Friday, 30 September 2016

Delhi Diaries: Safdarjung's Tomb

Safdarjung's Tomb is the last enclosed garden tomb in Delhi in tradition of Humayun's Tomb, though it does not match the grandeur pf the Humayun's tomb. It was built in 1753-54 by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, son of Safdarjung and it was designed by an Abyssinian architecture. Safdarjung was the governor of Awadh and later on the Prime Minister of Muhammad Shah, the Mughal Emperor. It lies by the Lodhi road, New Delhi. It is constructed in Mughal Charbagh style, roughly on the pattern of Humayun's tomb.

Safdarjung Tomb is constructed in the center of a huge garden across a area of 300 square meter. The mausoleum is a square double storeyed structure built on a raised terrace and surmounted by a bulbous dome made of marble.the tomb has four key features which are the Charbagh pattern with the mausoleum in the center, a nine fold plan, a five part facade and a large podium with hidden stairway.The tomb's construction id done using red sandstone and buff stone. The main entry is two storeyed , its facade having a very elaborate ornamentation over plastered surface and is in ornate purple color. To the right of the gate lies a mosque, a three domed structure marked with stripes. There are two graves enclosed here one of Safdarjung and the other apparently his wife's. The central chamber is in square shape which is surrounded by eight rooms which are rectangular in shape expect the corner ones which are octagonal. There are four towers surrounding the tomb at the corners, polygonal in shape with kiosks, also having marble panels and decorated arches. The garden surrounding the tomb is enclosed by a wall approximately 280 meters long on each side.On the other side of the tomb lies many small pavilions with evocative names namely "Moti Mahal", "Jangli Mahal" (Palace in the woods), and Badshah Palace (King's favorite).

Safdarjung's Tomb signifies the downfall of the Mughal rule which is the last monument in the legacy of Mughal architectures. It has been described as the "last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture in Delhi".

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