Mughal Miniature Paintings - The Language of the Colors. In the remnant chronicles of the past, Mughals stand synonymously with art, culture, and beauty. The Mughal kings were royal patrons of art and the artists enjoyed positions of importance in the royal court, with several artists becoming a part of the inner circle of the King. While Mughal lifestyle saw an amalgamation of various cultures owing to their matrimonial alliances, which transcended the cultural boundaries, causing the era of the Mughal rule to emerge as the most secular times in the Indian history. While Mughal chronicles, buildings, paintings and music tell several stories about the rich tradition that they created, it is actually the Mughal Miniature Paintings, which added a new dimension and gave new direction to Art- in the terms of its perception and precision. The style of Mughal paintings did not emerge in a vacuum, so to say. The antique miniature paintings, which have contributed significantly to the understanding of Indian history, developed in the royal courts of Mughal emperors between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, with colossal contribution from Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, and Jain traditions. Mughal miniatures, fall under the umbrella term of Indian miniature paintings, and are a part of an exquisite tradition, which depends upon the precision of a needle and the transcendental vision of the world around. While the tradition of Indian miniatures marked the country, it was during the era of the Mughals that the miniatures emerged as an important part of the documentation of cultural history of the times. While the other schools of Indian Miniature paintings have found themselves los in the milieu of civilizations and time, Mughal miniature paintings have found themselves admired by the demagogue and the scholars alike, owing to their intricate designs and exquisite detailing, which are not merely beautiful paintings, but most sincere story-tellers of the times that were past. Mughal miniature paintings survive as book illustrations, single sheets preserved in albums, ivory and wood inscriptions and clothe paintings. However, to say that they art form flourished through the Mughal regime would be to overlook the contribution of several rulers to the art form and the opposition that it faced from the other kings. Historians have classified the period of the development of the art form into four major eras, which are as follows: • The Akbar Period • The Jahangir Period • The Shah Jahan Period • The Aurangzeb Period The Mughal paintings bore the marks of Persian and Indian techniques, as told earlier, which allowed them to surpass the barriers of cultural differences and emerge as a more comprehensive description of the contemporary times. The Mughal miniature paintings, initially, based themselves on the abstract and formal styles of Persian times. However, after the victory of Mughals over the Delhi Sultanate of the Lodis in 1526 at the battle of Panipat, the miniature paintings, as an art form saw the abstraction in the paintings disappear, to make way for a more realistic style of portraiture, with depiction of plants, animals, battle scenes, hunting scenes and harems, which narrated a more detailed story of the times that were.