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The Tomb of Nur Jahan

September 30, 1622
Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Jahangir 1605–1627

The Tomb of Nur Jahan



The Tomb of Nur Jahan (Urdu: مقبرہ نورجہاں‎) is a 17th-century mausoleum in Lahore, Pakistan, that was built for the Mughal empress Nur Jahan. The tomb's marble was plundered during the Sikh era in 18th century for use at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. The red sandstone mausoleum, along with the nearby tomb of Jahangir, tomb of Asif Khan, and Akbari Sarai, forms part of an ensemble of Mughal monuments in Lahore's Shahdara Bagh.


Mehr-un-Nissa, bestowed with the title Nur Jahan, meaning "Light of the World," was the fourth child of Asmat Begum and her husband Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who had both immigrated from Persia. She was first married at the age of 17 to a Persian adventurer named Sher Afghan Ali Quli Khan Istajlu, who was renowned for his brilliant military career, and from whom she bore a daughter, Ladli Begum before he died in 1607. Her father served the Mughal emperor Akbar, who bestowed him with the title of Itmat-ud-daulah ("Pillar of the State"), while her brother Asif Khan served her next husband, the Emperor Jahangir. Nur Jahan was the most powerful Mughal Empress. During her reign between 1611 and 1627, she effectively shaped the expanding Mughal Empire, and contributed towards religious causes and helped foster overseas trade.


Having survived Jahangir by 18 years, she died at the age of 68 years and much of the mausoleum was most probably constructed during her lifetime. The tomb took four years to complete at the cost of Rupees three lakhs. Following the ascent of Shah Jahan to the Mughal throne, she was provided a yearly allowance of 200,000 rupees. Given the poor state of relations between her and Shah Jahan, it is likely that she funded the construction of her tomb from her annual allowance. As with the Tomb of Asif Khan, Nur Jahan's tomb was stripped of its ornamental stones and marble during the occupation of Lahore by the army of Ranjit Singh. Much of the materials were used to decorated the Golden Temple in Amritsar, and it has been said that half the Golden Temple's splendour derives from marble plundered from Nur Jahan's shrine. The Shahdara ensemble of monuments, including the Nur Jahan tomb, suffered under British rule when a railway line was built between the tombs of Asif Khan and Nur Jahan. The tomb underwent minor repairs but is slated for major restoration. 


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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