Bibi Ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara is an prime historical monument built by the Moghul Prince Azam Shah in the late 17th Century as a tribute to his mother, Begum Rabia –Al- Durrani. Bibi Ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum which resembles Taj Mahal and is often called as the Dekkhani Taj or The Taj of Deccan. Bibi Ka Maqbara means The Tomb of the Lady. It is located around 5 km from Aurangabad, Maharashtra and is one of its must visited places.
Begum Rabia-Al- Durrani alias, Dilras Banu Begum was the wife of Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. When she died, her son Price Azam Shah built a beautiful maqbara in her loving memory. This maqbara came to be known as the Bibi Ka Maqbara.
Architecture of Bibi Ka Maqbara monument
The marble which was used for the construction of this monument was specifically brought from Jaipur. The maqbara is a magnificent enclosure measuring around 458m towards North-South and around 275 m towards East-West.
Main Entrance: There is a huge main entrance gate on the south of the maqbara which is made of wood and is designed with brass plates. There is a huge wall and a small tank located just close to the entrance and beyond that a screened low profile pathway leads one to the monument.
The pathway is loaded with series of trees alongside and fountains at the center which makes the path beautiful. There is a beautiful, symmetrical garden layout that adorns the maqbara, thus increasing its beauty. The gardens are designed in a typical Mughal Char Bagh pattern.
Mausoleum: The maqbara rests on a high rise square platform beautifully adorned with four minarets at each corner. The minarets are intricately designed and add beauty to the maqbara. There is a mosque right towards the west of the maqbara. The dado level of the maqbara is tiled up with marbles and above the dado level one finds basaltic rocks right up to the dome, which is again made with marble. The basaltic tiling is plastered with fine polish thus enhancing its look and is intricately designed with various decorations.
Tomb: The mortal remains of Dilras Banu Begum or her tomb is placed below the ground level and it is surrounded by an exquisite octagonal marble screen. There is a small entrance to the tomb by means of a hollow spiral staircase which is presently closed for various reasons.
One can get a glance of this tomb right from the ground level and also through the exquisite octagonal opening. The mausoleum is additionally accompanied with panels which are decorated with amazing flower designs.
Masjid: There is a mosque right towards the west of the maqbara. This masjid closes the entrance to the maqbara from the west side. It was built by Nizam of Hyderabad.
Resemblance to Taj
The monument resembles to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal. But the fact is that Taj Mahal is much huge and majestic then Bibi Ka Maqbara. The constructions though resemble that of the Taj Mahal. It is said that the architect was told to construct the monument in a similar fashion. Though the monument is smaller than Taj Mahal, it is still a magnificent monument in itself. The monument is nestled amidst scenic surroundings with beautiful mountains serving as a picture perfect backdrop. Hence Bibi Ka Maqbara is also known as the Taj of Deccan.
The maqbara was said to have been constructed during 1651 to 1661 A.D. The inscription laid on the main entrance of the mausoleum announces its real cause for construction and additionally that it was designed and constructed by architect Ata-Ullah and an engineer Hanspat Raj.
Controversy surrounding the monument
There has been a controversy that still surrounds the monument. It is said that the monument though not that big and magnificent like Taj Mahal, took around 10 years to get completed which was in a way unusual. It is also said that the late prince visualized building the mausoleum similar to that of the Taj Mahal, as a rival. But due to budgetary constraints and no approval from the emperor, they were limited to build just a replica of the Taj Mahal.
Cost for the Construction
Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had provided only Rs, 7,00,000/- to his son for the construction of the monument due to budgetary constraints. The exact cost for the construction went on to around Rs. 6,68,203/-
Reaching Bibi KA Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara is accessible through Aurangabad. If one plans to visit it by air, then the nearest airport is Aurangabad Airport which is very well connected to all the major cities in Maharashtra and India. By rail the nearest rail station is Aurangabad Stations which is very well connected to all the major cities of Maharashtra anad India like Mumbai, Delhi and Jalgaon. By road Aurangabad is very connected to many cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Nasik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Agra and Jaipur. State Transport Buses and Private luxury buses ply regularly to Aurangabad from all the major cities in Maharashtra. The distance between Aurangabad and few of the major cities is as mentioned below:
Mumbai – 400 km
Agra – 1006 km
Kolkata – 1625 km
Delhi – 1207 km
Ahmedabad – 585 km
Nashik – 215 km
Pune – 213 km
Places of visit in and around Bibi Ka Maqbara
The place of interest that lies just close to Bibi Ka Maqbara is Ellora Caves, around 1 km ahead. Ellora Caves are one of the best visited places in Aurangabad. They are famous for the Buddhist Caves which are around centuries old. The other place close to Maqbara is the Ghrishneshwar Mandir. Ghrishneshwar Mandir is one of the famous Jyotirlingas, and very important pilgrim center for Hindus.