1500–1857

The Mughal Empire ruled much of the Indian subcontinent during this time. Several smaller Hindu kingdoms in the south emerged after the fall of the Vijayangara empire. We also see the rising influence of European trading companies in the region, dominated by the British East India Company which arrived in 1608.

1500–1857

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Humayun’s tomb
Humayun’s tomb

This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.

Goa stone and gold case
Goa stone and gold case

“Works of art aren’t what they seem always.”   Goa Stone and Gold Case, late 17th–early 18th century, container: gold; pierced, repoussé, with cast legs and finials Goa stone: compound of organic and inorganic materials, from India, Goa, 6.7 cm high (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) Video from The Met

Three Aspects of the Absolute
Three Aspects of the Absolute

Out of the absolute of Hindu metaphysics comes the nearest visualisation you can get to of a trance.

Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan
Krishna Holds Up Mount Govardhan

"One of the great masterpieces of world art was really given rise to by the openness of the Muslim mind."

Cashmere shawls
Cashmere shawls

For centuries, handwoven cloth from the Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent has been revered for its exquisite softness and decorative surface patterns.

Conservation: Indian jama
Conservation: Indian jama

Follow V&A's conservation team as they carefully clean and repair a magnificent 19th century jama – a style of garment worn by men in India for centuries.

A page from the Mewar Ramayana
A page from the Mewar Ramayana

Eleven painted scenes in a single page.

Exploring Color in Mughal Paintings
Exploring Color in Mughal Paintings

Curious about the vibrant colors in Mughal paintings? Learn about the art of imperial painting here.

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

This huge white-marble mausoleum is recognized the world over for its splendor, symmetry, and stunning gardens.

Bichitr, <em>Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings</em>
Bichitr, Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings

Who’s that in the plumed hat? From emperors to kings, the painter Bichitr mastered court portraiture.

Illustration from the <em>Akbarnama</em>
Illustration from the Akbarnama

Under Akbar the Great, the Mughal style of painting blended Indian, Persian, and Western artistic traditions.

Tipu’s Tiger
Tipu’s Tiger

Made for a sultan, this unusual automaton emblematizes the fierce hostility between British and Indian rulers.