Thursday, January 28, 2010

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

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City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Scarred with beauty.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

A stone-paved lane hedged with marigold flowers leads to one of Delhi’s strangest monuments. The 16th century tomb of a Mughal noble, Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana, is both ugly and beautiful. Its exterior stonework is stripped off. The plaster on its inside walls is chipped. Its niches are cobwebbed. The ceilings are scrawled with romantic messages. But before you notice the flaws, the weathered dome, as well as the chhatris and the arches take you in. The underground tomb is inaccessible but the sarcophagus in the upper chamber is bare, quiet, dark and windy.

Bordered by the tony Nizamuddin East bungalows on one side and the noisy Mathura Road on the other, the large garden around the ticketed tomb is like a city getaway. It is dotted with bottle palm, ashoka, mango and sangwan trees. A giant neem leans onto the tomb itself. In the mornings, the neighbourhood’s health-conscious gentry treat the complex like their local Lodhi Garden. They troop in with their passes for exercises and games. In other times, the place remains forsaken, save a few sightseers, stray dogs and restless squirrels continually racing on the grass, climbing the trees and playing catch-me-if-you-can with one another.

Besides being Akbar’s prime minister, Mr Khan-i-Khana translated Mughal emperor Babar’s memoirs from Chaghatai to Persian. He wrote two books on astrology and had a good command over Sanskrit. He also composed poetry. Once, Hindi poet Tulsidas wrote a verse on him.

This ruin was built for Mr Khan-i-Khana’s wife and, as it happened, he too was interred here. During the last years of the Mughal rule, the tomb and the dome had their marbles stripped off and put on the tomb of Safdarjang, another noble. The scarred look works well for those who find beauty in melancholy.

Beware There are no railings on the platform Ticket Rs 5 Time Sunrise to sunset Where Nizamuddin East, next to the entrance

Waiting for the date

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

The whole look

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Morning walkers

Morning Walk

Careful, brother

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Family-friendly destination

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Playing with history

Playing with History

Alone together

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Domestic tourists

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Domestic tourists

Yaari Dosti

It's the time

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Up the stairs

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

The sacrophagus chamber

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Scarred beauty

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Careful, brothers

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

Quite a sight

Quite a Beauty

See you

City Landmark - Khan-i-Khana's Tomb, Nizamuddin East

4 comments:

A.A. Hasan, KSA said...

I viewed this historical monument thousands times while driving on Mathura Road during my stay in Delhi. But, I could not peep inside it.
Thanks Mayank, for revealing our own history on us.
Keep it up

Matty said...

Khan-i-Khana was also known as "Rahim" the famous writer of Dohas..

Parveen Sibal said...

Growing up in Nizam-ud-din , you brought me the memories of this tomb where people would stroll in summer evenings and during exams kids would go on top floor to study but the cool breeze makes them sleep over their books. Thanks for the post

Sarat Kumar said...

He was the famous Rahim whose dohas we all read in school.He is not very liked in Pakistan and I have not come across any Pakistanis who know him(I live in Abu Dhabi). He was also supposed to be a Krishna worshipper.