Bibi ka Maqbara has the popularity as a poor man’s Taj Mahal. This tomb is said to have built for Aurangzeb’s wife by their son Azam Kahn in the year 1679. Azam Khan had the plan of creating the heritage site as a whole mausoleum with white marbles. His father Aurangzeb banned his son from pouring money into this project because it was meaningless to him. Then, finally, Bibi ka Maqbara was built mostly by lime which shanked off gradually with time. Biwi ka Maqbara may not be magnificent like the Taj Mahal, but if you are Aurangabad, it is a must place to visit by the travelers. This entire establishment has got its charm which is surrounded by large and green territory. It makes a great getaway from the bustle of the city. This is the scratch of the background of Bibi ka Maqbara.
But the story has much more facets to it. For instance, Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb considered his father’s luxury love with contempt and opulence. He chose the other way, that is, to live life simply, without pomp or glory. Aurangzeb was tied to his spiritual and religious beauty. This was inevitable because, at that time, the Mughal Empire in India was going through a massive dump economically, due to the lavishly spent lifestyle of the past rulers. As a result, a lot of money was decreased from the royal coffers. No other rulers after Aurangzeb could manage to create their niche in the history of India, not even in their conquests, or constructions, and Bibi ka Maqbara is one of the prime examples.
The Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed by the Azam Shah, as mentioned earlier, who was the eldest son of the late ruler of the Mughal Empire, Aurangzeb. He intended to rival his grandfather’s construction, the mighty Taj Mahal. Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed in the memory of Azam’s mother and Aurangzeb’s wife, Rabia Durrani. Since Aurangzeb lacked the proper amount of treasury to build the establishment, and also skilled labor, he built up Bibi ka Maqbara in limestone. This mighty erection can be denoted as a mini Taj. It’s another name is the Deccani Taj or the Taj of the Deccan. Azam Shah could only claim his fame through his only project which is this monument which was built in his mother’s memory. He succeeded his father for a concise period, specifically, three months to be exact. Later, he was defeated and then excited by his younger brother Shah Alam.
Photo by danchitnis
Visiting Biwi ka Maqbara
Once you get to visit this esteemed Palace, you will be able to find beautiful art work which lies all over the inner sanctum of the Maqbara. It is needless to say that the traveler, who has already seen Taj, will be able to relate the inner beauty of the place with its forbearer. Of course, it is not right to compare the establishment with Taj in the first place, because one can conclude the Maqbara as a poor cousin of Taj, at the very first glance. But, this structure is not that much younger than the other because, Taj Mahal was completed in the year 1653, and Biwi ka Maqbara was completed in 1653. The difference of age is not a major factor between the two, but the most striking thing is that the details and the opulence of these establishments are extremely poles apart. If the currency of India is considered today, Taj Mahal would have taken nearly 32 Million rupees for thcompletion, whereas, Bibi ka Maqbara would have taken merely seven lakhs.
Photo by Molesworth II
The entire structure of Bibi ka Maqbara in details
Bibi ka Maqbara was built in between 1650 ad and 1657 ad. At the very entrance, one will find an inscription saying this monument was built for Rabia ul Durrani or Dilras Banu Begum, the first wife of Shahjahan. The architect of this monument was Ata-Ulla. Hanspat Rai was the head engineer of the project in Hijri from 1660 ad to 1661 ad. Tawariq Namah of Ghulam Mustafa estimated that the construction money amounted to nearly 6,68,203.7 in the erstwhile Mughal Empire. The dimension of the Maqbara can be described to be standing in an enclosed area which measures 458 by 275 meters approximately, and it is surrounded by planned symmetrical gardens on the side with many channels, paved paths, fountains and also running waters. The mausoleum of Bibi ka Maqbara is constructed on a high platform square with four minarets on the side, specifically at its corners.
The mausoleum is approached with the help of a flight of stairs from all the four sides around it from the ground level. The upper, as well as the lower body of the building, is made up of marble decorated with intricate and detailed carving. The middle of the mausoleum is covered with plaster and has a basaltic trap. Stucco work is adorned in the middle. An octagonal gallery runs around the interior portion of the mausoleum so that one can have a great imposing view of the grave below it. The interior of the tower has a central dome which is pierced with windows and trellis work. It is also accompanied by several panels with flowers.
A mind-blowing fact about the Bibi ka Maqbara is that the marbles were brought in from Jaipur. According to the records of Tavernier, who was a French gem merchant and traveler, around 300 different carts were drawn by 12 oxen were used to carry the marble from Jaipur, which he witnessed to while traveling to Golconda from Surat. Bibi ka Maqbara may not be a beautiful work as the mighty Taj Mahal, that is also one of the Wonders of the World; on the other hand, Bibi ka Maqbara has a love story of mother and son etched deep into its walls, which a traveller can witness when he or she pays a trip to this beautiful Mughal establishment.
Featured Photo by danchitnis