Bibi Ka Maqbara : an exquisite mausoleum, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Bibi Ka Maqbara is an exquisitely built mausoleum located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The massive structure bears the absolute beauty of Mughal architecture, was erected in seventeenth century and commissioned by the sixth Mughal Empire Aurangzeb , a remembrance given to his wife Dilras Bance Begum though Aurangzeb was little interested in architecture and aesthetic work. Due to its much resemblance to the famous Taj Mahal in Delhi which has been a tribute paid to his mother Mumtaz Mahal, the colossal structure has often been cited as ‘ Dakkani Taj or Taj of Deccan. According to an inscription laid on the main entrance of Bibi ki Maqbara, the mausoleum was designed by architect Ata-Ullah and engineer Hanspat Rai.

The monument is believed to be built in between 1651 and 1661 AD and in according to various information approximately six lakhs was total construction cost which was significantly borne by Aurangzeb. The precious marbles used to build the mausoleum was carried from jaipur mines and the whole structure was a just replica to the Taj Mahal. However, lack of infrastructure and no use of semi-precious stones, made it a poor copy of Taj Mahal and was labeled the colloquial name-poor man’s Taj Mahal.

A hexagonal shape and embellished with minarets, Bibi ka Maqbara was erected by prince Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb in the year 1660. It stands in the middle of spacious and formally planned garden along with axial pond, fountains and water channels. The garden is enclosed by high crenelated walls with fortress set at intervals, and open pavilion on three sides. The central focus of the vast enclosure is the tomb and it is raised on a high terrace, overlooking the gardens and waterways. One can also find an unadorned grave at the lower level by a flight of steps that descend from the terrace. White marble is used through out, sprinkled delicately with stucco. However, unlike Taj Mahal the use of semi precious stones are not available and much like Taj Mahal the monument also is framed by four lofty minarets stand freely at each corner of the terrace.

It is advisable to visit Bibi ka Maqbara during the month of October and November as the post monsoon temperature remains very pleasant and a little possibility to rain.

The tourist can reach the destination either by rails, roads or by air. The nearest airport is just eleven km. from Aurangabad. It’s a well developed domestic airport and connected with major cities in India. Aurangabad station is the nearest station to Bibi ka Maqbara , approximately twelve km away from it. There are couple of buses that go to the location. Apart from buses one can also board at Taxis or auto rickshaw to reach the location.

There are few places near the monuments like  Dr. Babasaheb Marathwada university, Bhadkal Gate and kham Nadi are the prominent places and worth to visit.