Standing tall as a symbol of love is the mighty Taj Mahal. I am sure every traveller has Taj at Agra as a must do one in their wish list. Visiting Taj at the age of 12 I hardly can recall much of the beauty, except for the towering minarets, the cold floors and beautiful arches.
Our recent visit to Aurangabad provided a brilliant opportunity to visualize a similar grandeur. The taj of the Deccan, Bibi ka Makbhara at Aurangabad was breathtakingly beautiful in the moonlight and stunningly similar to grand Taj Mahal.
Reviving the history
Losing their wives to childbirth, both Shah Jahan and his son Aurangzeb both seemed to have suffered the same fate. This monument commissioned by Aurangzeb for Dilras (his wife ) and built by their son, Prince Azam Shah, is Biwi ka Makbhara. It is not only considered as a monument for the beloved wife but also as a tribute to motherhood. Built at a smaller scale than the Taj Mahal, it perhaps was commissioned to rival the mighty Taj itself asAurangzebd was not in the best terms with Shah Jahan and had overthrown his father and jailed him in the Agra Fort.
Seen as a toy version of the Taj, this Dhakkani taj is one beautiful monument if you don’t want to compare with Taj Mahal at all. Built by the same architects of the Taj and under severe conditions of budgetary restrictions (war-related and the decline of the empire) the Biwi ka Makbara still excellence in architecture. This quaint mausoleum has used less of marble, and more of sandstone and plaster to create the effects. As an archetype of Mughal architecture, it still characterises with the 4 Minars around the main tomb,intricately carved window s,symmetric arches and elaborate waterworks and four sided garden layout. Though now the water ways are bone dry, the garden a bare minimum, the monument is truly romantic at to view towards sunset and beyond.
The grave of Dilras can be viewed from the main tomb enclosed in an intricately carved octagonal structure. The beautiful stucturally alluring mosque on the westen side of the masoleum is a later addition to the archtectural complex.
Location and timings
The monument of Biwi ka Makbhara is located at Begampur, Aurangabad, Maharashtra,431004, India.
The monument is open from 8 am to 8 pm and is most beautiful in the evenings.
Aurangabad had airport connecting different destinations in India. It is also well connected by railway services. Buses are available from Mumbai and Pune, however, long-distance buses are difficult as the road conditions are not the best.
From Aurangabad, it is best to hire a cab or an autorickshaw or the very popular Uber service.
Tickets are issued to Indian nationals and SAARC country residents, both adults and children above 14 years, costing 15rs
The fee for travellers from other nations is 200 rs per head.
Attire and climate
Climate is dry and warm through January to October with a faint chill in the air through the rest of the months. Accordingly, dress in warm summer wear through the day. The atmosphere can be pretty dusty sans monsoons. Prepare for dust-related precautions if needed.
Travelling with children
Aurangabad is a small town with predominance to the industrial development of Maharastra. Though you may find all the basic facilities you need it is advisable to carry some basic medication, insect repellent and sunscreen.
Take precaution while consuming water from the wayside taps, rather resort to bottled water or filtered water. Most restaurants will have a choice.
The tea and milk-based drinks are prepared predominantly with pasteurised milk sourced regionally and not through UHT treated milk. Specify if you need your choice.
Strollers are useful only up to the entrance of the fortress that is near the parking lot. Further, there are stairs which hardly are equipped for the same.
The region can be dusty unless rainy. So prepare of dust-related needs, if any.
We spend quite some considerable time at the Dakkhani taj, exploring the space and the garden beyond. Some amount of water along the beautiful channels and water flow tracks would have truly elated the beauty of this space. Aurangabad is a perfect spot to stay overnight before you head to the famed Ajantha and Ellora caves and while you are here take time to watch this monument in all its evening or morning glory.
Here are two more architecturally stimulating monuments we explored earlier
Do tag us when you travel to these places, we are on all popular media as @mildlyindian.
Have a safe journey.