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Taj of the Deccan – Bibi ka Maqbara

Taj of the Deccan – Bibi ka Maqbara

Having said this, I really don’t want to compare the Taj with this. Each to its own! I especially dislike the term, Poor man’s Taj, often used for this tomb.

biwi ka maqbara

Bibi ka Maqbara, similarity to the Taj.

Whatever people may say, a visit to the Maqbara is definitely one of the must-see tourist attractions in Aurangabad. Bibi ka Maqbara, is white marble viewed from far. A close scrutiny tells that only the dome and some other parts are marble and rest are probably limestone.

It was raining when we reached the Bibi ka Maqbara. The rains did bring out a different ambiance to the place. The name literally means “the tomb of the lady”. And the lady was non other than Dilras Banu Begum aka Rabia-ul-Durrani, the first wife (or was she the second?) of the Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb. This was not a symbol of love as the Taj Mahal is made out to be. Just a dedication to his wife but built by his son Azam Shah. Or Maybe the son wanted to build a memorial for his mother.

biwi ka maqbara

A closer look of a carved brass door.

The reason as to why this structure may look similar to the Taj but yet much different is the amount sanctioned by Aurangzeb. The budget to build this was just a mere seven hundred thousand rupees. Low budget because of the money was being elsewhere in consolidating the empire. Considering the amount spent, I think the structure is pretty impressive with the gardens, the big verandahs. Many of the walls are adorned with exquisite paintings of the time, inlay work and marble screens and carvings, carved brass doors.

biwi ka maqbara

The ceiling. Scroll slowly and you’ll find the circles rotating. :).

The tomb is in the centre and can be viewed form an octagonal gallery above. You can see people dropping money in hope for blessings. Oh… when will we stop bribing? 😛

The intricate carving in the inside of the dome is especially very beautiful.

So, when you plan your trip of Aurangabad, the gateway to Ajanta and Ellora, don’t forget to include Biwi-ka-Maqbara in your list. The whole structure is compact and I reiterate that the only way to enjoy this piece of architecture is not to compare it with the wonder of the world, The Taj.

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11 thoughts on “Taj of the Deccan – Bibi ka Maqbara”

  1. The ceiling looks really beautiful…The experience of a place such as this one does change if it’s raining, it takes on another charm and yet it makes you want to visit again at a different time, to also see it with the play of light and shadow.

  2. @Indian Bazaars,
    I absolutely agree with you. There are many places which I wanted to visit both in monsoons and otherwise, just to see the other side of its beauty.

  3. Loved all the pics here- so intricate carvings on the ceiling. (Is it carvings? Or how do they make those designs)– I think this is lovely and yes, you are right, it should not be compared- it has its own beauty.

    I laughed at your remark about when are we going to stop bribing- oh my, isn’t that the truth!

  4. I haven’t seen this monument. Another one on my ever growing unmanageable list !

    I also dislike comparisons as I believe that each structure is unique, even though architectural styles may be similar. In Agra, the Itimad-ud-Daulah is often referred to as Baby Taj or Mini Taj !

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