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Safdarjung Tomb In Delhi: The Last Mughal Structure

Written By: Pranav

The Mughal Empire came to an end after the death of Aurangzeb, although he had multiple successors, the empire was not the same. However, Muhammad Shah ascension to the throne brought light to the dark future of the empire.

There was a belief that with a strong dictator one could save the empire and Muhammad Shah along with the help of his Chief Minister Safdarjung was able to recapture some parts of the fallen empire. Eventually as political conspiracies started to do its rounds,Safdarjung was dismissed from his position.

safdarjung tomb in delhi

PC: Nikhil.marar

As he occupied a predominant figure in the Mughal court, after his death, he was commemorated with construction of a tomb by his son.Although the structure is not an architectural marvel unlike other Mughal monuments, it is worth its recognition.

The Last Mughal Structure

The tomb of Safdarjung signifies the state of penury and also the downfall of the Mughal Dynasty. The monument is one of the last monuments which was constructed during the Mughal rule and bears the cultural aspects and the legacy of the Mughals in its architecture.

safdarjung tomb in delhi

PC: Dr Souvik Maitra

All other Mughal monuments represent the power they had during their time or commemorate the dead rulers. These monuments are intricately carved and are considered to be architectural marvels. Safdarjung's tomb is one such monument of the Mughal Architecture which lacks the precision of an architect.

This signifies the decline of the empire and the penury of the Mughal Kings which existed for over a period of 300 years and another significance is that it was constructed in memory of a high ranking officer and not a ruler.


safdarjung tomb in delhi

PC: Neel.kapur

The main entrance is a two-storied structure, with a facade exhibiting some very elaborate ornamentation on its surface in the shades of purple. One can find an Arabic inscription here which translates to "When the hero of plain bravery departs from the transitory, may he become a resident of god's paradise".

As you cross the facade one can notice a few rooms and a library. On the right side of the gate is a mosque which is a structure with three domes marked with stripes. The main structure is constructed using stones in the shades of red and buff. The main tomb stands tall measuring to a height of 92 ft.

safdarjung tomb in delhi

PC: Pushpindersingh

The central chamber is square in shape which eight partitions along with the tomb in the middle. Here there are partitions which are rectangular in shape and the octagonal towards the corner ones. The interiors of the structure is covered with ornate decorations.

There are four towers around the main tomb, which are polygonal in shape and are given small kiosks made out of marble panels and decorated arches. An underground chamber in the structure houses the graves of Safdarjung and his wife.

On The Lines Of Taj

safdarjung tomb in delhi

PC: Anupamg

The facade is built on the lines of the Taj Mahal, but lacks the symmetry and gives more importance to the vertical axis which eventually resulted in the unbalanced appearance of the tomb. The dome is more elongated and the central part has a taller 'pishtaq'(a rectangular frame around an arched opening).

The four minarets at the four corners are part of the main structure which is an entirely different concept in comparison to the Taj Mahal, where the towers are detached from the facade of the tomb. The garden here is made in the Mughal style and is miniature of the garden found at Humayun's Tomb. One channel leads to the entrance gate and the others to the three pavilions.

The pavilions are constructed in the western, northern and southern directions which are known as Jangali Mahal, Moti Mahal and Badshah Pasand.

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