Bibi ka Maqbara – Taj of Deccan, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

No it is not the Taj Mahal, it is the Taj of Deccan. I have not seen the Taj Mahal yet; probably that is why I could be in awe at this stupendous monument. Popularly known as Bibi ka Maqbara meaning Tomb of the Lady is the mausoleum of Aurangazeb’s fourth wife, Rabia-ul Durrani. Prince Azam Shah built the tomb in memory of his mother.

Taj of Deccan

Bibi ka Maqbara

This monument is in so many ways similar to Taj Mahal, but not the exact replica. The failure was due to severe constraints on finance and lack of architectural skills. Taj of Deccan is built within a complex measuring 450m by 275m. There are ponds, fountains, and water channels, stone screens and lined with broad pathways. Well maintained trees were adding beauty to the pathway.

Taj of Deccan 1

One of the minarets… at Bibi ka Maqbara

An inscription here reads: “Ata-Ulla, an architect and Hanspati Rai an engineer designed and erected this mausoleum. It took 10 years to complete the work from 1651 to 1661AD”. It was modeled on the Taj Mahal at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. There is the central tomb with four minarets at four corners of the raised square platform.

Aurangzeb was not in favor of building this monument.  His son Alam Shah was determined to have a monument to his mother that might vie with the Taj Mahal of Agra. And Alam Shah prevailed upon his father who eventually relented.

Taj of Deccan 2

Main entrance to Bibi ka Maqbara.

Taj of Deccan 4

The mosque adjacent to tomb.

Taj of Deccan 5

Tomb of Rabia-ul Durrani at Bibi ka Maqbara

Mortal remains of Rabia-ul Durrani are at a lower level in an octagonal enclosure made of marble screens. The lady lays here alone, while in Taj Mahal of Agra the lovers are laid side by side. Most noteworthy was the tomb covered with a rich silk sheet. People were throwing coins on it. What a contrast when compared with the tomb of her husband Emperor Aurangazeb which is few kilometers away at Khuldabad!

Architectural Details

 

Taj of Deccan 6 The middle portion is covered with plaster and given a marble finish. Seems like time is leaving its bad effects and the floral motifs in shell lime plaster are peeling off at places.
The lower body and tomb is made of pure marble. Impressive geometric and floral designs in marble…

Doors of Taj of Deccan

Bibi ka maqbara

Brass door at Bibi ka maqbara

Door panels

Door panel at Bibi ka maqbara

Intricate designs

There are finely worked brass doors with floral motifs. Especially relevant are the exquisite designs on the marble screens and doors. No wonder this monument is one of the best Mughal buildings in Deccan!

When we visited there were hardly any visitors even in peak of winters.


Finally, one last glance at Taj of Deccan, the monument built by a son for his mother… I am curious, is there any other monument in this vast world built in honor of one’s mother?

How to Reach Taj of Deccan

By Train: Aurangabad is the nearest railway station, which is approximately 12kms from Bibi ka Maqbara.
By Road: If you are in Aurangabad, the best mode of travel will be auto rickshaw or taxi to visit Bibi-ka-Maqbara. You can also avail the local city buses.

Visit Timings: 8am to 8pm on all days.
Entry Fees to Taj of
Deccan: Rs. 10 per person for Indians and Rs. 250 for foreigners.

Save

Save

Save

Panchakki - The Water Wheel, Aurangabad
Visit to Daulatabad Fort, a Day Trip from Aurangabad

24 Responses to “Bibi ka Maqbara – Taj of Deccan, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

  • A nice post with lovely pictures.
    Thank you for dropping by at my space.

  • Hi, here I am trying to recapture your last posts. Loved to see this Taj, though the other is much more impressive…
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter. I’m still strolling around the streets of Sofia.
    Have a great weekend!

  • While appreciating the architectural beauty of the Taj of Agra or the taj of Deccan , we need to temper it with the thought of the hardship inflicted on the slave labour used in the construction of these monuments. There are reasons to believe that majority of the slaves were mostly non-muslims and many of them would have perished during construction of these monuments.

    Many historians have attempted to put a positive spin on Aurangazeb and his life saying he was a man of simplicity and a devoted muslim. Hidden under this garb was a fanatic muslim who imposed sharia on all which included Hindus and adding insult to injury he also imposed an outrageous tax on each Hindu called jeziya. He ruled for a long time and inflicted misery on his subjects who were predominantly non-muslims.

  • Hi Indrani

    I hv seen the Biwi ka Maqbara. So the pics and ur write up did bring back memories . I was particularly taken up with the fact that since marble was beyond budget ..they had seshells pounded and used onthe outer surface to give it is milk white sheen . Amazing edifice .

    Thanks for your comments on the (hindi)poem .
    Do visit again . 🙂

  • Celine: Thanks!

    GMG: I am glad you liked it!

    Guru: Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    shubd: Sure! and thanks to you too!

  • A stunning monument indeed..and it appears there are fewer tourists than at the Taj Mahal at any given time..

    Ah..there is still too many places on my list I haven’t visited yet..

    🙂

  • I have a similar post on my blog–with similar pics!Even I was impressed when i first saw it.

  • I didn’t even know this place existed ….

  • i havent seen the original Taj but seen this one. So when u mentioned the Taj of Deccan in sm other post I thought it has to be this place!

  • Yogi Saraswat
    2 years ago

    Another Taj Mahal -Bibi ka maqbara ! Have listen about it but never read much about it . Thank you very much for sharing this place . Hope you will be at actual Taj Mahal very soon.

  • How have you managed not to see Taj? It is worth a visit!

    • Indrani Ghose
      1 year ago

      Not yet Mridula! But hopefully sometime soon.

  • Differ by identity only, otherwise at first sight looks like Taj Mahal.

  • Wow! At first, I thought it is the Taj Mahal. Stunning captures and wonderful description.

  • Great post..It was a virtual tour to the remarkable mausoleum which I had the opportunity to visit during my childhood. The author had nicely highlighted the architectural splendors of the by-gone Mughal era..

  • Brilliant presentation with nice pictures

  • It is so much like Taj Mahal. Many of my friends have been to this place. Very well presented . Wonderful photos.

  • It is a Taj Mahal replica but the carvings are richer there….awesome captures and description Indrani 🙂

  • It’s indeed a mini Taj. Didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing with amazing clicks and historical facts. 🙂

  • Beautiful Photos 🙂

  • Saumy Nagayach
    1 year ago

    I read about it a few months ago but wasn’t aware of the fact that this is so very similar to The Taj Mahal. Wonderfully presented 🙂

  • It is most beautiful !! Loved looking at the pics 🙂

  • Beautiful architecture. Even more beautiful that it has been built in the honor of a mother. Nice pictures.

  • Thank you for posting this, beautiful architecture 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *