Tomb of Nur Jahan

Last updated

Tomb of Nur Jahan
مقبرہ نورجہاں
Tomb of Nur Jahan 1.jpg
The red sandstone tomb is decorated with pietra dura , and may have been modeled on the nearby Tomb of Jahangir
Lahore Map.PNG
Red pog.svg
Location in Lahore
Pakistan location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Tomb of Nur Jahan (Pakistan)
Coordinates Coordinates: 31°37′15″N74°17′41″E / 31.6209°N 74.2947°E / 31.6209; 74.2947
Location Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
Type Mausoleum

The Tomb of Nur Jahan (Urdu : مقبرہ نورجہاں) is a 17th-century mausoleum in Lahore, Pakistan, that was built for the Mughal empress Nur Jahan. The tomb's marble was plundered during the Sikh era in 18th century for use at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. [1] [2] [3] The red sandstone mausoleum, along with the nearby tomb of Jahangir, tomb of Asif Khan, and Akbari Sarai, forms part of an ensemble of Mughal monuments in Lahore's Shahdara Bagh.

Contents

Location

The mausoleum is located in Shahdara Bagh, across the River Ravi from Lahore. The tomb is part of an ensemble of nearby monuments, including the Tomb of Jahangir, Akbari Sarai, as well as the tomb of Asif Khan. Nur Jahan's tomb was separated from the other monuments by open fields, [4] which were later interrupted by construction of the Lahore-Peshawar Railway Line during the British era.

Background

Koranic verses inlaid in marble on the cenotaph Noor Jahans Tomb.JPG
Koranic verses inlaid in marble on the cenotaph

Mehr-un-Nissa, bestowed with the title Nur Jahan, meaning "Light of the World," was the fourth child of Asmat Begum and her husband Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who had both immigrated from Persia. She was first married at the age of 17 to a Persian adventurer named Sher Afghan Ali Quli Khan Istajlu, who was renowned for his brilliant military career, and from whom she bore a daughter, Ladli Begum before he died in 1607. [5] Her father served the Mughal emperor Akbar, who bestowed him with the title of Itmat-ud-daulah ("Pillar of the State"), while her brother Asif Khan served her next husband, the Emperor Jahangir. Nur Jahan was the most powerful Mughal Empress. [6] During her reign between 1611 and 1627, she effectively shaped the expanding Mughal Empire, and contributed towards religious causes and helped foster overseas trade. [5]

History

Having survived Jahangir by 18 years, she died at the age of 68 years and much of the mausoleum was most probably constructed during her lifetime. [5] The tomb took four years to complete at the cost of Rupees three lakhs. Following the ascent of Shah Jahan to the Mughal throne, she was provided a yearly allowance of 200,000 rupees. Given the poor state of relations between her and Shah Jahan, it is likely that she funded the construction of her tomb from her annual allowance. [5]

As with the Tomb of Asif Khan, Nur Jahan's tomb was stripped of its ornamental stones and marble during the occupation of Lahore by the army of Ranjit Singh. [7] Much of the materials were used to decorated the Golden Temple in Amritsar, [1] [2] [3] and it has been said that half the Golden Temple's splendour derives from marble plundered from Nur Jahan's shrine. [8]

The Shahdara ensemble of monuments, including the Nur Jahan tomb, suffered under British rule when a railway line was built between the tombs of Asif Khan and Nur Jahan. [4] The tomb underwent minor repairs but is slated for major restoration. [9]

Architecture

The tomb was built on a podium, [5] in the takhtgah style in which the podium serves as the takht, or "throne." With a platform measuring 158 square feet, the tomb is in the shape of a square and measures 124 feet on each side, and is 19.6 feet high. Minarets may previously have risen from the corners of the mausoleum, similar to the nearby Tomb of Jahangir. [5]

Exterior

Unlike her father's tomb (tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah), which was constructed in white marble, Nur Jahan's mausoleum is primarily clad in red sandstone, with a flat roofline similar to that of her husband's tomb. [5] The exterior features 7 vaulted arches, [5] which were covered with marble and wrought with flower mosaics in semi-precious stones. The central arch on each side protrudes out from the 3 flanking vaulted arches. [5] Minute paneling was executed in intricate patterns and cornices are honeycomb shaped in several rooms. The inner floor is covered with marble and the outer platform with sandstone. The exterior, encased in red sandstone, was inlaid with floral motifs in addition to white, black and yellow marble. Turtle

