The Essential Guide to Mughal Weddings: Introduction

2013 Oct 28 - by dulhan
The vast reach of the Mughal Empire of the 1500s and 1600s may have ended with the victory of the British Army in 1857, but the Mughal influence on India’s art, architecture, fashion, and culture still persists today. They left behind an influence on India so deep, that almost no form of art and culture has been untouched by the Mughals.

From the Taj Mahal to delicious Persian foods, the Mughals had a grand sense of style. Any modern day maharani would be left awestruck by their grandeur, attention to detail, and opulence.

So, we would like to introduce you to our wedding guide series on the Mughals. There maybe no Mughals left today, but their influence on India, should not be footnoted. You'll find a collection of eight articles in the series, broken down below.

Mughal Wedding: Introduction - You're here!

Mughal Engagement/Pre-Wedding Traditions

Mughal Wedding Traditions

Mughal Post-Wedding Traditions

Mughal Bridal Attire and Jewelry

Mughal Groom's Attire

Mughal Food and Desserts

Mughal Modern Touches & Inspiration

The Marriage Procession of Dara Shikoh

The Mughal lifestyle of luxury, and leisure was an excellent canvas for creativity in design. Mughal fashions primarily featured a unique use of textiles and delicate embroidery. Under the reign of Emperor Akbar, local textiles such as silk, khaki, and Kashmiri wool became popular. These textiles became wildly popular when the hit the fashion scenes in Europe.

A Page of the Dastan-i Amir Hamza

Back then, “costume design” was an art form – each emperor adopted his own contemporary style of clothing, whether it was Babar’s long coat or Akbar’s treasured “chakdar jama” tunic. It wasn’t just women who benefited from this golden age in fashion – men were introduced to long overcoats called atamsukh, fancy “juti” shoes, new turban-tying styles, and even scarves.

Mughlai foods are known for their extravagance in both price and taste – literally named “shahi” for royalty! These dishes contain heavy cream, dried fruits, and saffron. The biryanis and gravy dishes are slow-cooked with flavor for hours. As for meats, chicken is a common base for many Mughlai delights, like the mouth-wateringly creamy Chicken Mughlai.

Padshahnama Plate 10 - Shah-Jahan receives his three eldest sons during his accession ceremony.

The famous faces of Mughal architecture can be seen in wonders such as the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, but the usage of enameled tiles, mosaics, and white marbles was common during the time period. Some of the most gorgeous venues for weddings, parties, and events can be set up inside a Mughal-esque garden with fountains, pools, and bright flowers.

The Mughal Empire may have had an untimely death, and since we can’t know what other artistic marvels may have come from the reign – we’ll have to stick to our imaginations and historical references for contemporary ideas. The Essential Guide to Mughal Weddings hopes to inspire you while you plan your royal ceremony.

Check out more specific traditions and rituals in the upcoming Engagement/Pre-Wedding Traditions, Wedding Traditions, and Post-Wedding Traditions sections of the series.


Photos courtesy of and