Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Sher Mandal, Delhi where Mogul emperor Humayun accidentaly died!!

Sher Mandal (Sher Shah's Pavilion). Delhi flickr.com/
Located within the confines of the Purana Qila fort in Delhi, is a historical building called  Sher Mandal (Sher Shah's Pavilion). This 16th century monument is believed to have been built  on the recommendation of Babur by Farid (Sher Shah) for his son Humayun and so the name was  retained as  Sher Mandal. ‘Sher Shah’ had tried to finish the building  as part of the fort, but he died
Sher Mandal (Sher Shah's Pavilion). Delhi.lindsaywashere.com/
when the construction was in progress. So the responsibility of completing the work fell on Mogul ruler Humayun who in turn, completed the monument. The Building was built originally as a personal observatory and library for Humayun. 

This simple, but great monument is a two-story octagonal tower made of red sandstone with steep staircase leading up to the roof. Believed to be the first observatory  of Delhi, the tower is characteristic of an octagonal chhatri  atop supported by eight pillars and decorated with white marble in typical Mogul style. Inside the monument one could see  the remnants of the decorative plaster work and traces of stone shelving where, presumably, the emperor’s books were kept.

 Mogul ruler Humayun, in a freak accident, died here in 1556 after falling down a flight of stairs. This was recorded by some members of the royal court of Humayun's son Akbar. According to Fazl, a historian  on 20 January 1556 (sources give 24 January), Humayun  was on the roof of a recently fitted library to bless his subjects. The accident took place in the evening while he had just begun to descend. No sooner had he stepped on the second step than he heard the ''azaan'', the Muslim call to prayer. Humayun, when getting ready to pray,  as he stood up, one of his legs became entangled with his robe, He tripped,  resulting his fatal fall down the stairs. He sustained serious injury on his temple and died  a few days later.  The public announcement, it is mentioned,  was made  17 days after his death and by that time ruler Akbar had already reached Delhi from Agra.
Sher Mandal (Sher Shah's Pavilion), Delhi .spaenvis.nic.in
The structure  is a mix of  Timurid and Safavid architecture, and is  the only surviving palace structure within the fort. Earlier it was thought by some historians  that Sher Mandal was built by ruler  Sher Shah Suri in 1541 as a pleasure resort. The subject of original  builder of this structure has been a serious one among the researchers and at last it was agreed it was built by Humayun. 
Researcher Ram Nath mentions that  the architectural designs of  Sher Mandal fall under a homogeneous construction  and is consistent with Humayan's style.The near-by Qal’a-i Kuhna masjid or  the pavilion resemble any of the buildings of Sher Shah.

The building, a two-story octagonal structure (about 60 feet in height is constructed of red sandstone that gives it an impressive look.It has has two extremely steep, narrow, and irregular granite staircases and there are  eighteen steps each running along the northern and southern walls connecting the two floors. There is a single staircase joining the upper floor with the terrace. The dados of the  middle story contain a 12-pointed star.  This was specially introduced as  ruler Humayun considered  it auspicious though  it is an astronomical numeral.
The cruciform chamber in the upper story is an interesting one - a single square-shaped room at the center  opens out into four smaller rooms.  The chamber has semi-vaulted softies on the sides supporting the four arches and a vaulted ceiling.  The interiors have fine designs and decorations of glazed tiles and incised stucco.
The lower story is  is inaccessible and it is presumed that it corresponds to a temporary burial site of Humayan. The chamber that was initially open, was later closed out of respect and Humayun's corpse was moved to a newly commissioned tomb  two years after his death in this building.

The Mughal Empire - war of succession and murder of prince Dara Shikoh changed Indian history!!