Interior

Marble cenotaphs of Nur Jahan and her daughter Ladli Begum Grave of Nur Jahan.jpg
Marble cenotaphs of Nur Jahan and her daughter Ladli Begum

The central vaulted chamber of the tomb contains a marble platform with two cenotaphs, one that commemorates Nur Jahan and the other to commemorate her daughter, Ladli Begum. Built by Hakim Ajmal, Khan of Delhi in 1912, the original marble sarcophagus bears ornate workmanship and the name of Allah, in the same style and size as seen in the tombs of Jahangir and Asif Khan. On her tomb is inscribed an epitaph: "On the grave of this poor stranger, let there be neither lamp nor rose. Let neither butterfly’s wing burn nor nightingale sing". [10]

Gardens

The tomb stands in the centre of a Persian-style Charbagh. [5] The original garden no longer survives, [5] but once included tulips, roses, and jasmine. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Mumtaz Mahal Chief consort of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan

Mumtaz Mahal was the Empress consort of the Mughal Empire from 19 January 1628 to 17 June 1631 as the chief consort of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal in Agra, often cited as one of the Wonders of the World, was commissioned by her husband to act as her tomb.

Nur Jahan

Nur Jahan was the twentieth wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir.

Mughal architecture Indo-Islamic architecture from 16th to 18th century India

Mughal architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkic and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation; Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Anarkali

Anarkali, born as Sharif un-Nissa, and also known as Nadira Begum, was a courtesan from Lahore. According to one story, Anarkali had an illicit relationship with the Crown Prince Jahangir and the Mughal Emperor Akbar had her enclosed in a wall where she died. There is no historic proof of Anarakali's existence although her character often appears in movies, books and fictionalized versions of history.

Tomb of Itimād-ud-Daulah

Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a "jewel box", sometimes called the "Bachcha Taj", the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal.

<i>Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story</i>

Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story is a 2005 Indian historical drama film directed by Akbar Khan. The movie starred Kabir Bedi, Sonya Jehan, Manisha Koirala, Arbaaz Khan, Vaquar Shaikh, Rahil Azam and Pooja Batra in the title roles. The movie was released on 18 November in India.

Mihr-un-nissa Begum Empress consort of the Mughal Empire

Mihr-un-nissa Begum, also known as Ladli Begum, was the daughter of Nur Jahan, the twentieth wife of Jahangir.

Ali Quli Istajlu, also known by his later, given name of Sher Afgan Khan was a Turkoman who initially served the Safavids, and later became a Mughal courtier, becoming the jagirdar of Burdwan in Bengal Province (1605–1607). He was also the first husband of Nur Jahan (Mehrunissa), who later married Jahangir after Ali Quli Khan's death and became Empress of India.

Shahryar Mirza Mughal Emperor

Shahryar Mirza was the fifth and youngest son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. After Jahangir's death, Shahryar made an attempt to become emperor and was successful with the help of his powerful stepmother Nur Jahan, who was also his mother-in-law. However, he was only titular and suffered defeat and was killed at the orders of his victorious brother Shah Jahan.

Tomb of Jahangir 1637 mausoleum for Mughal Emperor Jahangir in Lahore, Pakistan

The Tomb of Jahangir is a 17th-century mausoleum built for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The mausoleum dates from 1637, and is located in Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, along the banks of the Ravi River. The site is famous for its interiors that are extensively embellished with frescoes and marble, and its exterior that is richly decorated with pietra dura. The tomb, along with the adjacent Akbari Sarai and the Tomb of Asif Khan, are part of an ensemble currently on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage status.

Shahdara Bagh is a historic precinct located across the Ravi River from the Walled City of Lahore, Pakistan. Shahdara Bagh is the site of several Mughal era monumentally, including the Tomb of Jahangir, the Akbari Sarai, Tomb of Asif Khan, Baradari of Kamran Mirza, and the Tomb of Nur Jahan. Furthermore, Shahdara is also a home to infamous choopa master blaster Sajawal Ali Jutt.

