The replicas of famous buildings are infamous for being a mockery at the original monument but this can never be said about the replica of Taj Mahal. This monument which is known by the name of Bibi ka Maqbara was built in 1678 just after a few years of the construction of Taj Mahal. This building, however, was built in the memory of the mother of Prince Azam Khan between the years 1651 and 1661.
Bibi ka Maqbara – Half-Sized Mini Taj Mahal
This building that is also known by the name of poor man’s Taj Mahal is not an all marble building. Rather, the materials used in this building are more modest such as
- Marble in the onion shaped dome
In those times the Indian soil was famous for the production of marble and this stone was procured from a place near Jaipur and was carried to the construction site on the bullock carts. Prince Azam Shah had shifted the capital of the Mughal Empire to Aurangabad and this is why he got the monument built in this city.
This ‘Mini Taj’ has all the features of the original Taj Mahal like the
- The inlaid walls
- Marble screens
- Turrets surrounding the tomb
- A reflecting pool
There are gardens surrounding the main building which is the tomb of Dilras Banu Begum or Rabia-ud-Daurani. Rabia was the first wife of Emperor Aurangzeb. This prince who loved his mother to the core got the tomb erected following the wishes of his father depicting the love of a son for his mother and got this building made. Aurangzeb was not very fond of monuments or architecture and that is why he has only two main buildings constructed during his reign. One is the Pearl Mosque in Delhi and the second one is Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad.
The building does not exude the grandeur of the original Taj Mahal but is a great replica that has everything in a miniature form that one can see in Taj Mahal. The building is a great depiction of Mughal architecture and the prevalence of the art forms of those times. Since it is made in the southern part of the country which is also known as Dakkan this monument is also called by some as Dakkani Taj.
But there is a striking difference between this monument and Taj Mahal. Where it is said that after the construction of the Taj was completed the hands of the craftsmen and artisans were chopped off so that nothing as grand as that could be made again but here one finds an inscription the building which tells about the names of the architect who was Ata-Ullah and the engineer named Hanspat Rai. Ata-Ullah was the son of the main architect of the Taj. This monument took almost ten years to get constructed and an amount of 6,68,203 rupees and seven annas were spent in its construction.
This was actually designed to rival the Taj but due to such financial constraints imposed by Aurangzeb it became just a small copy of the magnificent Taj.
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