Bibi ka Maqbara (بیبی كا مقبرہ) was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in late 17th century for his wife Dilras Banu Begum.
It bears a striking resemblance to Taj Mahal in Agra, a mausoleum for Aurangzeb’s mother Mumtaz built by his father Shah Jahan. Due to its strong resemblance to the Taj Mahal, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan).
The Ajanta Caves (अजिंठा लेणी) are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales.The caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BCE, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 CE according to older accounts. In 1983, the caves became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of India.
Images in order
1. Ajanta Caves Complex with all the entrances visible.
Not the Taj Mahal | this is Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Maharashtra India. It was built/commissioned between 1650 and 1660 by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangazeb for his fourth wife, Rabia-ud-Daurani/Dilroz Bani Begum. It is clearly based on the design of the Taj, but lacks it’s grand splendor. The main mausoleum is much less wide, and is built with cheaper materials than the Taj’s marble - it has been less able to stand the test of time as compared to the Taj. Nevertheless, it is still beautiful - and lacks enormous tourist crowds!
Photograph of a palace in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, taken by Deen Dayal in the 1880s, Curzon Collection: ‘Views of HH the Nizam’s Dominions, Hyderabad, Deccan, 1892’. Aurangabad is situated on the Khan river in the Dudhana valley between the Lakenvara Hills to the north and the Sathara range to the south. Originally known as Khadke, Aurangabad city was founded in the early 17th century by Malik Amber, minister of the Nizam Shah Kings of Ahmadnagar. However, in 1637 the city was incorporated in the Mughal empire. In 1681-2 the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707) moved his court to Aurangabad and used it as the base for his military campaigns in the Deccan. After Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 the city was renamed in his honour. The building is this view is the Palace of Zeb-un-Nissa, daughter of Aurangzeb.
Learn more about Zebunnissa and read some of her poetry here.
Curiosity. Playfulness. Wonder. The children of India that I met in my 20 day trip through the country were some of the most spectacular and amazing people I had the honor of meeting in my lifetime. Seeing everything around them and still being curious enough to come up to me and smile broke through any sort of barrier I had to differentiate myself from their culture. From tugging my beard and calling me Ali Baba, to playing with siblings after giving them water and Polaroids of themselves, these children taught me that I want to work for a future where they can all have the same opportunities I have had and can pursue them if they want to. Each child holds the promise for a better and brighter India in the future, and I can only pray with all my heart that they get the chance to do so until I can go back again not as a tourist, but as someone who can make a difference.