Nizam Sikander Jah of Hyderabad with his ministers in a garden.Courtesy of Simon Ray Indian and Islamic Works of Art, London
Nizam Sikander Jah of Hyderabad with his ministers in a garden.
Courtesy of Simon Ray Indian and Islamic Works of Art, London

Splendour of the Royal Courts of India

On his feet a pair of buskins embroidered with pearls, the toes sharp and turning up.
- Description of the Emperor Jehangir (1605-1627) by Sir Thomas Roe (1581-1644) English ambassador

The King of Kolhapuri received presents consisting of a pair of sandals inlaid with precious stones and shalvar trousers which were as bright as the sun.
- Merutunga (fl.1.1304), Prabandhacintamani

The Mughals arrived from Central Asia in the 16th century, and dominated India until the collapse of their dynasty in the 18th century. During this period Indian civilization attained levels of style and luxury never previously witnessed in the world.

Jewel-encrusted golden shoes complemented dazzling gold-enriched silks to create sumptuous displays of power, wealth and taste. These glamorous shoes were used for ceremony and display and were frequently used for ritual rather than utilitarian functions.

The image of Mughal culture continues to evoke India in the popular imagination and contrasts sharply with Gandhi's message of simplicity and self-reliance.
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