Apart from being the capital of India, Delhi is a fascinating
city with pleasant contradictions. Comprising of Old
Delhi and New Delhi, the city is home to famous tourist
destinations like the Laxmi Narayan Temple, India Gate,
Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Humayun's Tomb,
and the vivacious shopping bazaar of Chandni Chowk.
One such tourist attraction in Delhi is the Safdarjung's
Tomb, the last of the mausoleums of the Mughal dynasty.
Safdarjung's Tomb was built by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula
in 1753-54 AD for his father, Mirza Mukin Abul Mansur
Khan 'Safdarjung'. Mirza Mukin Abul Mansur Khan was
the wazir of emperor Ahmed Shah and Safdarjang was a
title, either awarded to him by the king, or he assumed
himself. Erected roughly on the pattern of Humayun's
tomb, Safdarjung's tomb is set in the middle of a garden,
which spreads over an area of 300 sq m. This garden
is laid down on the pattern of the Mughal Charbagh style.
The tomb was built by an Ethiopian architect, Bilal
Mohammed Khan, at an exorbitant cost of Rs 3 lakhs.
The marble and sandstone facing used for it was abstracted
from the tomb of Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan. The tomb
is made of buff-colored sandstone with the intermittent
use of red sandstone and marble. There are two graves
here, one of Safdarjung and the other apparently that
of his wife's.
The central chamber is carved and finely polished,
surrounded by rhombic and square compartments. Sunlight
enters through the latticework. Constructed of small
hard-baked lakori bricks, the central structure has
double-storey minarets at the corners and a globular
marble dome, and is surrounded by eight rooms. The three-domed
and arched mosque with whaleback roofing at the entrance
was added later.
There are beautiful pavilions on either side of the
Safdarjung Tomb, known as Moti Mahal or the pearl palace,
Jangli Mahal or the sylvan palace and Badshah Pasand
or the emperor's favorite.
How to reach
Safdarjung Tomb lies at the Lodi road, New Delhi. To
reach there, the nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi
International Airport located 23 km southwest of Central
Delhi and the domestic terminal at Palam is 5 km away
from the international terminal. Taxi and coach transfer
is available from both International and Domestic Arrivals.
» Architecture of Safdarjang's Tomb
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