We had now reached the last destination of our whole trip. Bibi Ka Makbara was supposed to be a replica of the great ‘Taj Mahal’.
This was constructed by the Mughal Prince Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb, as a loving tribute to his mother Rabia-ul-Daurani a.k.a Dilras Banu Begum, in between 1651 – 1661 AD. The experts say it is a very poor replica of the Taj as it lacks symmetry and also the material used in this building was cheaper than that used in the Taj.
We were no expert, just a couple of ordinary tourists. So Bibi Ka Makbara appeared in front of us with its own elegance and grace. We did not try to degrade it by comparing with the great Taj and one should never do that. The Taj is the Taj and nothing is equivalent to it.
We bought the ticket from the counter – 5/ per head and entered the complex. The main entrance was itself a big structure with great carving on the walls. It should be noticed that the walls were made of plaster, not of marbels. The carvings were really great which illustrated rosary etc.
The ceiling of the dome of the main entrance was very rich in art with colorful decoration of paintings on the walls. We felt that the walls were all painted with colors during the old days.
We reached straight ahead to the Makbara, the main building can be reached through a small gate and stairs at either side. We were at the main level within a couple of minutes and started roaming around the central dome. Each of the minarets and the outer walls were made of plaster, only some of the bases and the main dome were of marbels. Nonetheless the artworks and the carvings on the outer walls deserved a load of praise for their delicateness and elegance.
At the left side of the main tomb, there was a mosque and this was where the symmetry lacked. It did not actually look good.
|Main Entrance from the courtyard|
|The Mosque at the left defies the symmetry|
|Carvings on the exterior walls|
We left our shoes outside the entrance of the main tomb. The sun was at the top and marble flooring became too hot to walk on barefooted. We quickly entered the main tomb. It was cool and peaceful inside. The windows were designed precisely in symmetrical geometrical shapes at each side with great artwork.
|Artwork inside the tomb|
|Artwork - inside the tomb - some more|
|Marvellous carvings on the walls outside|
We came to the bus stand with somewhat heavy hearts – the fantastic Mr Ashok arranged a car for us to drop us at the central bus terminus, where we found the AC Shivneri standing the designated place.
We ascended the bus and reclined ourselves to a small but delicious slumber. The bus started on time at 4 pm and we we reached Pune around 8.45 pm. The journey was much comfortable due to the facts that the bus was really cosy and we were still ruminating our experiences of the last days which we spent in a place, which invites everyone again and again to come back to its open outstretched arms and observe and appreciate its past glory.