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Bibi Ka Maqbara

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December 31, 1659
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Mirza Firuz Shah
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Architectural and Building
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Aurangzeb 1658–1707

Bibi Ka Maqbara

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The Bibi Ka Maqbara (English: "Tomb of the Lady") is a tomb located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It was commissioned in 1660 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the memory of his first and chief wife Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani) and is considered to be a symbol of Aurangzeb's 'conjugal fidelity'. It bears a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of Aurangzeb's mother, Mumtaz Mahal. Aurangzeb was not much interested in architecture though he had commissioned the small, but elegant, Pearl Mosque at Delhi. Bibi Ka Maqbara is the second largest structure that Aurangzeb has built, the largest being the Badshahi Mosque. The comparison to the Taj Mahal has often obscured its very own considerable charm. Due to the strong resemblance, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan). Bibi Ka Maqbara is the "principal monument" of Aurangabad and its historic city. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. Ata-ullah was the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the principal designer of the Taj Mahal. Aurangzeb's son, Muhammad Azam Shah was in later years put in charge of overseeing the repair-work of the mausoleum by Shah Jahan. Construction Bibi Ka Maqbara is believed to have been built between 1668 and 1669 C.E. According to the "Tarikh Namah" of Ghulam Mustafa, the cost of construction of the mausoleum was Rs. 668,203-7 (rupees six lakh, sixty-eight thousand, two hundred three and seven annas) – Aurangzeb allocated only Rs. 700,000 for its construction. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. The marble for this mausoleum was brought from mines near Jaipur. According to Tavernier, around three hundred carts laden with marble, drawn by at least 12 oxen, were seen by him during his journey from Surat to Golconda. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure (both due to the severe budgetary constraints imposed by Aurangzeb) had resulted in a poor copy of the latter. Features The mausoleum is laid out in a Charbagh formal garden. It stands at the centre of a huge enclosure measuring approximately 458 m. N-S X 275 m. E-W. Baradaris or pillared pavilions are located at the centre of north, east and western part of the enclosure wall. The high enclosure wall is crenellated with pointed arched recesses and bastions at regular intervals. The recesses are divided by pilasters, crowned with small minarets. The mausoleum is built on a high square platform with four minarets at its corners, which is approached by a flight of steps from the three sides. A mosque is found to the west of the main structure, a later addition by the Nizam of Hyderabad, resulting in closure of the west entrance. Entry to the mausoleum is through a main entrance gate on its south, which has foliage designs on brass plate on wood covering from the exterior. After passing through the entrance a small tank is provided and a low profile screen wall leads to the main structure. The screened pathway has a series of fountains at its centre. The mausoleum is encased with marble up to the dado level. Above the dado level, it is constructed of basaltic trap up to the base of the dome; the latter is again built of marble. A fine plaster covers the basaltic trap and given a fine polished finish and adorned with fine stucco decorations. The mortal remains of Rabia Daurani are placed below the ground level surrounded by an octagonal jali pierced marble screen with exquisite designs, which can be approached by a descending flight of steps. The roof of this chamber that corresponds to the ground level of the mausoleum is pierced by an octagonal opening and given a low barricaded marble screen. This makes the tomb viewable from the ground level through this octagonal opening. The mausoleum is crowned by a dome pierced with trellis works and accompanying panels decorated with flower designs. The structure is in the form of a hexagon, its angles ornamented with minarets.


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Ismail Mazari

average rating is null out of 5

Very good information.

MUGHAL IMAGES

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