Delhi: Safdar Jang's tomb

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Extracted from:

Delhi: Past And Present

By H. C. Fanshawe, C.S.I.

Bengal Civil Service, Retired;

Late Chief Secretary To The Punjab Government,

And Commissioner Of The Delhi Division

John Murray, London. I9o2.

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Delhi:Safdar Jang's tomb

At the end of the road from Humayun’s tomb and Nizam-ud-din rises the Mausoleum of Nawab Safdar Jang, nephew and successor of the first Nawab Wazir of Oudh. Safdar Jang (who was Wazir of Ahmad Shah, and was probably responsible for the final ruin of the Moghal Emperors, as he called in the Jats to his aid, whereupon his rival invited the Mahrattas to Delhi) died in 1753 A. D., and this tomb is therefore one of the last great

Muhammadan architectural efforts in India, and for its age it deserves, perhaps, more commendation than is usually accorded to it. Though the general arrangement of the tomb is the same as that of the Mausoleum of the Taj, it was not intended to be a servile copy of the latter; and if the decoration of the corner towers is not successful, the combination of white marble and fawncoloured sandstone in the centre is very pleasing.

The plaster decoration of the interior is perhaps more degraded than anything else about the tomb: the gravestone itself is very handsome if a little florid in style.

The view from the top of this tomb also is extremely fine, and well repays the labour of the ascent; to the south it overlooks the battle-field where Timur crushed the army of Muhmud Khan in 1398 The gateway leading to the garden, and the red sandstone mosque to the north of it, are effective and pleasing. In this mausoleum, and in the Mausoleum of Ghazi-ud-din Khan we have memorials of the two great Muhammadan ruling houses of Oudh and Hydrabad, which made themselves practically independent in the first half of the eighteenth century.

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