Shahjahan made Taj Mahal in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz. Five centuries later, the Taj is still a wonder to behold. Magic in marble, as they say.
Rumour has it that there were plans to build another Taj right opposite to this one. Before he could do that, Aurangzeb captured his father & Shahjahan spent rest of his years in captivity, looking at the Taj through the window of his cell.
A few decades later, Aurangzeb lost his wife, Dilras Banu Begum & suffered in bereavement. Their son Azam Shah took it upon himself to build another structure, probably another Taj, in the memory of his mother. And India got another beautiful monument, Bibi ka Maqbara, often known as the Taj of the Deccan.
Bibi ka Maqbara is a smaller & more budgeted version of the Taj Mahal. It’s not as grand, or as magical as Taj is. But it is a symbol of love, of a son for his mother.
Situated on the road between Daulatabad & Aurangabad, Bibi ka Maqbara is a ticketed monument. Even on weekdays, you will find a lot of localites visiting the monument in the evening. You enter the premises through a gate, and as you step inside, you spot the magnificent piece of architecture in the form of Bibi ka Maqbara.
Unlike Taj, Bibi ka Maqbara wasn’t built from pure marble which is why it wasn’t possible to do engravings on the entry gate. Through a passage dotted by fountains, you reach the main building. When you reach there, take a pause and look around. You will see perforated windows, Arabic & Hindu style of design, small tanks of water (that are now empty), beautiful carvings & arched doors. Grab a seat somewhere & spend some time. Make memories so that this day remains etched on your mind even decades later.
I visited Bibi ka Maqbara with my brother & sister. And as always, we had 3-4 fights in a span of 60 mins. I was irritated because they didn’t click good pictures of mine. Anupriya was irritated because we were clicking too many pictures. And Shivam…Well, Shivam wasn’t sure what he was doing on the trip. 😀 😀
I saw many groups of girls and boys, who were dressed in sky Blue shirts & grey trousers. They probably came straight from college. My heart fills with joy whenever I see youngsters roaming around & having fun in their lives. This is the age that’s full of dreams and ambitions. At that age, you are generally not aware of world’s realities & brutality. You see love and good everywhere you go without ever realising that sometimes people capture their father in the greed of power, and sometimes kings spend their last years of life in bereavement of their loved ones. Often this bereavement gives birth to architectural wonders such as Taj in Agra, Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi & Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad.
We left the place around sunset. Our stay that night was booked in Ellora Resort, that was only a walking distance away from the UNESCO heritage site, Ellora caves. We were also super hungry by then, and we had eaten enough of each other’s brains. Now we needed food & some good night rest! We were to visit Ellora caves pretty early the next day.