Mogul Dynasty, Indian subcontinent slideshare.net
Mogul Dynasty, Indian subcontinent. wordpress.com
The Mogul Empire  was founded in 1526 by none other than Babur, a warrior chieftain from a land what today is known as Uzbekistan.  Being a good war strategist with help from neighboring empires, he defeated  the Sultan of Delhi  Ibrahim Lodhi, in the First Battle of Panipat and put  the plains of Upper India under his control. The Mogul imperial rule saw its gradual heyday from 1600 to the rule of  Babur's grandson, Akbar. The prestige of imperial rule lasted till 1720.  The reign of last major emperor, Aurangzeb, saw maximum geographical extent, however, being a treacherous ruler, war-monger and religious bigot, toward the end of his rule, the Mogul  opulence and reputation began to go down hill. Relentless wars with the Marathas and others had an impact on the Mogul treasury that became almost empty. The  ruinous wars of succession in the three decades among Mogul rulers following the death of Aurangzeb had further weakened the empire.  Over a span of 132 years nearly 400 historical monuments survived, mostly made of marbles, red sandstone impregnated with gemstones, etc. Moguls introduced a fusion of Indo-Mogul style, symbolic of the blend of Indian culture.
raid on Delhi by Iranian ruler Nadir Shahen.wikipedia.org
 Above image:  Nadir Shah at the sack of Delhi - Battle scene with Nader Shah on horseback, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 
 Emperor Nader Shah, the Shah of Persia (1736–47) and the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia, invaded the Mogul Empire, eventually plundered Delhi in March 1739. His army had not only easily defeated the Moguls at the battle at Karnal but also captured Delhi. His army went on a killing binge. Nadir asked his soldiers to  carry out the notorious ''qatl-e-aam'' (killing of common people).  In a short span  of six hours in one day - 22 March 1739, about  20,000 to 30,000 Indian men, women and children were butchered by merciless Afsharid troops A worst  massacre in the city of Delhi,  Further, some 10,000 women and children were taken slaves, according to a representative of the Dutch East India 
Company in Delhi.  In the wake of this worst plundering  and raid on Delhi and Nader Shah's  big victory against the weak and crumbling Moguls, the  Dynasty  lost its name and dignity in the far east in South Asia. The British East India Company that had been in India for decades was waiting for a chance to move in to get rid of the last Mogul descendants  for good. ....................
 Yet another blow to the Mogul supremacy  was the raid by Nadir Shaw of Iran who plundered Delhi and other places besides taking away the diamond-studded golden peacock throne, koh-i-noor and Darya-i-Noor ( meaning "Mountain of Light" and "Sea of Light," respectively) diamonds and other innumerable treasures. Literally, Nadir Shah made the Moguls bleed  and weakened their regal power and influence.
The imperial Diwan of the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah en.wikipedia.org

 Above image: Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Shah (7 August 1702 – 16 April 1748) was Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748, was the son of Khujista Akhtar, (the fourth son of Bahadur Shah I). He ascended the throne at the young age of 17 with help from Sayyid brothers. Being ungrateful, he later got rid of them with the help of Asaf Jah I. Syed Hussain Ali Khan was murdered at Fatehpur Sikri in 1720 and  Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha was  poisoned in 1722 .................
The empire later became  fragmented, and the Governors or Nawabs appointed by the Moguls  as ''Agents'' became independent rulers of respective regions. The wily British who had been in the subcontinent, gobbling kingdom after kingdom became a powerful force to reckon with and it was no better chance for them to  reduce Mogul' s power to  just a ruler of a small place with annual dole from the English company. Having acquired most parts of India  except  areas around Delhi during the 1857 rebellion,  British East India Company  took over the Delhi administration and asked the last Mogul ruler to leave his palace  and made him live  elsewhere as an ordinary Indian. Thus EIC and later the Crown removed the regal powers from the Nawabs and Maharajahs and made them lead a fairly comfortable lives with  dole and fancy titles to cool their ego. The last Mogul ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar's ill treatment by the British  and killing of his young legal heirs in daylight right before the public on the outskirts of Delhi added yet another dark chapter in British India history.  
At what point of time Mogul opulence and dignity had begun to decline? In 1650s,  it was the heyday for the Mogul kings. Their wealth was far more than any of the European kings, as a matter of fact, European ruler's opulence was nothing before them.  The  empire started developing cracks when Aurangzeb  arrived on the political scene.  He imprisoned his father and murdered three of his brothers. His fanaticism  and arrogance further widened the cracks in the ruling class.
Mogul heir-apparent Dara Shikoh murdered by Aurangzeb. sikhiwiki.org
 Dara Shikoh (20 March 1615 – 30 August 1659) being  the eldest son was  heir-apparent of the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan.  Bestowed with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba ("Prince of High Rank") he was favored as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum. A man of wisdom and commonsense, who had a flair for literary works in Persian and Urdu, Dara was a deserving candidate. Further, he had good contact with the Hindus, Sikhs and other faiths in the land.  Being greedy, grasping, merciless and  younger than other sons of Shah Jahan,  Aurangzeb  set his eyes firmly on the Mogul throne. At the instigation of Aurangzeb, the royal family was gripped with  the war of succession that ensued after Shah Jahan's illness in 1657.  Dara was defeated in a battle by his younger brother Prince Muhiuddin (later, the Emperor Aurangzeb). and was executed in a gruesome manner right before his son in public in 1659 by ruthless Aurangzeb who also sent his father to jail. After causing murders and and confusion in the royal family he  ascended the throne. Though he was a great warrior, Aurangzeb's reign  was a dark chapter in Indian history; it saw religious suppression and persecution of Non-Muslims, temple destruction, etc and frequents battles with other rulers. All these had a run on the Mogul coffers. Money and man power were lost and toward the end of his life, Aurangzeb  almost became broke. Later under his son Bahadur Shaw I, the dynasty with a weak army,  became an easy target for invasions from NW of India. 
The Bibi Ka Maqbaraen,  Aurangabad, Maharashtra.wikipedia.org

