Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Mahabat Maqbara, Junagadh, Gujarat - opulently rich mausoleum

mahabat-maqbara-mausoleum.ritebook.in
mahabat-maqbara-mausoleum.ritebook.in
Just off MG Road,  about 5 minutes from the Junagadh Railway Station, Gujarat there lies an attractive and eye-catching structure which none can miss called the mausoleum of Wazir Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai, one of the chief nobles in the Court of Nawab Mahabat Khan II of Junagadh. This town was once home to the Nawabs of Junagadh. It is often called  old fort Palace Mausoleum and is close to the Girnar hills in the Saurashtra region.  Construction on the yellow-walled complex began in 1878 by Mahabat Khanji and was completed in 1892 by his successor, Bahadur Khanji. Over a period of one decade of painstaking work, the builder produced one of the finest Mausoleums in India embellished with amazing decorations, elaborate carvings on the buildings’ inner and outer facades, fine arches, French-style windows, columns and shining silver doorways. On the adjacent mosque, each minaret is encircled from top to bottom with winding staircases. Both buildings are topped with distinctive “onion dome” roofings. It is located  in the Chitkanam Chowk area. It is an inspiring piece of Islamic architecture that may baffle your mind.
Mahabat, Mausoleum, Junagadh, Gujarat. darpandodiya.com
With distinctive  fusion  of Indo-Islamic, European, and Gothic architecture, this maqbara has inter-wined with the complex history of the district of Junagadh itself. Founded in 1748, Junagadh had officially become a British Protectorate in 1807; however, the  East India Company took control over it in 1818.  Unlike other parts of India in the colonial period, for unknown region, the Saurashtra region escaped direct administration of British India. To make the administration easier,  the British divided the territory into more than 100 princely states – including Junagadh  and they remained unchanged  until 1947. Consequently, the city’s present old town, built during the 19th and 20th centuries, stood in a place which happened to be no man's land. The Mahabat Maqbara complex was built in this place,  during the  Britain’s colonial period.

Mahabat, Mausoleum, Junagadh, Gujarat. pixelizam.com
Not withstanding the fact that Junagadh had no specified common boundary, the then ruler Mahabat Khan III  preferred to join the new country Pakistan  when India got her freedom in August 1947. The new Indian government exerted pressure on the ruler who finally fled to Pakistan and Junagadh became part of  the Indian union  just short of three  months after declaring its independence. The transition period was a tumultuous one and  Mahabat Maqbara  is a fine example of fusion of different cultures and diversity of  influences that impacted it.  

Mahabat Maqbara is a historical land mark in this town and no body can  go past this wonderful structure without eying a glance at it.  A visitor to this place will be wonder-struck by the beautiful arches, countless domes and towering minarets. A striking feature of the minarets is their  well- built winding stairways going up to the top. The lattice windows, opulently rich in architectural details and the finely carved silver doors bring to light the quality of workmanship and the artistic talents of the artisans of those days living in that region.  

What is so special about Mahabat Maqbara, besides its architectural splendor?  This famous place houses   the tombs of  Mahabat Khanji and Bahauddin Maqbara of Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai, 
vizir of Nawab Rasul Khanji. Standing over the grave of Nawab Mahabat Khan II, the tomb vividly exhibits the Islamic, Hindu and European influences, quite typical of Junagadh's royal monuments from the late 19th century. The Jammi Masjid is on one side of the mausoleum while the Vazir's maqbara is on the other.
This monument can be viewed from outside, and one can access inside with permission from the people in charge of the Mausoleum.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/mahabat-maqbara
http://www.ritebook.in/2015/06/mahabat-maqbara-mausoleum-the-historical-landmarks-of-junagadh.html