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Tomb of Shah Quli Khan at Narnaul

December 31, 1587
Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Akbar 1556–1605

Tomb of Shah Quli Khan at Narnaul



Tomb of Shah Quli Khan at Narnaul Shah Quli Khan served as governor of Narnaul for 42 years in the reign of Emperor Akbar. He was the man whose arrow pierced Hemu'seye in the second battle of Panipat. Abul Fazl ascribes to him the restoration of the Mughal dynasty and ranks him second only to Bairam Khan. In the 1570s, Quli Khan was named as the Mughal governor of Narnaul. As governor, Quli began a massive construction program across the territory. His first major project was to construct a tomb in his own honor. The tomb, which has been cited as an excellent example of Mughal architectural style, was built between 1774 and 1775. The tomb featured a planned garden, and was part of Quli's gubernatorial estate. Fifteen years after building his tomb, Quli Khan began constructing a palace for himself. This building would become known as the Jal Mahal.[2] The palace was built in the middle of an artificial lake, and is adorned with art and carvings. One such carving was done in such a way as to praise Quli Khan's victory over Hemi some forty years earlier. Upon his death, Quli Khan (who was known for his generosity) donated much of his wealth to his courtiers; it has also been posited that this donation was a way to circumvent the inheritance laws of the Mughal empire. His tomb stands in a large walled-in enclosure provided with a gateway in the southern wall. This gateway itself is an elegant structure, locally called Tripolia (Ulus. 24). As per the inscription it bears, this gate was built nearly a decade after the tomb, i.e., in 997 A.H./ 1588-89 A.D. It is a three-storeyed building with slightly sloping walk of rubble covered with a thick layer of plaster. One long flight of steps on its either side leads directly to the third storey which comprises one central room having a deep verandah on all its sides and a square room in each corner.

The central room is decorated with graceful designs (Ulus. 25). Under the long flights of steps, double stairs lead to the second storey. The interior as well as the facade of the gateway are adorned with pleasing designs. To the north-east of this gateway is the tomb proper standing on a platform, octagonal in shape, each side measuring II 5 in. (Ulus, IX & 26). It faces south and bears two inscriptions in red sandstone. The tomb itself is also octagonal with each side 5,2 m. outside and 3.25 m. inside The floor level is marked with a projected chhajja all around the building. Each face of the tomb has a semi -octagon al recess covered with a pointed arch. Leaving the southern one, all the three doorways have been screened with trellis work which provided subdued fight to the interior (Ulus. 27), The rest of the space on each face is divided into panels each filled with designs carved in red sandstone. The parapet of the building, which is 8.5 m. above the platform, is decorated with merlons. Each merlon has a carved flower in it unlike Ibrahim Khan's tomb in the same town where each merlon has the word ‘Allah* inscribed on it. The whole is crowned with a white plastered dome, resting on an octagonal drum whose cardinal sides have one ventilator each, covered with a jali. The interior of the tomb is faced with marble and has six graves in it. The soffit of the domical ceiling is adorned with designs painted in red and green colours. The tomb owes its attractive appearance both to its harmonious proportions and the masterly combination of colours, i.e., grey of its body, red of the designs and white of the dome. The inscription over its entrance furnishes the date of erection of the tomb which is 982 A.H J ! 574-75 A.D. To Read More Visit This Book Link Mughal Library

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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


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