The Bibi Ka Maqbara built in memory of his chief wife  Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani) in Aurangabad, was commissioned in 1660 by Aurangzeb. Often referred to as ''poor man's Taj'', he could not afford to spend a large sum on this structure  due to severe budgetary constraints. This resulted in a poor copy of the Taj Mahal.
1658- 1707 Trecherous and religious bigot, Emperor Aurangzeb /www.slideshare.ne

Thus in the Mogul Empire, fratricides frequently took place due to  wars of succession. Ruler Shah Jahan had his eldest brother Khusrau Mirza killed in 1622.  Shah Jahan also had his brother Shahriyar killed in 1628. Shah Jahan's son, Dara Shikoh was assassinated by four of his brother Aurangzeb's henchmen in front of his terrified son on the night of 30 August 1659 (9 September Gregorian).
So the ascendancy of treacherous Aurangzeb tolled the slow death of the Mogul rule in India.  Subsequently they were hard-pressed for money to maintain a huge army and in the later period their army was not strong enough as it used to be in the past.  Nadir Shah's  plundering and looting of Delhi accelerated the down fall of a great empire.
Murad Ali Baig's book "is about a gap in Indian history. It covers details  about  great emperors like Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and  Aurangzeb;  The escalating rivalry between Emperor Shah Jahan's sons Dara Shikoh and Aurangzeb over the  throne had driven a wedge in the  royal family but also changed the course of history of the nation, according to  Author Murad Ali Baig. Their heyday saw the sunset when the British banished the last Mogul ruler Bahadur Shah  Zafar to Burma in his old age. They also without remorse killed  three of his legal heirs after the 1857 great Rebellion.   

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Awe-inspiring Deeg Palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan

Deeg Palace, Rajasthan en.wikipedia.org/

Built in 1772,  Deeg Palace  has become  a luxurious summer resort after 1972. Jat ruler Badan Singh, who ascended  the throne in 1721, built it here.  Deeg, Rajasthan  was the original capital of the Jat rulers and they shifted the capital to  Bharatpur;  it is said, for security reasons. The palace is about 32 km from Bharatpur. The Muslim invaders of Delhi used to attack Deeg because of its strategic location and proximity to Agra. Prince Suraj Mal, being shrewd as he was, did not want to take any risk and decided to have a fort built  in a safe place. In earnest, he  began the construction of a fortress around the palace in 1730. The fort  was a formidable one with massive walls and deep and wide moat all around to  keep the invaders away. 
Entrance to Deeg palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. reamtrails.in
Entrance to Deeg palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. thinkingparticle.com
In the vicissitude of time, Deeg saw many ups and downs and once it became a center of a major battle  between the combined forces of the Moguls and Marathas on one side and Rajputs on the other. In this battle, Suraj Mal emerged victorious and this well-earned victory gave him lots of  confidence. At one point Suraj Mal raided the red fort, Delhi and plundered it,  carrying away a huge bundle of valuables, besides an entire marble building, which was dismantled and numbered. The palace -Deeg was then built with marbles taken away from Delhi.
Deeg palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan facebook.com
Deeg palace, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, Charbagh garden en.wikipedia.org/
Deeg palace garden with fountains, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. goibibo.com/
 The palace in quadrangle form has  a garden and walk-ways at its center.  Decorative flowerbeds, shrubs, trees and fountains  were introduced to cool the place considerably during summer. The jat rulers were influenced by the Mogul architecture and built the building on the Mogul model. Their gardens show the influence of Mogul Charbagh that provides a serene and cool ambiance for relaxation near the palace. Two huge water tanks, Gopal Sagar and Rup Sagar, on either side were built to keep the palace cool and comfortable during horrible hot days in this part of India.This palace is known for its beauty, grandeur and, of course, its nice  and cool gardens. A famous week-end spot one can not miss the Mogul and Rajasthani splendor of this historical palace.

