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Tomb of Shamsher Khan, Batala

Mirza Firuz Shah
Architectural and Building
Akbar 1556–1605

Tomb of Shamsher Khan, Batala



Tomb of Shamsher Khan at Batala Situated to the south-east of the town, near Baring College, is the tomb of Shamsher Khan Rajput1 9 (Ulus. X & 29). The inscription on the tomb gives out that Shamsher Khan, the resident of pargatia Nasrabad in .sardar Manakpur, constructed a reservoir, a mosque and a garden at Batala in 997-98 A. H./ 1 589-90 A.D.20 However, there is no reference to the tomb itself. Presumably it was also erected about the same period. The tomb stands on a raised plinth measuring 34 tn. by 39 m., surrounded by a low wall having bastions at corners. This plinth is approached through a simple projected gateway to the south. Its interior still bears the traces of painted decorations. The tomb is an octagonal structure, with alternative sides measuring 8.3 m. and 6.1 m. in length. The exterior has two storeys of recesses. The smaller sides have semi -octagonal recesses whereas the larger sides have rectangular ones, both covered with pointed arches. The space between these recesses is relieved with two vertical rows of sunken panels, one on its cither side. The whole structure is crowned with a low dome. The soffits of the recesses are adorned with stalactites. The spandrels of the arches are filled with painted arabesque and geometrical designs. In addition to the above, the exterior had horizontal panels of decorative inscriptions, only the traces of which are extant. The entrance of the tomb which is to the south bears the red sandstone inscription. The interior is a regular octagon of three metres side. Each of its walls has two storeys of recesses, similar to those on the exterior. A cornice-like moulding separates the two storeys. The interior is richly embellished with arabesques and geometrical designs, the main colours used being deep bluish green and Indian red (Ulus, 30). But for the entrance wall the rest have rectangular panels of Quranic inscriptions.

One interesting decoration is a geometrical design of swastikas, along the base of the dome on the interior (lilus. 31). The soffit of the dome is painted with flowers, trees, plants, geometrical designs, vase and flower motif, etc. Shamasher Khan The account of the founding and embellishing of Batála given in the Gazetteers agrees generally with that in the Khaláşat, but it does not seem correct to say that Shamsher Khán was a foster-brother of Akbar. There was a Shamsuddín who was Akbar's foster-father, and who was killed by Adham Khán, but Shamsher Khán does not appear to have been his son. One MS. calls Shamsher Khán a eunuch. The others speak of him as Khwajah. According to the Khaláşat, Rái Rám Deo Bhathí, zamindár of Kapúrthala, was the founder of Batala. It is said that in his time the Panjáb was in a very desolate state on account of a flood, which had laid the whole country under water, from the Sutlej to the Chenáb, and also of the incursions of the Moguls. Rái Rám therefore got the whole of the Panjáb in farm from Tatár Khán, the Sübahdar (Governor) of Lahore, for nine lakhs of tankás. I understand this to mean rupis, but Sher 'Ali has taken it to mean takas, i.e. double pice. If so, the rent would be about Rs. 28,000. It chanced, says Suján Rái, that Rái Rám embraced Mahommadanism, a circumstance which led to his advancement. In 877 A.H. (1472 A.D.), in the reign of Bahlól Lodí, Rái Rám founded Batála, and it was afterwards embellished by Shamsher Khán and others. [Apparently the Hijra date given in the text is wrong, for 1522 is given as the corresponding Vikramáditya date, but this would agree with 870 A.H. (1466 A.D.).] Suján Rái says that batdlah means "change" in Panjábí, and that the town got the name of Batála because the site first chosen was not good, and so was altered to another place in the vicinity. 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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