Bibi Ka Maqbara : Mini Taj Mahal
Bibi Ka Maqbara is well recognised as poor man’s Taj Mahal or Mini Taj Mahal. This a mausoleum of Aurangzeb’s wife, built by her son Azam Khan in 1679. Azam planned to build the complete mausoleum with white marble, however, his thrifty father, Aurangzeb, banned his son from spending so much money for his design. To match a marble, Bibi Ka Maqbara was mostly covered with a lime, that shanked off partially over time.
Bibi ka Maqbara was built in the remembrance of Dilras Banu Begum, wife of Aurangzeb. She was the first wife of Aurangzeb whom he loved very much. Located in the city of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India, lies the beautiful building Bibi Ka Maqbara (Tomb of the Lady). It was built in the 17th century by Prince Azam Shah, son of the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, as a tribute to his mother Begum Rabia Daurani. The vault bears an uncanny similarity to the Taj Mahal of Agra and seems to be motivated from the world famous monument hence it is also sometimes referred to as the Dakkhani Taj (Taj Deccan). Bibi ka Maqbara is a prime attraction of Aurangabad.
Bibi ka Maqbara was built on the foundation of the Mughal structure. Aurangzeb created the memorial in the memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum. The monument was built in the centre of the field.
Persian who was also called Ustad – Ata – Ullah was a chief building of This Bibi Ka Maqbara structure. He has tried to represent The Taj Mahal but somehow we can not see the excellence which we can see in the Taj Mahal. Overall it looks like a Taj Mahal but when we examine both buildings then we can see that Bibi ka Maqbara is a poor reflection of the Taj Mahal.
According to the ancient legend “Tarikh Namah” written by Ghulam Mustafa, the mausoleum was created and erected by the Persian builder Ata-Ullah with the help of an engineer Hanspat Rai. The marbles for the mausoleum were hauled on ox-driven carts and came from the legendary mines of Jaipur with the entire cost of construction during the period amounting to roughly 668,000(INR).
However, the construction is very effective, not too much as Taj Mahal is but it is surely worth attending if you are in Aurangabad. This erection has its own magic, surrounded by large green territory it is a great getaway from the bustling city.
Birth of Dilras Banu Begum
Dilras Banu Begum was the girl of Mirza Badi-uz-Zaman Safavi who belonged to Safavid dynasty. His other name was Shahnawaz Khan and he was the governor of Gujarat. Aurangzeb married her in the year 1637. She was his first and the beloved wife.
The monument is outlined in Charbagh layout and is installed on a tall building. Its walls are crenellated with arched recesses and bastions. The cells are crowned with small towers and divided by pilasters. On the west is a mosque, built by Nizam of Hyderabad, a bit later than the development of the main edifice. The façade has its doors adorned with foliage patterns. Moving a few steps forward is a small tank and a screen leading to the main structure.
The mortal remains of Rabia Daurani can be reached by the diving flight of stairs as it is placed below ground levels. This structure is covered with a dome adorned with trellis works and decorations with floral motifs.
Bibi Ka Maqbara, like several other Mughal mausoleums, is built over a suggested square stage. It has four highly embellished hexagonal spires in its four corners which can be addressed through a flight of steps on three sides. The grave of Rabia Daurani is placed below the ground level and is surrounded by an octagonal marble screen. The tomb is crowned by a cupola pierced with trellis works and its boards are painted with beautiful floral designs. A small mosque was later added to the west of the mausoleum, by the Nizam of Hyderabad, which ultimately led to the cessation of the western approach.
Just like the Taj Mahal, it is a representative of the typical Mughal architecture. The Charbagh or a Persian style of garden layout is the different characteristic of Bibi ka Maqbara where quadrilateral garden space is divided into four shorter sections.
The building stands on a raised square-shaped platform with four towers at its corners. It can be entered from three sides. The small walkway from the main gate has a series of fountains at the centre and is flanked by lush green gardens. A closer encounter reveals that it is not entirely made out of marble, as it lacks the shine.
The Maqbara is crowned by an onion dome. The main dome and minarets are smaller than the Taj Mahal. It is encased with marble only up to the dado level i.e. only the lower sections. The upper portion is constructed with a high-quality plaster, which gives a marble-like finish. However, the main dome is made of marble. Because of the use of such alternatives of marble, it is also referred to as the ‘Poor Man’s Taj’. The moral remains can be viewed from the ground level inside an exquisitely designed marble chamber.
Death of Dilras Banu Begum
Dilras Banu Begum gave birth to five children whose names are as follows −
Mohammad Azam Shah
Sultan Mohammad Akbar
There were difficulties during the birth of Sultan Muhammad Akbar which led to Puerperal Fever and then death after one month. Aurangzeb was aggrieved at her death and after three years he built the mausoleum in her remembrance.
Association of the Tomb
The grave was made between 1651 and 1661AD with a price of around Rs. 6.6 lakhs whereas Aurangzeb gave Rs. seven lakhs for the development. Ataullah designed the monument while Hanspat Rai was the engineer as told by AN inscription at the doorway. The topographic point is made by the utilization of marble which was brought from mines of Jaipur.
Around 300 carts each pulled by twelve oxen were laden with marble and were brought to Aurangabad for the construction. The builders tried to make the monument similar to Taj Mahal at Agra but due to low budget and architecture declination, it could not be achieved.
Things to Recognize
Bibi ka Maqbara Timings : 8 am to 8 pm on all days.
Entry Fees: Rs. 10/person for Indians and Rs. 250/person for foreigners.
Best Time to Tour: October to March would be the best time to visit this place as the weather remains very pleasant.
Other Appeals around Bibi ka Maqbara
Aurangabad Caves: There are 12 rock-cut Buddhist shrines located on a hill just 2 km north from Bibi Ka Maqbara. You will get a panoramic view of the city of Aurangabad from the top.
Panchakki: A monument displaying the extremely scientific process of generating energy that existed in the medieval period. It is just 2.5 km from Bibi Ka Maqbara.These structures include wonderful pictures of Mughal and Nizam periods.
After passing the gate, one comes across a small tank and a screen wall that guides to the central construction. As one moves through the screened pathway, one can see beautiful lush lawns, deep green cypresses trees and fountains. The screened pathway leading to the monument is flanked by ponds and fountains at its centre. The ambience is overwhelmingly that of the Taj. The marble used in its creation is said to have been brought from the mines situated near Jaipur. The monument is built on a high square platform which is surrounded by a flight of steps from the three sides. It is built in a way such that it can afford a wonderful view of the garden and water builds.
The Aurangzeb commissioned the mausoleum three years after his wife died and the building was finally ready between 1660 to 1661, though many additions were also made later on. The building is also a great example of Muslim-Hindu collaboration – it was designed by Ata-Ullah, an architect, and Hansat Rai, an engineer. It’s made in the common Mughal style with charbagh around it filling the U between the hills in the background and that makes it absolutely gorgeous at sunset.
Interestingly several articles talking about how this was the only large project commissioned by Aurangzeb, this is just not true. The majestic Badshahi mosque in Lahore was modelled after the Jama Masjid in Delhi and is quite effective and the mosque he created in Kashmir is still believed to be the largest in the state.
Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation organizes a fair in every October as Bibi Ka Maqbara festival. You can simply reach to Aurangabad by road, Air or train. For service, there are numerous hotels available in Aurangabad. So friends above is the erudition about Bibi ka Maqbara. I hope this notice is helpful to all of you. If you go to Aurangabad then must take a visit to Bibi Ka Maqbara. if anyone has already visited this place then please share your reviews about this Bibi Ka Maqbara in annotation box which will help to other readers.
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