Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Emperor Jahangir.jpg
Basic information
Location

Lahore, Punjab

Pakistan Pakistan
Affiliation Islam
Rite Sunni
District Shahdara Bagh
Province Punjab
Leadership Shah Jahan
Architectural description
Architectural type Mausoleum
Architectural style Mughal, Safavid
Completed 1637
Specifications
Capacity 2000
Width 267 feet
Spire(s) 4
Materials Red sandstone, Marble, Brick
Much of the mausoleum's interior is adorned with Mughal-era frescoes.

The Tomb of Jahangir (Urdu: مقبرہُ جہانگیر‎, Punjabi: جہانگير دا مقبرہ) is a 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.[1] While the tomb's exterior is restrained, the site is famous for its interiors that are extensively embellished with frescoes and marble. 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.[2]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The tomb was built for the Emperor Jahangir, who ruled the Mughal Empire from 1605 to 1627 C.E.. His tomb is located at Shahdara, Lahore.[3] The region was a "favourite spot" of Jahangir and his wife Nur Jahan, when they lived in this city.[3] When Jahangir died in 1627 in Kashmir, he was initially buried in Nur Jahan's pleasure garden near Lahore, the Dilkusha Garden.[4] His son, the new Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, ordered that a "mausoleum befitting an Emperor" should be built in his father's honour to inter his remains.[3]

HistoryEdit

 
Façade of Jahangir's Tomb in 1880.
 
The exterior view of the magnificent Mausoleum of Emperor Jahangir, located in Punjab, Pakistan

The tomb took ten years to build the tomb, and cost Rs 10 lakh.[5] Construction started in 1627, requiring ten years for completion.[3] Though contemporary historians attribute construction of the tomb to Jahangir's son Shah Jahan, the tomb may have been the result of Nur Jahan's vision.[5] Taking inspiration from her father's burial place, she is said to have designed the mausoleum in 1627,[5] and possibly helped fund it.[3]

The tomb grounds were desecrated under Sikh rule when they were pillaged in the army of Ranjit Singh.[6] The pillaged grounds were then converted for use as a private residence for an officer in the army of Ranjit Singh, Señor Oms, who was also known as Musa Sahib.[7] Ranjit Singh further desecrated the mausoleum once more when he ordered that Musa Sahib be buried on the tomb's grounds after dying from cholera in 1828.[7] By 1880, a rumour had begun circulating which alleged that the tomb once was topped by a dome or second storey that was stolen by Ranjit Singh's army.[8] The tomb was then repaired by the British between 1889-1890.[9]

ArchitectureEdit

 
The walls of the tomb are inlaid with carved marble.
 
A view of the mausoleum's exterior embellishments and architectural features.

The tomb was constructed in a Mughal style influenced by Safavid-style architecture from Persia,[10] which may have been introduced into the Mughal Court by Nur Jahan[11] - who was of Persian origin. The mausoleum's façade is made of red sandstone inlaid with marble motifs.

In keeping with Sunni religious tradition, Jahangir's great grandfather Babur chose to be buried in a tomb open to the sky at the Gardens of Babur. Jahangir's tomb broke with this tradition by including a roof. In order to forge a compromise with Sunni tradition, the roof was kept simple and free from architectural embellishment such as the domes which were later feature prominently at the Taj Mahal, built by Jahangir's son Shah Jahan.[12] The mausoleum's façade is embellished with red sandstone inlaid with marble motifs.

LayoutEdit

The mausoleum is set in a large quadrangle with gates facing each of the cardinal directions. Entry to the quadrangle is via the western edge through the Akbari Sarai - a gate featuring a small mosque. To the immediate west of the Akbari Sarai is the Tomb of Asif Khan - Jahangir's brother-in-law.

ExteriorEdit

 
The mausoleum's perimeter is lined by arcades.

The square-shaped mausoleum is a 22 foot tall, single-story plinth with arcades lining all four sides of the structure. From the building rise four octagonal ornamental minarets projecting from each corner of the building, decorated with geometric inlaid stone. The minarets are divided into three sections, with the tomb forming the base, upon which the body of the minaret rests, called by white marble cupolas. The minarets rise to a height of 100 feet (30m).

InteriorEdit

 
The burial chamber contains the Emperor's cenotaph.

The mausoleum building is divided into a series of vaulted compartments which are richly embellished with Mughal buon fresco. At the centre of the mausoleum is an octagonal chamber lined with carved marble in which the remains of the Mughal Emperor rest in a crypt below a cenotaph. The cenotaph is constructed of solid white marble inlaid with fine pietra dura in a floral pattern. It also features black-marble inlay with the Names of God in Islam, a common theme in Islamic mysticism. Carved jali screens admit light in various patterns facing toward Mecca.

GardensEdit

The gardens surrounding the tomb are vast, and laid out in the Persian Chahar Bagh, or Paradise garden.[13] The garden is divided into four squares by paved walkways (khiyabans) and two bisecting central water channels which are designed to reflect the four rivers that flow in jannat, the Islamic concept of paradise. Each of the four square is further divided into smaller squares with pathways, creating into 16 squares in all. The garden forms a quadrangle measuring approximately 500 metres on each side.[14]

NumismaticsEdit

The tomb was featured on the 1000 Rupee note until 2005.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wiki Loves Monuments: Top 10 pictures from Pakistan are here!
  2. ^ "Tombs of Jahangir, Asif Khan and Akbari Sarai, Lahore". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Jahangir's tomb". Oriental Architecture. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Visiting the sub-continent's rebellious prince". Pakistan Today. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Jahangir's Tomb". UAL Berta. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Chaudhry, Nazir Ahmad (2000). Lahore. Sang-e-Meel Publications. p. 156. ISBN 9789693510478. 
  7. ^ a b Singh, Khushwant (2008). Ranjit Singh. Penguin Books India. p. 167. ISBN 9780143065432. 
  8. ^ Chaudhry, Nazir Ahmad (2000). Lahore. Sang-e-Meel Publications. p. 156. ISBN 9789693510478. 
  9. ^ "The Tomb of Emperor Jehangir". Dawn. 20 August 2013. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Bhallia, A. S. (2015). Monuments, Power and Poverty in India: From Ashoka to the Raj. I.B.Tauris. p. 256. ISBN 9781784530877. 
  11. ^ Bhallia, A. S. (2015). Monuments, Power and Poverty in India: From Ashoka to the Raj. I.B.Tauris. p. 256. ISBN 9781784530877. 
  12. ^ "Jahangir's Tomb". Asian Historical Architecture. 
  13. ^ "Jahangir's Tomb". Lahore Sites of Interest. Retrieved 17 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "Jahangir's Tomb". Asian Historical Architecture. 

External linksEdit