The grave of Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb like his elder sister Jahan Ara, forbade people to raise mausoleums on their graves like his father’s Taj Mahal. His grave lies in open ground at Khuldabad like his sister’s ordinary grave at the shrine of Shaikh Nizam-u’d-din Auliya at Delhi. The grave lies within the courtyard of the shrine of the Sufi saint Shaikh Burhan-u’d-din Gharib (died 1331). This disciple of Nizam ud-Din Auliya of Delhi was buried at Khuldabad near Aurangabad.

Grave of Mughal Emeperor,Aurangzeb at Khuldabad, Aurangabad, 1850s.

Date1850-1856 SourceBritish Library

William Carpenter (1818–1899)

On a recent trip to Khuldabad I visited Aurangzeb ‘s grave. It was initially just a simple grave in the courtyard of his spiritual master’s dargah.

The entrance of the dargah of Shaikh Zaynuddin Shirazi

The name of the area was Rauza because it housed the shrines of in numerous Sufi saints. Since Aurangzeb was given the posthumous title of khuld-makani it was called Khuldabad.

Aurangzeb had willed that he should be buried here—‘they should carry this sinner drenched in sins to the neighborhood of the holy Chishti tomb of the revered leader, Sayyid and Shaykh Zaynuddin Husayn Shirazi, since without the protection of that court (of the saints), which is the refuge of forgiveness, there is no refuge for those drowned in the ocean of sin’ (Ernst 2004a:223-24).

The epitaph :

Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast!.

Translation: “The rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves! For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough (of a dome to shelter my grave

It is said that Aurangzeb paid for his burial place by stitching caps during his last years and that it cost only 14 rupees and 12 annas.

He had wanted a simple grave but the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad got a delicate marble screen placed around it, as well as a marble platform in the 20th century. Lord Curzon also helped in its beautification.

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