Thursday, 2 January 2020

Chini ka Rauza, a funerary monument of Mogul era, Agra, a simple, but inspiring structure



Chini Ka Rauza, in Agra, near Delhi. en.wikipedia.org


Chini Ka Rauza, in Agra.travelogyindia.com


Chini ka Rauza a funerary monument, rauza  is in Agra city near Delhi, India.  It has the the tomb of Allama Afzal Khan Mullah, a scholar and poet who was the Prime Minister of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Built in 1635, Chini ka Rauza is  about one kilo meter   north of Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb, on the eastern bank of Yamuna river in  the same city; the last resting place of Mulla Shukrullah Shirazi (Allama Afzal Khan Mullah of Shiraz). The distinctive feature of this monument is its glazed tile work in the  facade of the building that used to be called   kashi or chini in Mughal era  structures.  The interior is equally inspiring. It is quite obvious the builders paid more attention to the fine glazed work than on the overall design of this tomb. The tiles, it is said, were brought from China specifically for use in this structure.



Chini Ka Rauza, in Agra, Delhi. flicker.com

Afzal Khan, a Persian poet during the reign of Jahangir became the wazir during Shah Jahan's reign. He was a man of erudition and scholarship  and held in great esteem in the mogul court. After his demise in Lahore  (in Pakistan) in 1639, his body was brought back to  Agra and gave a decent burial with reverence.  His tomb is built facing the city of Mecca; the tomb also goes by the name of  China Tomb. It is actually a mausoleum built to honor the poet.

amazing interior. Chini Ka Rauza, in Agra,outlookindia.com

The structure's architectural style is not a complex one and is quite simple with no embellishments.  As plain as it can be,  it is unusual Mogul era structure containing a sultanate style  non-proportional dome. The various enamel colors on this historical building show signs of wear and tear that resulted in the loss of sheen on the tiles, etc and the main contributing factor, it is said is seasonal climate, extreme hot in the summer and very cold weather in the winter months.  In the facades, the builders  diligently used earthenware pots and it was done with a view to reducing  the weight of the concrete filling  as  was followed in Rome and Egypt.

Chini Ka Rauza, in Agra, tripadvisor.in

The tomb has two main gates, one in the South and other in the North. The tower is a three-story structure  in octagonal shape. Owing to poor upkeep, many parts of the monuments are  in ruins today and they need immediate attention of the ASI. The   balconies of the tomb  have  inlay works and China tiles.