‘Bibi Ka Maqbara’
History & Culture
14th Jan, 2020
The marble domes of Bibi Ka Maqbara, the famous 17th-century Mughal-era monument in the city, are set to get a new shine.
Bibi Ka Maqbara:
- The structure, known as the ‘Taj of the Deccan’ because of its striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal, was built in 1668 by Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb to commemorate his mother Dilras Begum who was titled Rabia Durani post her death.
- Also called the Tomb of the Lady, Bibi Ka Maqbara was designed by Ataullah, the son of Ahmad Lahauri, the architect of the Taj Mahal which explains its appearance heavily based on the prime marvel.
- According to the "Tarikh Namah" of Ghulam Mustafa, the cost of construction of the mausoleum was Rs. 6,68,203 - 7,00,000.
- Bibi Ka Maqbara or tomb of Rabia Durani stands as a lone soul in the southern part.
- It was Aurangzeb’s long-standing governorship of Aurangabad that the shrine came to exist in the city and is today one of the most famous historical monuments in Maharashtra.
The story of Dilras Banu:
- Dilras Banu, born in the Safavid royal family of Iran, was the daughter of Shahnawaz Khan who was the then viceroy of the state of Gujarat.
- She married Aurangzeb in 1637 thus becoming his first consort and wife.
- Both Aurangzeb and his eldest son, Azam Shah couldn’t bear the loss of the most important woman in their lives.
- It was then in 1668 that Azam Shah ordered for a mausoleum to be built for his beloved mother on the lines of Taj Mahal, which was the resting place of Banu’s mother-in-law and Aurangzeb’s mother, Mumtaz Mahal.
Conservation of the structure:
- The domes and other marble parts of the mausoleum will undergo scientific conservation.
- The domes and minarets of the structure, which are built-in marble, as well as the marble screens inside would undergo scientific conservation.
- The conservation work will involve cleaning and carrying out a chemical treatment to give it a new glow.
Archaeological Survey of India:
- The Archaeological Survey of India, established in 1861 is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture dedicated to the protection, preservation and conservation of the national monuments.
- It is a multidisciplinary organization including exploration and excavation, chemical conservation, Horticultural operation, Museum, underwater archaeology, Pre-History Branch, Epigraphy, Publication etc.
- With the expansion of the Survey, the scope and sphere of the activities of all the branches increased rapidly. As on today, there are 3667 centrally protected monuments including 22 World Heritage Monuments/Sites.
- The present organization is the successor of ‘The Asiatic Society of India’, which was founded in its current form in 1861 by Sir Alexander Cunningham with the help of the then Viceroy Canning.