Staggering Jal Mahal palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jal Mahal Palace,  Jaipurgocityguides.com
proposed model Jal Mahal Palace,  Jaipur.cgtrader.com
 In Rajasthan, there are stunning palatial palaces built centuries ago by rich Maharajahs and some of them  are well embellished and get the attention of tourists. Built in Rajput -Mogul style, they are not only attractive, but also innovative, in particular, those with lattice windows -jallis that come up with fine geometric pattern and chhatris. Jal Mahal palace in Jaipur is a unique palace in the middle of a lake.- a nice place to relax in the hot tropical summer. An interesting feature is two thirds of its building is below the surface of the water.  The govt. is working on a grand plan to convert into a classic building without disturbing its heritage value.

Jal Mahal meaning "Water Palace" in the middle of the  Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city, the capital  of Rajasthan, India is an inspiring place; it looks as if the entire palace is floating in the center of the lake. It is said the Maharajah used to stay here while on  hunting trips to the near-by wooded areas.  Jal Mahal was built by Sawai Pratap Singh of Amber in 1799 A.D. in the midst of the Man Sagar lake for pleasure and entertainment.  It is interesting to note the Lake was formed by constructing a dam between  two hills by Sawai Man Singh I. During winter months one can see a large number of migratory birds in  the lake roosting. It is  just 4 km to the north of Jaipur and is located on the main Amer-Jaipur road.
Jal Mahal Palace,  Jaipur.
The Jal Mahal palace, built  in a typical Rajput- Mogul style of architecture (common in Rajasthan), has a fascinating  view of the lake itself with the back drop of  the surrounding Nahargarh ("tiger-abode") hills. It is a five-story structure of which four floors remain underwater when the lake is full, exposing the top floor. Though 4 stories of the building are under the surface of the water (depth of water in the lake is 15 feet) they  are  well into the bed of the lake. At Gaitore  across  the lake, Jai Singh II  built chhatris and cenotaphs over cremations platforms of the Kachwaha rulers of Jaipur.

Built  in red sandstone, the palace needed major repair and restoration work due to partial seepage and wall damage caused by wetness  and water logging. The Government of Rajasthan, under a restoration project took care of all the immediate repair work to preserve this heritage site. The palace has an impressive look, this being due to  octagonal chhatris on the four corners, The rectangular Chhatri on the roof is of different type not native to this state but is native to Bengal. 

The palace is off limits to the majority of visitors as repair and restoration work is going on besides some additions like roof-top terrace garden, fresh  plastering of walls using traditional methods to give back heritage appearance, semi-octagonal towers with impressive cupola  at each corner etc.  It is  to be transferred to a high class hotel in the near future. As for walls, the plaster consisted  of old traditional building materials -partly organic material- a mortar mix of lime, sand and surkhi mixed with jaggery, guggal and methi powder. This reduced the seepage  in the building considerably. De-silting was done in the lake in recent  the past. The private party who took a long lease was busy restorating  the building and had a plan to construct additional  first class hotels in the future. A sum of Rs1.5 billion was spent  several years back on the restoration project with support from the state government. The Jal Mahal palace, I understand, is not open yet to visitors because repair work is not finished so far.


