Bibi ka maqbara also known as the “poor man’s Taj Mahal” or the “mini Taj”, situated at a distance of approximately 5 kms from the Aurangabad city of Maharashtra ,India. It entombs Rabia-ul-Daurani, alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The construction work on the mausoleum was started in the year 1651 and it took approximately 10 years to complete it. Prince Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb, got the tomb built in the memory of his mother. The main entrance door of Bibi ka Makbara is adorned with an inscription like the original Taj Mahal.
Bibi Ka Maqbara is a beautiful monument built of sandstone and plastered walls. The use of sandstone and plaster in the construction was made mainly to cut down the costs unlike its north Indian rival Taj Mahal which is built entirely of white marble. Designed by Ustad Attah Ullah of Persia, the structure was made on the lines of the Taj Mahal, however it fails to rise up to expectation and the intricate carvings and other beautiful art work as seen on the Taj is somewhat missing on the Bibi Ka Maqbara. However, leaving all comparisons aside, the Bibi Ka Maqbara is one of the finest of Mughal constructions which was built during the end of Mughal rule in India.
Architecture of Bibi Ka Maqbara
The grand monument stands right in the middle of a lush garden which is over 450 mts long and 270 mts wide, adorned with a number of beautiful ponds, fountains and other water bodies decorated with colorful stone motifs. The entire complex is enclosed within giant walls and huge pavillions on its sides. Entry to the area is through an imposing gateway in the south wall wherein are inscribed the names of people involved in the construction including Atam Aula, the architect.
At the centre lies the tomb raised on a platform in a way such that it affords a beautiful view of the garden and waterbodies. The mausoleum containing the grave can be accessed through a series of steps. Entire structure is adorned with beautiful stone work while the grave is enclosed within a series of exquisitely carved marble screens such that it can even rival those of the magnificent Taj Mahal.
The upper floor is an architectural marvel adorned with stone screens that carry intricate engravings. The octagonal gallery is made completely of white marble and delicate stucco. On the lines of the Taj Mahal, there are four towering minarets on each of the corners, however, no use of semi precious stones is seen. Among other structures of tourist interest are a small tomb situated towards the west of the tomb and the Sunehri Mahal, which is one of the finest Mughal architectural creations.
Aurangabad, situated in the west Indian state of Maharashtra is home to some fine monuments as also the gateway to the world famous caves of Ajanta & Ellora. The place houses some fine hotels and resorts which provide its guests with excellent accommodation facilities.
Getting to Bibi ka maqbara
By Air : Indian Airlines operates daily flights to Aurangabad from Mumbai and Delhi. Jet Airways also has a daily connection between Aurangabad and Mumbai.
By Rail : Aurangabad has a railway station located at a short distance from the city centre. The city is connected through regular trains to other major cities of India including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Amritsar, Jhansi, Agra, Hyderabad etc.
By Road : A network of well built highways connect Aurangabad with other cities across Maharashtra. State transport buses ply regularly between Aurangabad and Mumbai.
Bibi ka maqbara map [mappress mapid=”64″]