Bibi Ka Maqbara
The Bibi Ka Maqbara (English:”Tomb of the Lady”) is a tomb located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India. It was built by Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb, in 1678 in memory of his mother, Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani). It bears a striking resemblance to the famous Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of his grandmother, Mumtaz Mahal. Aurangzeb was not very interested in architecture, though he had built the small, but elegant, Pearl Mosque at Delhi. The Bibi Ka Maqbara was the largest structure that he had to his credit.
The comparison to the Taj Mahal has often obscured its very own considerable charm. Due to the strong resemblance, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan). The Bibi Ka Maqbara is the principal monument of Aurangabad and its historic city. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. Ata-ullah was the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.
Bibi ka Maqbara is believed to have been built between 1651 and 1661 C.E. According to the “Tarikh Namah” of Ghulam Mustafa, the cost of construction of the mausoleum was Rs. 6,68,203-7 (rupees six lakh, sixty-eight thousand, two hundred three and seven annas) – Aurangzeb allocated only Rs. 7,00,000 for its construction. An inscription found on the main entrance door mentions that this mausoleum was designed and erected by Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer respectively. The marble for this mausoleum was brought from mines near Jaipur. According to Tavernier, around three hundred carts laden with marble, drawn by at least 12 oxen, were seen by him during his journey from Surat to Golconda. The mausoleum was intended to rival the Taj Mahal, but the decline in architecture and proportions of the structure (both due to the severe budgetary constraints imposed by Aurangzeb) had resulted in a poor copy of the latter.