Recently on a visit to Aurangabad in Maharashtra had a chance to see the ‘Bibi Ka Maqbara’. Anybody who is about the enter the gates and seeing the monument for the first time would think ‘Hey! have i come to Agra’. It resembles the Taj Mahal.
It was built by Aurangzeb’s son Prince Azam Shah in memory of his mother Dilras Banu Begum. Aurangzeb was initially not in favour of his son building the monument but later relented. It was built between 1651 to 1661 A.D. It cost Rs. Seven Lakh to build however much lower than Taj Mahal which cost ShahJahan Rs. 32 million to build.
The mausoleum is built on a high square platform with four minarets at the four corners exactly like the Taj Mahal and can be approached through steps from three sides. The onion shaped dome is however much smaller than the dome of the Taj. The minarets are also smaller than the minarets of the Taj Mahal.
While the Taj Mahal is made up of pure white marble the ‘Bibi ka Maqbara’ has the dome of white marble and the white marble is used upto the Dado level. Above this level fine plaster has been used to give it a marble like finish. Its dusky appearance is quite in contrast to the shine of the Taj Mahal.
It houses the tomb of Dilras Banu Begum in whose memory it was built. Maybe Aurangzeb did not have as much finesse in construction of monuments as Shahjahan. It could also be because the workmen who were involved in the construction of ‘Bibi Ka Maqbara’ were not as skillful as those of the workmen who were engaged in the construction of Taj Mahal.
Still the monument is worth a visit.
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