With the rule of the Mughal Empire, India was introduced to the Muslim style of building tombs for the ones who pass away. Hindus cremated the dead so this was new to India. These Muslim rulers not only built tombs but liked to go BIG! They constructed architectural marvels that remain till date for us to witness.
It reflects the talent of all the artisans of the Mughal Era and the ages that followed. These magnificent tombs were built in order to honour the deceased. One of the most famous tomb which is internationally acclaimed, of course, is the Taj Mahal.
We all know the story of the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, but let us take a look at all the other beautiful tombs built by our ancestors.
Tomb Of Adham Khan
Built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, the tomb of Adham Khan dates back to the 16th century. Though Adham Khan was the General and foster brother of King Akbar, he was executed. King Akbar did so when he found out that Adham Khan killed his favourite General Agata Khan.
Situated north of Qutub Minar in Delhi, Adham Khan's tomb is now protected under the Archaeological Survey of India. It is an exquisite structure that is built in a style which is a blend of Sayyid Dynasty and Lodhi Dynasty.
Bibi Ka Maqbara
Bibi Ka Maqbara literally translates to "Tomb of the Lady" and was built by Prince Azam Shah in order to honour the death of his mother Dilras Banu Begum, wife of emperor Aurangzeb.
Situated in Aurangbad, the tomb looks evidently similar to the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan. It is thus known as the "Mini Taj Mahal" of India. It is said that the construction of this magnificent monument took 10 years (1651-1661) to complete.
The site remains open for visitors from 8 am to 6 pm on all days of the week.
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The tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun was consigned by his wife Hamida Banu Begum, who was the Queen of Persia. The tomb is situated in Delhi and was one of the first monuments to be using red sandstone to that enormous amount.
Designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the Humayun's Tomb was proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. This beautiful tomb was built around 1570 using the design of Charbagh, an Islamic style of erecting a monument in the centre of a square-shaped garden.
The site is open between 6 am to 6 pm on all days of the year.
Tomb Of Itimad-ud-Daulah
The Mughal mausoleum Itimad-ud-Daulah is a magnificent structure commissioned for Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of Nur Jahan. She was the wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and commissioned the Tomb of Jehangir, which is located in Lahore as well. The Itimad-ud-Daulah is often referred to as "The Baby Taj" since it is believed that it was a draft for building the famous Taj Mahal.
Settled on the banks of river Yamuna, the tomb was built using red sandstone and white marble, between the years 1622-1628. Itimad-ud-Daulah literally means "Pillar of the State" and was the title given to Nur Jahan's father, which was what the tomb was named after.
The place is open for visitors from 6 am to 6 pm every day.
The list of beautiful tombs will remain incomplete without the mention of this striking monument that has caught the attention of the entire world. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal was built in the honour of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
This splendid structure was a part of the "New 7 Wonders Of The World", a list that was released in 2007. Built using only white marble in a blended style of Mughal and Persian form of architecture, it took over 15 years to complete the tomb!
Artisans from all over the empire were involved in the making of the Taj Mahal. The monument remains open from 8 am to 5 pm every day and remains closed on Fridays.
This tomb is dedicated to Qutubuddin Muhammad Khan, who was the tutor of King Akbar's children Salim and Naurang Khan. He was also the Governor of Gujarat and King Akbar's foster brother. He was defeated and killed by the last Sultan of Gujarat, Muzaffar III.
Built around 1586 under King Akbar's rule, the Hazira Maqbara resembles Humayun's Tomb of Delhi in some ways. It is situated in Vadodara of Gujarat and reflects the artistry of a Mughal style monument.
Tomb Of Sher Shah Suri
The enchanting tomb of Sher Shah Suri lives on to remind us the tales of the great Pathan warrior, Sher Shah Suri of Bihar. He overthrew the Mughal Empire, established the Suri Empire and ruled for 5 years between 1540-1545. In 1545, he died off an accidental explosion.
The main architect Aliwal Khan showed his magic by building the magnificent mausoleum using red sandstone. It is placed in the middle of a square-shaped artificial lake, and built in an Indo-Islamic style of architecture.
Gumbaz At Srirangapatna
Unlike the mausoleums you've read about so far, the Gumbaz has no connection with the Mughals. It was built in 1782 in honour of Tipu Sultan and his parents, Hyder Ali and Fakr-Un-Nisa.
Situated in Srirangapatna of Karnataka, it was originally built by Tipu Sultan himself to house the graves of his parents, but later asked the British to bury his body after his death.
It is constructed in Persian style on an elevated platform made of black marble pillars, while the Gumbaz is completely made of white marble.
Tomb Of Akbar The Great
After being the mastermind behind the many forts, palaces, and tombs built in and around Delhi, the great Mughal Emperor Akbar was buried in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. His tomb was completed by his son Salim, popularly known as Jahangir. In fact, Akbar himself planned the tomb and even chose the right site for it.
During the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, the tomb was plundered by the Jats led by Raja Ram Jat, to the point that even Akbar's bones were burned apart from looting the riches of the entire monument. This was done by Raja Ram Jat in order to avenge his father's death. The tomb was later repaired and restored by the British.
Sheikh Chilli's Tomb
This mausoleum consists of two tombs wherein the main tomb is dedicated to a saint Abd-ul-Razak, popularly known as Sheikh Chehli (which is pronounced as Chilli). He was the spiritual mentor of Shah Jahan's eldest son. It is situated in Thanesar of Haryana, south of the dried up river Saraswati.
The other tomb was built to honour Sheikh Chehli's wife, which is attached to a Madrasa or school. On the west of this Madrasa lies a beautiful mosque called Patthar Masjid or "Stone Mosque" which is built out of red sandstone.
PC: Manoj Khurana