Saturday, 14 September 2019

Malik-e-Maidan Tope, largest old cannon then on earth, Bijapur, Karnataka

55 ton gun. Malik-e-Maidan tope, Bijapur /travelkabaap.com
Machine Gun, Malik Maidan tof, Bijapur dsource.in
In the medieval and later periods, cannons and guns played a great role in wars between Indian rulers and in many cases, more than strategy, fire power decided the fate of a ruler and his victory. When the British East India company in the 18th century became a force to reckon with, they gradually introduced powerful cannons and weapons. Their fire power was far superior  than Indian rulers, with which they threatened the Indian rulers and over a period of time established their hegemony.
Machine Gun, Malik Maidan tof, Bijapur dsource.in
Both Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh  and northern part of Karnataka were known to have produced fine, powerful cannons centuries ago  to face the powerful enemies from the north and north west. The rulers of Bengal had excellent foundries where they could make powerful guns to use them against other rulers and the English company which frequently violated trade agreements with them. So, possessing powerful cannons and guns was more an asset than a liability because they acted as deterrents in case of enemy  invasions.
Bijapur, Karnataka.  maps of India
 Bijapur city, Karnataka  is a tourist paradise where the visitors can see a variety of historical buildings, mostly  built in Indo-Islamic style. The Sultanate was ruled by Muslims who belonged to Shia sect. There are other attraction as well. The one that is worthy of mention is the gun - Malik-e-Maidan or Muluk-e-Maidan meaning ''the Monarch of the Plains''.
Machine Gun, Malik Maidan tof, Bijapur pinterest.com
 Above image:  The "Malik-i-Maidan" (Master of the Field) cannon, stated to be the largest piece of cast bronze ordnance in the world, was utilized by the Deccan Sultanates during the Battle of Talikota (1565). It was provided by Ali Adil Shah I (Bijapur Sultanate) ...................................................
Malik-e-Maidan Tope  is believed to be the  biggest old gun on  earth Weighing 55 tons,  4 m in length and  1.5 m wide; it is on the Sherza Burj (Lion Gate) on a stage.  The  diameter of the bore is approximately 15 inches. It means the blast from the gun was heavy.  The gag/spout of the gun has formed  a lion head with open jaws, and between the jaws are engraved elephants to make it resemble the lion is eating up the elephant.  The eyes and whiskers   nostril and the ears of the lion are well highlighted.  This famous gun arrived from  Ahmadnagar in  the seventeenth century as a  war trophy. Transporting the huge gun posed a big problem and at last it reached the present site drawn by ten elephants, 400 bulls and numerous men. It is said they brought two huge guns and one was stuck in the river bed when crossing it. When in use, the cannon was mounted on a swivel mechanism which allowed it to turn 180 degrees. To prevent accidental firing toward Bijapur,  massive walls on the rear side were  built as a precaution.  As the cannon  was capable of generating unbearable  loud noise and heat, the gunner, upon lighting  the fuse,  had to submerge himself in a near-by water tank to avoid injuries  The water tank can be seen even to day, but it is covered.

Carving on Malik Maidan tof, Bijapur.gunhistoryindia.com
Ibrahim Adil Shah II  had this huge gun Malik-e-Maidan  set  on the highest point of the tower  in the  Bijapur Fort between two bastions on the west mainly to defend the fort. It was to defend the Maratha army.  The gun is made of an alloy of five metals including copper, iron and tin and this combination makes it strong, rust-proof, besides the surface  has a green sheen and does not get hot under the scorching sun. When striking, it produces peculiar sound. With Arabic and Persian inscription on it, it is mentioned that  this gun was cast in Ahmednagar  in the 17th century or prior to that.
Malik-e-Maidan tope, Bijapur, Persian  inscription iksoochi.blogspot.com

Malik-e-Maidan Tope (Tof),  during a major war against the mighty Vijayanagara rulers at Talikote in the year January 1565, played no less role on the battle field. Being one of the largest artillery in the world, its fire power was a menace to the equally strong Vijayanagara army.  The outcome of the war  was the end of Vijayanagar empire  and the great dynasty. Yet another reason was the betrayal of  two Muslim commanders (Gilani Brothers) in the Vijayanagara army who suddenly turned against the Vijayanagara kings.
 Bidar fort, Basavakalyan Fort, etc  Karnataka. have  good collection of cannons.
http://www.gunhistoryindia.com/2013/07/malik-e-maidan-tope-canon-bijapur.http http://travelkabaap.com/travel/malik-e-maidan/