Pakistani architecture is intertwined with the architecture of the broader Indian subcontinent. With the beginning of the Indus civilization around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, for the first time in the area which encompasses today's Pakistan an advanced urban culture developed with large structural facilities, some of which survive to this day. This was followed by the Gandhara style of Buddhist architecture that borrowed elements from Ancient Greece. These remnants are visible in the Gandhara capital of Taxila.

Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani

The Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani is the mausoleum of Mariam-uz-Zamani, the Queen consort of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The tomb was built by Jahangir, in memory of his mother Mariam-uz-Zamani. The tomb is located in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra.

Abul-Hasan Asaf Khan

Abu'l-Hasan entitled by the Mughal emperor Jahangir as Asaf Khan, was the Grand Vizier of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He previously served as the vakil of Jahangir. Asaf Khan is perhaps best known for being the father of Arjumand Banu Begum, the chief consort of Shah Jahan and the older brother of Empress Nur Jahan, the chief consort of Jahangir.

Lal Bangla

Lal Bangla are two imperial late-Mughal mausoleums located in Delhi, India, that are that protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India.

Akbari Sarai

The Akbari Sarai is a large caravan inn ("sarai") that is located in Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Dating from 1637, the sarai was originally built for travelers, as well as for caretakers of the Tomb of Jahangir. The sarai is most notable for being the best-preserved example in Pakistan, as well as for its large gateway that is richly embellished with pietra dura that serves as a portal to the tomb of Jahangir.

Tomb of Asif Khan

The Tomb of Asif Khan is a 17th-century mausoleum located in Shahdara Bagh, in the city of Lahore, Punjab. It was built for the Mughal statesman Mirza Abul Hassan Jah, who was titled Asif Khan. Asif Khan was brother of Nur Jahan, and brother-in-law to the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. Asif Khan's tomb is located adjacent to the Tomb of Jahangir, and near the Tomb of Nur Jahan. Asif Khan's tomb was built in a Central Asian architectural style, and stands in the centre of a Persian-style Charbagh garden.

<i>Persian Inscriptions on Indian Monuments</i>

Persian Inscriptions on Indian Monuments is a book written in Persian by Dr Ali Asghar Hekmat E Shirazi and published in 1956 and 1958 and 2013. new edition contains the Persian texts of more than 200 epigraphical inscriptions found on historical monuments in India, many of which are currently listed as national heritage sites or registered as UNESCO world heritage, published in Persian; an English edition is also being printed.

Seraj Park,, is a northern suburb of Shahdara, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is situated on the northern side of the Ravi River.

Asmat Begum was the wife of Mirza Ghias Beg, the Prime minister of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, and the mother of Mughal empress Nur Jahan, the power behind the emperor. Asmat Begum was also the paternal grandmother of Empress Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built.

References

  1. 1 2 The Calcutta Review, Volumes 72-73. University of Calcutta. 1881. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  2. 1 2 Bhalla, A.S. (2009). Royal tombs of India: 13th to 18th century. Mapin. p. 119. ISBN   9788189995102 . Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  3. 1 2 Saladin, Henri; Migeon, Gaston (2012). Art of Islam. Parkstone International. p. 94. ISBN   9781780429939 . Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Tomb of Asif Khan" (PDF). Global Heritage Fund. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Findly, Ellison Banks (1993). Nur Jahan, Empress of Mughal India. Oxford University Press. ISBN   9780195074888 . Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  6. Goff, Richard D. (2011). World History. Cengage Learning. p. 531. ISBN   9781111345143.
  7. Marshall, Sir John Hubert (1906). Archaeological Survey of India. Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing.
  8. Curator of Ancient Monuments (1885). Preservation of National Monuments: ... Report of the Curator of Ancient Monuments in India for the Year ..., Issue 3. Government Central Branch Press. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  9. Malik, Sonia (17 July 2012). "Restoration of Nur Jahan's Tomb to begin soon". The Express Tribune . Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  10. Gold, Claudia (2008). Queen, Empress, Concubine: Fifty Women Rulers from Cleopatra to Catherine the Great. London: Quercus. p. 151. ISBN   978-1-84724-542-7.