of the Indian Subcontinent.

The name Mughal is derived from the original homelands of the Timurids, the Central Asian (Turkestan) steppes once conquered by Genghis Khan and hence known as Moghulistan, "Land of Mongols". Although early Mughals spoke the Chagatai language and maintained some Turko-Mongol practices, they became essentially Persianized and transferred the Persian literary and high culture to South Asia, thus forming the base for the Indo-Persian culture and the Spread of Islam in South Asia.

Turco-Persian tradition

The composite Turco-Persian tradition refers to a distinctive culture that arose in the 9th and 10th centuries in Khorasan and Transoxiana (present-day Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, minor parts of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan). It was Persianate in that it was centered on a lettered tradition of Iranian origin and it was Turkic insofar as it was founded by and for many generations patronized by rulers of Turkic heredity. In subsequent centuries, the Turco-Persian culture would be carried on further by the conquering peoples to neighbouring regions, eventually becoming the predominant culture of the ruling and elite classes of South Asia (Indian Subcontinent) specifically North India (Mughal Empire), Central Asia and East Turkestan (Northwest China) and large parts of West Asia (Middle East).

Yoga Vasistha

Yoga Vasistha (Sanskrit: योग-वासिष्ठ, IAST: Yoga-Vāsiṣṭha) is a philosophical text attributed to Valmiki, although the real author is unknown. The complete text contains over 29,000 verses. The short version of the text is called Laghu Yogavasistha and contains 6,000 verses. The text is structured as a discourse of sage Vasistha to Prince Rama. The text consists of six books. The first book presents Rama's frustration with the nature of life, human suffering and disdain for the world. The second describes, through the character of Rama, the desire for liberation and the nature of those who seek such liberation. The third and fourth books assert that liberation comes through a spiritual life, one that requires self-effort, and present cosmology and metaphysical theories of existence embedded in stories. These two books are known for emphasizing free will and human creative power. The fifth book discusses meditation and its powers in liberating the individual, while the last book describes the state of an enlightened and blissful Rama.Yoga Vasistha teachings are structured as stories and fables, with a philosophical foundation similar to those found in Advaita Vedanta, is particularly associated with drsti-srsti subschool of Advaita which holds that the "whole world of things is the object of mind". The text is notable for expounding the principles of Maya and Brahman, as well as the principles of non-duality, and its discussion of Yoga. The short form of the text was translated into Persian by the 15th-century.Yoga Vasistha is famous as one of the historically popular and influential texts of Hinduism. Other names of this text are Maha-Ramayana, Arsha Ramayana, Vasiṣṭha Ramayana, Yogavasistha-Ramayana and Jnanavasistha.

Z. A. Desai

Ziyauddin Abdul Hayy Desai (18 May 1925 - 24 March 2002; also spelt Ziauddin (ضيا الدين دیسائی in Urdu, ઝિયાઉદ્દીન દેસાઈ in Gujarati)) was an Indian epigraphist associated with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He was also a noted architectural historian and a literary scholar of the Indo-Persianate world as evidenced in his writings.

Battles andconflicts
See also
Successor states

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