2020-05-11

Bibi Ka Maqbara | A Replica Of The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal one of the most iconic and famous monuments, not only in India but around the world. Anyone traveling to India will surely include it in their itinerary, as a must see. But perhaps what many do not know is that in India there are two Taj Mahal . 

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal

Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara

"Tomb of the Lady"

Aurangabad, the western state of Maharashtra, there is a mausoleum called Bibi Ka Maqbara "Tomb of the Lady", built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb between 1651 and 1661 in memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum who died in 1657. This Bibi Ka Maqbara is a copy of the Taj Mahal of Agra , which bears a great resemblance to it, although it is smaller. 

Similarity is neither accidental nor coincidental. After the death of Aurangzeb, his son Azam Shah, was in later years put in charge to complete the mausoleum, the grandson of Shah Jahan, the emperor-builder of the Taj Mahal, who was separated by his own son Aurangzeb.

Azam Shah himself had the opportunity to reign as emperor on the death of his father Aurangzeb in March 1707, but he would only last three months on the throne, after which he was defeated and killed by his older brother in the battle of Jajau .

Taj of the Deccan

This tomb bears some resemblance to the Taj Mahal, as it was designed and built by Hanspat Rai and Ata-ullah, the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the chief designer of the Taj Mahal, initially trying to rival it, but it was not possible due to budget constraints. Azam Shah wanted to build for his mother a monument that rivaled in greatness and beauty with his grandfather's Taj Mahal, but he did not have enough money, nor did he have the experienced builders who had worked on it. The result, even when it is a poorer copy, is still an architectural marvel. Its intricate designs, relives, and structure, along with the surrounding Persian-style gardens offer an artistic and visual experience very similar to the Taj Mahal. In fact in India it is known as the Dakkhani Taj "Taj of the Deccan".

Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

The imitation of the Taj Mahal

Another difference between the two monuments is that, while the one in Agra is made entirely of pure white marble, the one in Aurangabad is clad in part with marble and the rest in polished plaster that imitates it. The main construction material is the basalt trap . Only the dome is made of pure marble. The walls are darker in tone, giving the Maqbara a duller, less showy appearance than the Taj. According to the records, the Bibi Ka Maqbara cost around 6,70,000 rupees, while the Taj Mahal was a disbursement of 32 million in comparison.

Dilras Banu Begum


In the center of the building is the tomb with the remains of Dilras Banu Begum , surrounded by an octagonal jali of marble stones carved and drilled with delicate designs.

According to an inscription preserved at the main entrance, the Maqbara was designed and built by the architect Ata-ullah and the engineer Hanspat Rai. Ata-ullah was the son of Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the chief architect of the design of the Taj Mahal.

The mausoleum is in the center of a wide enclosure of about 458 by 275 meters in which there are axial ponds, fountains and water channels. High  crenellated wall surround the gardens, with turrets between the canvases. It has four corner minarets, arranged exactly as in the Taj Mahal. And even it is ascended by stairs on three of its sides. Both the dome and the minarets are smaller than those of the Taj Mahal.

Aurangabad Taj Mahal

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

A Replica Of The Taj Mahal


Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr

Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Bibi Ka Maqbara, Dilras Banu Begum, Aurangabad Taj Mahal, Taj of the Deccan, A replica of the Taj Mahal, The imitation of the Taj Mahal
Source | Flickr Upper Taj Mahal, Agra / Lower Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad


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