Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The tomb of Adham Khan, Delhi - unusual Mogul design


Adham Khan tomb. en.wikipedia.org/wiki

Adham Khan tomb interior, Mehrauli, Delhi. en.wikipedia.org/wiki
 India's capital has innumerable impressive Muslim monuments that have amazing design and architecture. They are remainders of the glory and imagination of the then Muslim rulers and their capacity to spend money lavishly on them. One among the monuments is the tomb of Adham Khan, that lies close to the famous land mark in Delhi - Qutub Minar.

The tomb of Adham Khan, a general of Mogul Emperor, Akbar built in 1561, lies to the north of the Qutub Minar, Mehrauli, Delhi. Younger son of Maham Anga, Akbar's  wet nurse, in a way he was Akbar's  foster brother.  Adham Khan, for unknown reason had a row with Ataga Khan, Prime Minister in Akbar's reign  and murdered him.  When Akbar came to know that Adham Khan murdered  his  Prime Minister Ataga Khan in May 1562,  he became furious and had Adham Khan   executed  by defenestration from the ramparts of the Agra Fort.

The tomb of Adham Khan is  also  known as a Bhool Bhulaiya,  meaning  labyrinth or even maze. There are many passages or corridors that form a maze.  The tombs are made of  gray and red shaded sandstones. Adham's mother also died after some time and Akbar had arranged for a burial in the same place where Adham's tomb was built.The mausoleum is huge and octagonal  in design, not characteristic of  any Mogul building of that era. However, its architecture was superb and impressive.  This kind of design, it is believed, was meant for traitors as it was a custom  prevalent in  the previous Suri Dynasty, and also the Lodhi dynasty now within the precincts of present Lodhi Gardens (Delhi), which the Moguls considered traitors.
 

During the British occupation in 1830 one British officer by the name of Blake of Bengal Civil Service, converted the tomb into his residential quarters and   demolished the graves  to build a dinning hall. Soon the British officer died and  later a post office and a
police station functioned in that place.  On orders from Lord Curzon,  the grave of Adham Khan had  been restored to the site, and lies right below the central dome, though that of his mother Maham Anga never was. So, the exact location of  the grave of  Adam Khan's mother is missing.

The place where the tomb is has a mystery behind it. It is believed, that   once a complete  group  of wedding guests ( entire ‘baraat’) taking shelter in the Bhool Bhulaiya went missing in it.The authenticity of this incident is a subject of debate.  The monument is usually 5 meters tall with small minarets designed into all the eight facets.


Lots of people who visit the near-by Qutub Minar visit this tomb that has an unusual  design not characteristic of Mogul dynasty.

Ref:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Adham_Khan