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Khusro Bagh tombs stand tall against time

Situated in the heart of the city Khusro Bagh tombs, an excellent piece of Mughal architecture, stand tall and erect to tell the tales of the Royal Mughal lineage.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2006 01:25 IST
Padmini Singh
Padmini Singh

Situated in the heart of the city Khusro Bagh tombs, an excellent piece of Mughal architecture, stand tall and erect to tell the tales of the Royal Mughal lineage.

The Khusro Bagh was built by Mughal emperor Jehangir and used by him as a pleasure resort till his stay in Allahabad from 1599 AD to 1605 AD. Later, the resort was named as Khusro Bagh after Prince Khusro, his son.

The entire premises is surrounded by lush greenery. Narrow lanes lead to the main tombs which are actually the graves. They are four in number and they belong to Khusro, his sister, and his mother. The fourth grave belongs to Tambolan Bibi which is without a tomb and it is sans any inscription.

The tombs are built with red sandstone, brought from Chunar and Shankergarh areas. The first tomb is being renovated right now where lies the grave of Khusro's mother who is said to have committed suicide in 1621 AD by taking an overdose of opium. The interior design of the arched ceilings which were beautifully engraved with stone paintings are being renovated at the moment since the water seepage has started affecting the structure. The grave is at the centre and it is surrounded by double galleries which is again a part of amazing work of the architecture of that period.

The tomb located next to it belongs to Sultanu-n-nisa, sister of Khusro. She was the first issue of Jehangir and Shan Begum and she was born in 1586 AD. The building is double-storeyed but interestingly Sultanu-n-nisa was buried elsewhere. The grave built inside is just symbolic. The walls and ceilings surrounding the grave has an excellent piece of Mughal paintings. The entire wall and the ceilings are beautifully decorated with intricate designs of flowers on the white background. However, the plaster is peeling off at a few spots of the arched ceilings and is in need of immediate repair.

The next tomb belongs to Prince Khusro. He was the eldest son of Emperor Jehangir and born in 1587 AD. Khusro had revolted against his father and marched from Agra to Lahore where he was defeated and arrested. He was sent to prison under the custody of his step brother Khurram (Shahjahan). Later Khurram sent him to Deccan where he died in 1622 AD and was buried. However, his remains were later brought to Allahabad and buried in the existing tomb.

The central grave in marble inside the tomb marks the last resting place of the prince.

The interior of the tomb has been richly embellished with Mughal paintings. There are inscriptions in Persian on the walls. There are two smaller graves in the tomb one of which on the left belongs to Khusro's brother Dawar Baksh. The other one on the right is a dummy structure.

One is forced to gape in awe at the state of the art and engineering displayed in the premises. The drainage system has been very meticulously built and without any mechanism, the centre fountain was linked to the main water source from which the water gushed out.

The Khusro Bagh premises hosts the offices of Archaelogical Department which looks after the maintenance of the structures and State Hortriculture Department which is responsible for the maintenance of the garden.

According to Senior Conservation Assistant, Diwakar Singh, the main problem being faced at the moment is that of seepage through the ceilings. "But the workers have been appointed to look up to the entire work of conservation and they are working with full dedication to complete the work," he said.

First Published: Aug 24, 2006 01:25 IST