Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Historical Safdar Jang mausoleum, Delhi - some facts


Safdar Jang mausoleumwikipedia.org/

Tomb of Safdarjung tomb, Delhi. wikipedia.org
No other Indian cities have more Muslim monuments than the capital of India Delhi which, centuries ago, was the seat of Mogul power. Though Delhi was ruled by Muslim rulers much earlier, it was the Moguls who made monumental contribution in Islamic architecture and changed the skyline of Delhi and the adjacent places. These monuments are not only known for their grandeur and beauty, but also for their unique planning, design and choice of construction materials like superior quality marbles, colored sandstones, etc. They diligently use the local talents available in plenty.

Delhi: Safdar Jang Tomb, thehistoryhub.com

Mirza Muqim Abul-Mansur Khan, also known as  Safdar-Jang (1708-1754) was  holding the exalted position as the Viceroy of Oudh under  Mogul ruler Muhammad Shah (1719-48) and later on prime minister (Vizier) under Ahmad Shah (1748-54), 13th Mogul ruler in 1748 at the age of 22.  Safdar-jang was a descendant of Qara Yusuf from the Kara Koyunlu.  In 1739, he succeeded his father-in-law and maternal uncle, the Burhan ul Mulk Saadat Ali Khan I to the throne of Oudh (now part of UP), apparently by paying Nadir Shah twenty million rupees. It was the Mogul Emperor Muhammad Shah gave him the title of "Safdar Jang".
Delhi:Safdar Jang Tomb with the garden & water channels,wikipedia
The strikingly impressive tomb was built in about 1754 by  Nawab Shuja'u'd-Daula, Safdar Jang's son and is the last example of the a particular fashion that  began with Humayun's tomb. Nawab Shuja'u'd-Daula pleaded with the Mogul ruler and finally took permission to have the tomb built in Delhi because, Safdar Jang  misused his enormous power and went against the interest of Mogul family. Ultimately, he was driven out of Delhi and died in 1754. The tomb  was designed by an Abyssinian architect. This type of pattern is not found in tombs built in later period. The salient features are: it is enclosed within a large garden, divided into squares on the Charbagh (Persian-Islamic garden layout based on four gardens of paradise mentioned in the Quran) pattern, with tanks and fountains along the central pathway;  a gate on the east and pavilions on the other three sides, the tomb proper is in the centre of the enclosure. There is an underground chamber in the mausoleum  that has the graves of Safadrjung and his wife. The ceiling of the mosque is plastered, painted and  nicely ornamented. This square shaped two-story structure built on a raised terrace and surmounted by a bulbous dome of marble. 

Safdar Jang mausoleum,Delhi,
thehistoryhub.com

The towers or chatris are octagonal in shape and its layout has  four pavilions which have multiple chambers and the entrance gateway.  On the eastern side adjoining the gate are many apartments and a mosque, and a courtyard. The pavilions are laid out in the western, northern and southern directions and are named Jangli Mahal (palace in the forest), Moti Mahal (pearl palace) and Badshah Pasand (King’s favorite) respectively. Nawab’s family used to reside in these pavilions.

Delhi: Safdar Jang Tomb thehistoryhub.com
Red and buff sandstone used in its facing gives it an impressive look and it is said that, much of the sandstone was stripped off from' Abdu'r-Ral,lim Khan-i-Khanan's tomb. The marble panels on its corner-towers may have a  pleasing appearance but does not leave a good impression. In fact, the ornamentation and lack of proportion in its vertical elevation mar the majesty of this great tomb.  The fact is this tomb  can not be compared with the Taj or Humayun's tomb as the color of the sandstone is not pleasing. It is often  referred to as 'the last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture at Delhi'.
This marble mausoleum, on Safafdar Jung road is a great monument and has an ambiance of spaciousness and imposing structure dominated by domes and arches. 

It is a protected monument under the ASI and according to the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) regulation: " Prayers are not allowed at any protected monument if the practise was not prevalent at the time of protection notification". In the recent past two political bigwigs were subject to criticism when they wanted to do Eid prayer in the mausoleum; for them it was a publicity bonanza with media converging at the famous tomb. 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Safdar_Jang