Jod Gumbaz that has traitors' tombs!! - Bijapur, Karnataka

Jod Gumbaz, Bijapur, flicker.com
Among the Islamic monuments of Bijapur, Jod Gumbaz, is a unique  one. Believe it or not, it is dedicated to neither a ruler nor a great warrior, rather, the twin tombs  here were dedicated to “Traitors”. Is it nor strange honoring traitors of a country? Close to the Mecca Gate, Jod Gumbaz has two  tombs built in 1687 in memory of father son duo - Khan Muhammad and Abdul Razzaq Qadiri. Why are they tagged as traitors?  
Jod Gumbaz, Bijapur. tripadvisor
The above image:  The octagonal one is the Tomb of Khan Muhammad and of his son Khawas Khan, Wazir to  ruler Sikander Shah.  Khan Muhammad was executed  for his treachery. The tomb has a high dome which springs from a foliated band of ornament. The plain square tomb is the Mausoleum of Abdul Razzak..............................................
If you take the history of any country across the globe, rulers never have failed to plant spies in their enemies' land to gain knowledge about their military strength, weakness, political situation, etc. Based on the inputs, they strengthen their military and improve their arms and ammunition. These spies in a foreign land depend on the traitors who are ready to betray their country for a big reward. The other reason is if the traitors  who once had a close rapport with the rulers and who faced humiliation or failed to get better position in the administration for some reason, will normally resort to revenge by way of betraying the rulers to settle their score. Such vigilantism in a political scenario will spell doom for a country.  In the past in the 18th century, the composite Bengal fell into the hands of the wily British East India company officials headed by Robert Clive because of betrayal by Mir Jaffer, a close relative of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah who was later murdered by his own relatives at the instigation of Robert Clive and his co- employee William Watts. It changed the history of India and the world, paving the path for the growth of British imperialism. Such betrayal did occur in the past and and it does happen now.  

Jod Gumbaz, Bijapur/mapio.net/pic
This father-son duo had helped Mogul ruler of Delhi Aurangzeb defeat the young Sikandar Adil Shah.  It was in 1685, Aurangzeb  sent  his son, Muhammad Azam Shah, with a force of nearly 50,000 men to capture Bijapur Fort and defeat Sikandar Adil Shah (the ruler of Bijapur).  Sikandar  refused to be a vassal and was ready to face any eventuality. Sikandar  was on the throne of Bijapur in 1672 when he was just a kid -  four years of age. Therefore, his reign (1672–1686)  was marked by  chaos - chronic civil war among factious, nobles, regents and ministers whose aim was power and pelf.
Tombs Jod Gumbaz, Bijapur  mapio.net/pic
Jod Bumbaz tombs. mapio.net/pic
Jod Gumbaz, entrance to Abdul Razzak's tomb, Bijapur. mapio.net/pic
 Sikandar  also had a well-trained army with powerful cannons.  The Moguls' offensive force was not good enough and  they could not make any further  advancements upon Bijapur Fort which was well-guarded.  The reason being they had better fire power, far superior cannons that could cover long distances.  Outraged by the stalemate, Aurangzeb himself arrived on 4 September 1686 and commanded the Siege of Bijapur; after eight days of fighting, the Moguls emerged  victorious. Sikandar was unable to halt the Mogul assault led by Aurangzeb. On 12 September 1686, Bijapur was occupied, its garrison surrendered and Bijapur Fort was annexed by the Mogul Empire. 
Sikandar Adil Shah of Bijapur, wikipedia. 
 Above image: A painting of "The House of Bijapur" was completed in the year 1680, during the reign of Sikandar Adil Shah the last ruler of the Adil Shahi dynasty. 

After defeat, Sikandar Adil Shah was captured,  bound in silver chains and brought before the Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb, to whom he bowed three times. Aurangzeb then sent him and his followers to Daulatabad fort, where he died during captivity.  Sikandar Adil Shah was  buried at foot side of his spiritual teacher Naimullah Hashmi in the open yard in the New Market Place of Bijapur. The Adil Shahi dynasty thus came to an end............................................
Jod Gumbaz, Bijapur  indiamart.com/
Mogul ruler Aurangzeb, the most trecherous ruler. muslimworldjournal.com

During the tumultuous time, instead of being loyal to the Sultanate of Bijapur, Khan Muhammad and Abdul Razzaq Qadiri  indulged in acts of treason and passed on certain military secrets to the Moguls. 
Also known  as Abdul Razzaq Dargah, the structure has two domes and beautifully carved chambers. Jod Gumbaz is in the midst of a garden which has now become a picnic spot. The tombs are on a higher elevation since the graves are built at the floor level with galleries within the domes. It is surprising that the tombs were built on the advice of Afzal khan, the army chief who later was killed in the war against Marathas. The traitors mortal remains are buried here.  Jod Gumbaz is just one km away from Afzal khan’ cenotaph.

Often referred to as the twin domes of the tombs of Khan Muhammad and Abdul Razzaq Qadiri, they also go by the name of  'Two Sisters’.

