Wednesday, 12 September 2018

''Chini Ka Rauza'', Agra - a mausoleum built in Indo-Iranian style!!

Chini-ka-rauza, Agra. en.wikipedia.org
Chini-ka-rauza, Agra. in.pinterest.com/

Besides the Taj, there are many Islamic monuments in the historic city of Agra, near Delhi and among them Chini Ka Rauza is an important one. The distinctive feature of this monument is  the glazed-tile ornamentation that is believed to have been brought all the way from China; hence the name.  What makes the monument significant is the artwork and colour embellishments on it.  Here, the tomb is  dedicated to Allama Afzal Khan, who was the Prime Minister and poet during the times of  Mogul emperor Shah Jahan. He was  a Persian poet during the reign of Jahangir. Later he became the Wazir during Shah Jahan's rule. Khan died in Lahore in 1639, but was buried here at Agra. His mausoleum was built facing the city of Mecca. It is also  known as China Tomb, 
Chini_Ka_Rauza, Agra. colorful ceiling. Alamy. com 


Interior, Chini_Ka_Rauza, Agra. egoldentriangle.com/
Chini Ka Rauza is actually a funerary monument constructed in 1635 in memory of Afzal Khan  The dome inside the Chini Ka Rauza is  designed  in the Afghan style and the ornamental Islamic inscriptions enhance the look inside this mausoleum. The structure  as in many Islamic structures  of north India, exemplifies the beauty and uniqueness of the Indo-Persian architecture adorned with shiny chini  or  colorful  tiles. The structure possesses Sultanate-style unprpostional dome. The impressive feature  in the dome part is the presence of  seven concentric decorated rings. The walls have floral designs made of embellished fragments of tile. It is to be borne in mind that it is one a few early monuments to be  decorated with glazed tile work. Because of the  porcelain nature of tiles it is also known as Chini Mitti (Chinese clay) in many parts of India. It is widely believed that Allama Afzal Khan built the tomb during his life time.

The tomb part is in Afghan style, however the main and dominant style is that of Persian. Rectangular in design, it is made of  brown stones nicely mixed with colorful ceramic tiles. There were two gates for the tomb - one in the north and the other in the south. It was once a three-story tower in octagonal shape near the ghat. Unfortunately because of vagaries of climate and time span, many parts are in ruins; however, the main tomb is survived. Various enamel colors have become faded away for the same reason - unfriendly weather. The arches are nicely decorated with intricate designs and have orange and blue tiles. The brackets, chajja and balconies are well embellished and the color combination is the main attraction. Colourful tiles  nicely adorn the whole tomb and the interior design was a mesmerising one. Winter season is the right time to visit Delhi and adjacent cities as the summer is pretty hot. 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chini_Ka_Rauza

https://www.mapsofindia.com/agra/chini-ka-rauza.html