India, 1200–1650

In 1206 C.E. the Delhi Sultanate began when a Turkish slave-warrior declared himself Sultan of Delhi in modern-day northern India. This map shows the extent of that Muslim empire throughout the Indian subcontinent as it expanded over the next three hundred years. Architectural highlights include the twelfth-century Qutb Minar complex in Delhi, India (3): the tower measures some 236 feet high. Beginning in the early sixteenth century, the Mughal Dynasty gained ascendency over the Delhi Sultanate. The Mughals ruled a vast empire, encompassing most of South Asia, until the middle of the nineteenth century. The city of Fatehpur Sikri (4), was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar and served as the empire's capital from 1571 until 1585. Other Mughal architecture includes the still famous Taj Mahal (1), which was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1653 in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The map inset shows the various language regions in the area. This language diversity is reflective of the various cultural and religious differences more generally throughout the area. These differences often produced conflict, though just as often the productive tension resulted in exciting cross-cultural developments.