Driving from Sarai Nur mahal to Kapurthala we lost our way in Nakodar and that was a lucky as I saw two well preserved Mughal tombs.
What attracted me to get down and investigate were the faience mosaic work on it called kashani after the city in Iran. In Delhi the neela Gumbad was an example but very little remains of it.
The Chini ka Rauza in Agra is also in a bad shape.
The Tomb of Ustad Muhammad Mumin Hussain is above that the chamfered octagon oe musamman Baghdadi plan that was very popular in Mughal Era, consisting of large and far smaller sides. It stands on a high platform. It is built of brick and lime mortar and is in a good condition; it is approached by a double flight of steps on the northern and southern sides but these were grilled and locked and I could not go inside and see the tomb or Cenotaph. That tomb is mounted by a dome with an inverted lotus and a finial.
I stood outside and enjoyed the rich surface decoration on the spandrel of the arches, the panels, the parapets and the corner structures which were covered with glazed tiles of yellow blue and green. Most of the patterns are geometrical and the joints of the glazed tiles are separated by thin ridges of unglazed terracotta tiles. According to Subhash Parihar this was a peculiar peculiarity of the early 17th century and can be seen in contemporary buildings in Lahore.
There would have been painting on the surface also executed in the green and red but we can only see the traces of it now.
The side panels on either side of the entrance are flower and vase motifs.
I could make out the markings of the painting on the soffit of the dome.
Since could not go up I rely on Subhash Parihar ‘s excellent book “Islamic Architecture of Punjab” for details.
According to that there is an inscription on The facade of the term which translates as “through the efforts of the most insignificant of [God’s] creatures Mohammed Mumin al Hussaini. Year AH 1021.”
On the southern facadeis inscribed “There is no God but Allah, the master, the truth, the certainty, year 1021 [1612-13]”
On the western facade the Islamic creed or kalima is inscribed , “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. by his prophethood.”
There are other inscriptions from the Quran – the northern wall has the entire Surah Al Fath-48 and verses from Surah al-Saffat.
When Sir Alexander Cunningham had examined the tombs the sarcophagus were intact ( no longer present) and he identified Mohammed Mumin as Ustad Mohammed Husain the tambura player in the service of Abdul Rahim Khan e Khanan.
Subhash Parihar doubts that a musician could have built such a grand tomb for himself.
According to Parihar it seems probable that this is the tomb of tomb of Muiz ul mulk who is mentioned in Tuzuk e Jahangiri as the jagirdar of Nakodar, who was ordered by Jahangir to erect a building and lay out a garden In the town so that ‘wayfarers seeing it might be pleased’. Muiz ul Mulk must have been the title that was confirmed upon Mohammed Mumin. in the Tuzuk e Jahangiri the last reference to Muiz ul Mulk is in the year 1612-13 the year mentioned on the tomb.
Very grateful to Prof Subhash Parihar for his detailed work on Punjab architecture from which I have quoted