Bibi-Ka-Maqbara: Azam Shah’s answer to his grandfather Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal


Gursshheen Gahllen | Dec 17, 2016 22:09

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara mausoleum in Aurangabad was built in 1678 by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s son Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Rabia-ud-Daurani.
Pavements that lead to Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, which are flanked by oblong reservoirs. (Photo by: Zeeshan Haq)

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara mausoleum in Aurangabad was built in 1679 AD by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s son Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Rabia-ud-Daurani. Quite amazingly, the Bibi-ka-Maqbara is modelled after Taj Mahal of Agra, the mausoleum of Azam Shah’s grandmother Mumtaz Mahal and built by his grandfather Shah Jahan. Bibi-Ka-Maqbara due to its strong resemblance to Taj Mahal is often called ‘Taj of the Deccan’ or informally ‘Chota Taj Mahal.’

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara mausoleum in Aurangabad was built in 1678 by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s son Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Rabia-ud-Daurani.
The tomb of Azam Shah’s mother Rabia-ud-Daurani. (Photo by: Zeeshan Haq)

This magnificent structure consists of a marble dome but the walls are made of plaster. An octagonal screen of perforated marble encloses the interior tomb. In comparison with the Taj Mahal at Agra, the interior decoration has nothing comparable with the great architectural wonder. Cornices of mausoleum are garnished by insipid mouldings, the surfaces aggravated by spiritless arabesque.

Bibi-Ka-Maqbara mausoleum in Aurangabad was built in 1678 by Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb’s son Azam Shah in the memory of his mother Rabia-ud-Daurani.
(Photo by: Zeeshan Haq)

A high wall with bastions run around the edifice. The recesses have little minarets. The entrance leads to an arch and from that point a clear and fine view of the structure can be obtained. The pavements that lead to the mausoleum are flanked by oblong reservoirs but most part of the year they are dried. Keeping the comparisons apart Bibi-Ka-Maqbara has its own splendour and grace.