Gripping Safdarjung Tomb, Delhi, a nice Mogul style structure

Inside the chamber. Tomb_of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi.
Tomb_of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi.

Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan, popularly known as Safadarjung, was an independent ruler of Awadh as viceroy of Muhammad Shah. Being rich and powerful, when Mohd. Shah  ascended the throne of the Mogul Empire in Delhi in 1748, Safdarjung became closer to him and was made the Prime Minister (Vazir) of the empire with the title of Vazir ul-Mamalk-i-Hindustan.  It was the time when the Mogul empire was losing its glory and grip on the small kingdoms under their control. Aurangzeb was responsible for the major decline of the Mogul power that was now confined only to the north. The entire complex is under the control of the ASI. Since it is a protected monument, no prayers are allowed inside the mosque. 
Mosque close to Tomb of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi.
Above image: Three-domed mosque within the complex to the right side of the entrance gate. Safdarjung Tomb complex, Delhi......................
Vazir Safdarjung,
Tomb of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi.
Ceiling of the mausoleum. Tomb_of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi
The ruler being a victim of the trappings that go with the royal life spent much of his time with wine, women and addiction to opium. So, Vazir usurped all powers under his control as the king was only  a figurehead.  At one point of time, the Vazir, driven by power and greed, was cruel to the Emperor's family and his bad treatment irked the  emperor  who sought the help of the Marathas to get rid of the Vazir for good. Accordingly, the  Marathas drove Safdarjung out of Delhi in 1753 and later in 1754 he died.  

Soon after Safdarjung's death, his  son Nawab Shujaud Daula requested the  Mughal Emperor to  allow him to have a  tomb built for his father in Delhi. He then built the tomb and the architect happened to be an Abyssininan. The place where the tomb stands now  is close to the historic site where in 1308 the treacherous Mongol Timur defeated the then ruler of Delhi  Mohammed Tughlaq.
Tomb_of_Safdar_Jang, Delhi.
Safdarjung tomb,Delhi,
The Safdarjung tomb is built just like any Mogul tomb with a spread of well-maintained  enclosed garden quite similar to that of the Humayun tomb.  Tagged as the last Mogul tomb-cum-garden it was completed in 1754. It is said the  slabs from the tomb of Abdul Rahim Khankhana were used in the construction of the tomb.

There is a three-domed mosque within the complex to the right side of the entrance gate. The ceiling of the mosque is  plastered, painted and well ornamented. The striking features of this tomb are Central mausoleum,  a nine fold floor plan,  a five-part facade and a large podium with a hidden stairway. The main entrance to the gate is a two storied structure and the front has an elaborate ornamentation over the plastered surfaces that are in purple color. An attractive feature is  a fine Arabic inscription on the surface and the direct translation is:  “When the hero of plain bravery departs from the transitory, may he become a resident of god’s paradise”. In the back of the structure are many rooms and a library 

 The interior part of the mausoleum is quite interesting. Upon entering through the main gate  one can have good view of  the mausoleum. The central dome which is the main part of the mausoleum is built over a terrace and measures  28 metres (92 ft) square.  The walls are built high, and red and buff colored stones  are diligently used in building  the main mausoleum.  There are eight partitions in the central chamber which is square in plan with a cenotaph in the middle. The interior of the tomb is covered with rococo plaster with decorations. Yet another interesting feature is there are four towers around the main tomb at the corners which are polygonal in shape and are provided with kiosks. There are faded  marble panels  and decorated arches. A typical feature of the Mogul style mausoleum is it houses the graves of Safadrjung and his wife in an underground chamber.

Though the fa├žade bears close similarity with the Tajmahal the dome is more elongated and  the central part has a taller pishtaq. The four minarets at the four corners are part of the mausoleum and their elevation is at variance with those of the Taj that has towers detached and  are away from the facade of the tomb.

The architecture of the tomb is criticized as well as praised by historians and others. The primary complaint is the use of poor construction materials for the mausoleum. The color of the tomb  (red) is dull and not appealing. As for the marbles used for ornamentation, the ASI experts say it is rather ''florid''. Comparing this structure with others is not a good thing. We have to take into account the financial constraints of the rulers at that time. The Mogul's affluence became a thing of the past. The Mogul power was on the decline, hence the structure was devoid of embellishments and ornate features and the cost would have been prohibitive. However, the builder tried hard to preserve the glory and legacy of the last line of Mogul rule. In this transitory world, the Moguls were facing the sunset of their rule in the Indian subcontinent. This tomb is the last vestige of Mogul's architectural and technical brilliance.  

The walled  garden surrounding the tomb is approximately 280 metres (920 ft) long on each side and is in the Mogul charbagh garden style. The layout is in the form of four squares with wide footpaths and water tanks, which are  further subdivided into smaller squares.You may consider this one  a smaller version of the garden of the Humayun Tomb.
Tower tomb_of_Safdar_Jang,
The mausoleum is built on the main podium that measures 50 metres (160 ft) on each side.The high walls are made of rubble stone masonry and have recessed arches in the interior. The towers or chatris are octagonal in shape. The layout consists of four pavilions with many chambers and entrance way. The Nawab's family used to reside in these pavilions.  The pavilions have evocative names like Jangli Mahal, (Palace in the woods), Moti Mahal (Pearl Palace) and Badshah Pasand (King's favourite). There is a madarsa functioning inside the complex.