The cenotaph of Bijapur army chief Afzal Khan and his death - a brief note

Afzal Khan's Cenotaph, Bijapur nspirock.com
Afzal Khan's Cenotaph, Bijapur sinspirock.com
The city of Bijapur in Karnataka has lots of protected historical monuments - about 69  mostly related to Indo-Muslim architecture and they throw light on the kaleidoscopic view of the blend of different culture. Though the structures are more of Islamic content, the matrix is Hindu style. This blend makes them more interesting . There are numerous mosques, mahals and mausoleums. There is no doubt none gets more attention of the visitors than the famous Gol Gumbaz, the massive dome that has special acoustics that may pick up a whisper in one place and you can hear it in the other part of the structure. A nice piece of Adilshahi art and architecture.
Among numerous monuments, the one that draws our attention is
Afzal Khan's cenotaph. Being the army chief under the ruler Adil Shah II, before going to war against the Marathas on orders from his ruler, he committed the most heinous crime. Fearing death as predicted by the court astrologers, he killed all his 63 wives by pushing them in to a deep well in a place called 'saat kabar'  and interred in this burial ground before going to war,The tomb stone are about 5 km from the city. Both this 
cenotaph and the near-by mosque are built in the style of design prevalent during the reign of Adil Shah dynasty.

 Situated about two and half miles  from Shahpur entrance. in Bijapur,  Afzal Khan's Cenotaph is fairly being maintained by the ASI and  the construction work was initiated by himself.  The work on the structure, which is  believed to be Afzal's own burial place,  went on for a long time. Unfortunately, after his death in the war against the Marathas, his body was never buried here. He died in a far away place. The cenotaph has a mosque in it's complex which is a  two-story building and no embellishment. However, the pineapples lining the base of the roof of the mosque is an excellent art work.
Afzal Khan's Cenotaph, Bijapur  
Bijapur army chief. Afzal Khan,en.wikipedia.og

Shivaji attacking taall Afzal khan, wikipedia.
 Above image: The famous  encounter of Afzal Khan and Shivaji Maharaj-  Ali Adil Shah II (1571-12 September 1627) the ruler of Bijapur  appointed Afzal Khan as the general of Bijapur army purely on merit as he happened to be a great and courageous warrior who was quick to know the strength and weakness of enemies. Afzal Khan was a loyal employee of the royal  family  Being a man of Afghan descent,  he was much taller and stronger than Shivaji. In the war against the mighty  Maratha forces in 1659, after some deliberations, at last, a peace meeting was arranged at Pratapgad, a place well-known to Shivaji. It was agreed that the leaders - Afzal and Shivaji would be unarmed. As Afzal Khan was a dangerous man, Shivaji was cautious. He wore armour under his clothes and a steel helmet under his turban. He also wore  a weapon called bagh nakh ("tiger claws"), consisting of an iron finger-grip with four razor claws, which he concealed within his clenched fist. Further, he also carried a stiletto-like thin dagger called the bichu or bichuwa (scorpion knife). As per custom, Afzal  embraced Shivaji and he then suddenly tightened his clasp, held  Shivaji's neck in his left arm and struck him with a katar.  Shivaji's  armor  saved him; infuriated Shivaji, wiggled out of the tight grip and attacked Afzal  with 'wagh nakh', disemboweling him. He then stabbed Afzal  with his bichawa, and ran out of the tent towards his men. In the ensuing melee an confusion,  Sambhaji Kavji eventually killed Afzal Khan by decapitating him. Later the Maratha forces hiding in some near-by places defeated the Bijapur army. That though  being outnumbered and outgunned by Afzal Khan’s men, Shivaji led his army to victory over the troops of the Bijapur Sultanate is an important event in Maratha history.  Being a just person, Shivaji had Afzal Khan buried with full military honors,  befitting his stature and reputation at the foot of the Pratapgad fort. The town closest to Pratapgarh fort today is Mahabaleshwar. Situated on a plateau, the colonial-era hill-station has various ‘points’ that overlook the valley below. Afzal died on 10 November 1659 due to severe injuries. An annual urs is held at Afzal Khan's mausoleum............................................

The cenotaph is made of  bricks with eleven rows of tombs which added up to 64 burials of Afzal Khan's wives. As mentioned before the prophecy of court  astrologers  about his imminent death in the ensuing battle, chose him to do away with his 63 wives. he pushed them into  a well one by one  and near the tombs  the old well. 

Many people avoid Afzal Khan's  cenotaph as one has to recall  horrible memories of such a  brutal act of Afzal Khan.