Bibi-Ka-Maqbara, Aurangabad - the 'Look alike' of the Taj Mahal

Bibi-ka-Maqbara, .Aurangabad,

Jali in marble,Bibi ka Maqbara, Aurangabad,

Bibi Ka Maqbara, often called ''poor man's Taj'' was commissioned by the 6th Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb in the late 17th century in  memory of his first wife, Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani). Bibi ka Maqbara is believed to have been built between 1651 and 1661 C.E. The cost of construction of the  mausoleum  then  was  Rs. 6,68,203-7 built in 1660 by prince Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb  in the memory of his mother, Dilras Banu Begum whose mortal remains were placed below the ground level surrounded by an octagonal marble screen with exquisite designs. Ata-ullah, an architect and Hanspat Rai, an engineer were the mainly responsible for this project.

Taj Mahal built by Shahjahan, Agra India.

Tajl look alike-Bibi ka Maqbara,Aurangabad,

Tomb of the Lady"(maqbara) - mausoleum, is located in Aurangzeb city, Maharashtra of western India. On a visit to this mausoleum one will be struck by the stunning architecture that bears very close similarity with the Taj Mahal built by Shah Jahan at Agra, but for its size. It is more or less a replica of The Taj. Making comparison between these two  historical  monuments is not good and it is akin to asking a strange question like, ''Which eye is more useful, right or left?'' Any way, Bibi Ka Maqbara, the largest structure ever built by Aurangzeb is unique in its way and it brings out the beauty and charm of the Mogul architecture in simplicity. Marbles for this structure were brought from mines near Jaipur, Rajasthan. Huge heavy load bearing wooden  carts drawn by six pairs of bulls were used to bring the stone to the site.

Bibi ka-Maqbara, Aurangabad,.Tomb of Dilras Banu Begum.

It is likely that Aurangzeb commissioned this Mausoleum to challenge his father's monumental work-the Taj; as the work progressed, because of financial constraints and consequent budgetary restriction, the size of the structure and architectural features faced a cut.

Latticed marble window. Bibi ka Maqbara, Aurangabad,

Marble screens around the tomb of  Dilras  Banu Begum, stucco decorations, fountains , the honey-comb windows, the beautiful central dome over the tomb and the pillared pavilion are worthy of mention. This structure is a fitting tributes to the great, talented artisans and skilled workers of yore.

Because of its close resemblance to the Taj, it is frequently referred to as ''Dakkhani Taj'' or ''Taj of the Deccan.'' A picture of the Taj Mahal is included here along with Bibi ka Maqbara and you will note that the former is grandeur in style and the latter is grandeur in simplicity - something like same bewitching beauty with makeup on one hand and without makeup on the other hand. This unique structure is not an imitation at all, but simply an inspirational reflection and elegance  of the Taj without affectation and pomp.


"World Heritage Sites - Bibi-Ka-Maqbara". Retrieved 28 January 2013.