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Bibi ka Maqbara of Aurangabad, the look alike of the Taj, Agra will be sporting a new look after conservation

Bibi ka Maqbara Aurangabad.  reamstime.com/
Bibi ka Maqbara Aurangabad. .dreamstime.com

Often referred to as Poor man’s Taj, Bibi ka Maqbara, a tomb of Mogul ruler Aurangzeb’ wife  about 5 km Aurangabad city, is an important tourist spot and receives  heavy footfall of tourists year round.  This  replica of Taj Mahal  like many monuments across India was  slowly losing its sheen and look because of age and poor maintenance. It is neither massive nor well-embellished built by Aurangzeb during his declining years in terms of wealth and health. Its simplicity is the hallmark of its architecture, hence lots of people visit this site which is close to the Kham river. The entire structure gleams gently when the sun is setting down on the horizon. Like the Taj, it  never disappoints the tourists and makes a lasting impression on them that clings to the mind for a few days in spite of the fact it is nor entirely made of marble stones with fine decorations or beautiful engraved calligraphy.  

Bibi ka Maqbara  Aurangabadoutlookindia.com
Carvings in the ceiling. dreamstime.com

Often called  ‘Dakkhani Taj’  (Taj of the Deccan), its design is such that  it’s reflection falls on the pond in the garden when the Sunlight hits the mausoleum when setting down.

interior Bibi ka Maqbara, Aurangabad. upload.wikimedia.org
Bibi ka Maqbara Aerial view of the tomb, Aurangabad 
upload.wikimedia.org

Aurangzeb, built this mausoleum in memory of  his first beloved wife and chief consort, Dilras Banu Begum, who died  a month after the birth of her 5th son Muhammad Akbar on 8 October 1657. It was commissioned in 1660 by him three years after her death and  Bibi ka Maqbara  (“Tomb of the Lady”) , became her final resting place and the work was completed in 1678  by Aurangzeb’s  son, Prince Azam Shah.   An octagonal lattice-screen of white marble surrounds the raised plinth supporting Rabia Daurani’s (title given posthumously) grave.  A few  kilometers from here in  Khuldabad lies a simple grave of  Aurangzeb, where he was buried  after his death.

Since 2021 conservation of this 17th century CE mausoleum has been going on and the restoration work included painting, carvings, marble, works, etc. The ASI is doing the conservation work in three parts starting with the gate, interior dome, etc., and marble partition around the tomb. Paintings near the gate are scientifically conserved

The main structure – big dome outer and inner parts and the intricately carved marble partition around the grave will be cleaned and conserved scientifically.  Special attention needs to be paid to all four domes that show signs of aging. The marble domes, if conserved and  restored, will appear with a new glow. The conservation project would cost Rs. 50 lakhs.  The ASI will be completing the illumination of the entire structure with colorful lights which will be protected in a safety steel net.  The garden with new trees will have a new look and the fountains in them will be functional. The outer and inner plastering work on the wall will impart a better look. The mausoleum will be kept open till 10 pm so that the visitors to this place will enjoy the heritage site that will appear   more resplendent now than ever before.  

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/marble-domes-of-aurangabads-bibi-ka-maqbara-to-get-new-glow/article30490750.ece

https://www.outlookindia.com/national/maharashtra-residential-quarter-like-structure-found-during-debris-work-at-bibi-ka-maqbara–news-197690

The Siasat Daily 13th Nov. 2022 Siasat. com

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