Thursday, 20 June 2019

Unsung Tomb of Adham Khan built by Mogul ruler Akbar - Delhi

Tomb of Adham Khan, Delhitadtoonew.com
Tomb of Adham Khan, Delhi.panoramio.com
Delhi is home to countless historical Islamic  monuments dating back to several centuries. Delhi and other parts of India were under the reign of Muslim rulers for centuries during which time they had built  several buildings in Indo-Islamic architectural style, Included in these monuments are several Mausoleums, forts and places of worship.  

The 16th-century tomb of Adham Khan, a general of the Mogul Emperor Akbar is a protected monument in Mehrauli, Delhi. Who is Adham Khan?    Younger son of Maham Anga, Akbar's wet nurse,  he Adham Khan  was  Akbar's foster brother and was part of the royal family.  Unfortunately he was executed on orders by Akbar  for the heinous crime of killing  Akbar’s favourite general Ataga Khan in May 1561. The execution took place on the  the ramparts of the Agra Fort. Located in an important part of  Delhi, among  fine Mogul  monuments, the tomb of Adham Khan forms  popular  landmark north of  the Qutub Minar. It was built by Akbar in 1561 after Adham's  death and this place and the surrounding areas are being managed by the ASI -Archaeological Survey of India.
Tomb of Adham Khan, Delhi. tripadvisor.co.uk
The history of the  the Tomb of Adham Khan  will bring to light the hidden revelry  and favouritism  prevailing within any royal family that sometimes might lead to tragedy. In the case of Mogul rule, subtle enmity among royal members was a known fact because every body wanted to enjoy the power and pelf and the additional trappings and honor. Being  a nobleman and a general in Akbar’s army like his shrewd mother  Maham Anga, Adham  too  became over ambitious to enjoy royal patronage.  The appointment of general Ataga Khan as the Prime Minister by Akbar in November 1561 in the place of Munim Khan   angered Adham Khan. Driven by greed and jealousy Adham Khan in May 1561 killed  newly appointed PM Ataga Khan when he was addressing an audience.  Akbar happened to be a just Mogul ruler and the murder of his prime minister caused him rage and revulsion. To do justice, he had Adham Khan thrown down from the 40 foot tall barricades of  the Agra Fort.  Adham Khan's mother Maham Anga was grief-stricken and died on the 40 th day after the demise of her son. The tomb, built by Akbar,  houses the graves of both Maham Anga and her son Adham Khan. The tomb lies at the entrance path of Mehrauli Village in South Delhi - north of the busy Qutb-Mehrauli Road
An  interesting fact about this place is during the East India company rule, in 1830s a British officer named Blake of Bengal Civil Service, put the tomb for a different purpose that no body would ever think of.  He converted this tomb - a place of eternal rest into his residential apartment, besides removing the graves and making it  his dining hall. This place late became a rest house for the British after the officer's death. Subsequently, it became a police station and a post office. The credit goes to Lord Curzon, the British officer who loved ancient monuments and their preservation for posterity. He took the initiative and restored the tomb back to glory.  The grave of Adham Khan is right below the central dome, though that of his mother Maham Anga never was. 

The mausoleum made of reddish grey sandstone has a design different from  any other Mogul architecture. The tomb lies on a raised platform with  a veranda that has 3 semi-circle openings on each side. Eaves  are absent under their parapets. Often referred to as Bhool Bhulaiya due to its series of labyrinths that might cause a visitor  to lose his way in the midst of several passages /corridors.  Octogonal  building style represents that of   the Lodhi and the Sayyid dynasty of the 14th century. 
Tomb of Adham Khan, Delhi.  findmessages.com
An octagonal wall  is provided with low towers at the corners. This type of octogonal dome design is rare in Mogul architecture. It is said this type of style for tombs  is reserved for traitors!!https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Adham_Khan