This is an appreciation of architecture of Islam in India. Indo-Islamic architecture is characterised by the prolific use of sandstone -- red stone. It is the culmination of the long tradition of Islamic art that came into bloom right from the faith's first expansion beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the late seventh century. All the great Mughal emperors were prolific commissioners of monuments and their architecture thus remained the finest representation of this syncretion. Mughal architecture has been rich in ornament, almost at times overwhelming the architecture itself. With lively pictures, giving you a feeling of actually experiencing them, the book is divided into three major sections -- Islamic ornament, Common forms in Islamic ornament, and Mughal architecture. Indeed a tribute to the Islamic architecture in India. A musthave book for all who love Mughal architecture. The pictures present a feast of craftsmanship, as an enduring romance with shape and stone, in its unending variations. For a visitor to these buildings, the photographs allow a return, a recollection of architecture as a phenomenon, giving a sensual experience of the visit, a feel for the infinite craft. Mustansir Dalvi's text complements Pitkar's photographs by guiding the reader to an understanding of the variety and symbolism of ornamental forms that grace Islamic architecture, especially in the Indian context. Ornament in its many manifestations transforms the architecture, dematerializing immense monuments into elegant jewel-boxes. Dalvi shows how artisan and patron came together in India in a unique integration of two divergent world views and cultures to create a lasting syncretism of Islamic and Hindu traditions that reached its zenith in the architecture of the Mughal period.
Prof. Pitkar was awarded the prestigious Senior fellowship in the field of photography: 2000 – 2002 for his work on ‘Photo study – Analysis of Motifs and Patterns in Mughal Architecture’ by Government of India, Ministry of Culture. He was also the chief Photographer for the Maharaja of Udaipur’s book titled ‘Jagmandir – city – within – a city’. The books under publication based on Pitkar sirs works include ‘Romance in red stone’ based on his fellowship work and ‘Queen stepwell at Pathan’.