Safdarjungs Tomb is a tomb dedicated to Safdar Jang, a ruler of Awadh in medieval India. This tomb is located near the Safdarjung Airport at the intersection of Lodhi Road and Aurobindo Marg in New Delhi, the National Capital. This tomb was constructed by Shuja-ud-Daula in the Mughal Style of Architecture after his father’s death in 1754. This tomb looks similar to the Humayun’s Tomb but some differences are there.
Let us explore the tomb and find out the differences between two similar-looking monuments-
Who was Safdarjang?
The full name of Safdarjung was Abul Mansur Mirza Muhammad Muqim Ali Khan. He was the second Prime Minister or Vazir of Awadh and was an important person of the Mughal Empire in its declining phase years. He ruled Awadh from 19 March 1739 to 5 October 1754 (about 25 years) as a successor to his father-in-law and maternal uncle, Burhan-ul-Mulk Saadat Ali Khan I. He was then succeeded by Shuja-ud-Daula.
During his reign in Awadh, he ruled in a very efficient way and also raised assistance to the weakened Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah, and later he gained complete hold of the Mughal Empire. Jung became the Prime Minister of Hindustan or Wazir-ul-Mumalik-i-Hindustan in 1748 when Delhi had a new ruler, Ahmad Shah Bahadur. Later in 1753, he returned to Awadh after being fired from Delhi due to the court politics and chose Faizabad as the capital of Awadh.
He was born in the year 1708 and died on 5 October 1754 at an age of 46 years in Sultanpur near Faizabad and was buried at Safdarjung’s Tomb in New Delhi. Among his family members, his father was Siyadat Khan and spouse was Amat Jahan Begum Sadh-ru-Nissa. He was given the title “Safdar Jang” by the Mughal Ruler Muhammad Shah.
History of Safdarjang Tomb-
After he became the Wazir, he took away almost all the powers from the inefficient king and became so cruel to their family, that later on Marathas, as called upon by the king, removed him away from Delhi in 1753.
Soon in 1754, he died and his son Shuja-ud-Daula constructed a tomb for him in the same year 1754, that was designed by an Abyssininan architect.
The architecture of Safdarjung’s Tomb-
The first architectural feature that is observed as we enter the complex is ornate purple-colored, two-storied entry gate to the tomb, that has detailed decorations over the plastered surfaces. An inscription is present on the gate that is written in Arabic and is a prayer that declares that the ruler may go to God’s paradise after his death. A three-domed mosque is present on the right side of the entrance gate.
The view of the tomb makes us feel it be somewhat similar to Humayun’s Tomb. This is a true fact and the tomb was made in a similar way to the Humayun’s Tomb and was the last Mughal monumental tomb garden.
But it is far away in comparison to precision from the Taj Mahal and the Humayun’s Tomb. Few defects that degrade the quality of the tomb are- four minarets attached to tomb unlike detached ones in Taj Mahal, more elongation than requirement along the vertical axis, use of poor-quality materials for construction, and at the time it was built, the Mughal Empire was on the verge of extinction which led to poor quality of the architecture.
The Four key features of the tomb are- a nine-fold floor plan, a five-part front, the Char Bagh and a large podium.
The materials used for the construction of the 28 meters square mausoleum over a 50 meters square podium are Red and Buff stones and marbles. The square central chamber has eight portions with a cenotaph in the center. Four polygonal towers along with kiosks at the top are also attached to the corners of the main mausoleum.
The only similarity it has with the Taj Mahal and the Humayun’s Tomb is the presence of an underground chamber that has the true graves of Safdarjang and his wife Amat Jahan Begum Sadh-ru-Nissa.
False Grave of Safdar Jang- Image Source- wikimedia.org
The monument is surrounded by gardens known as Char Bagh, an important feature of Mughal Tombs, also present in Humayun’s tomb complex. The garden has walls surrounded, having each side about 280 meters long. These gardens are further divided to smaller squares by footpaths. Three footpath channels lead to pavilions named Moti Mahal (pearl palace), Jangli Mahal (palace in the forest), and Badshah Pasand (King’s favorite), where the Nawab’s family resided. The fourth or the eastern channel leads to the main entry gate.
How to Reach There-
ADDRESS- Sri Aurobindo Marg, Airforce Golf Course, Jor Bagh, New Delhi, Delhi 110003
- Safdarjang Tomb is about 12 km away from the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Thus, can be reached by taxi within 30 minutes via NH 48, the fastest route.
- The nearest airport to the tomb is the Safdarjung Airport, at a distance of about 750 meters only.
- From New Delhi Railway Station, the destination is about 6 km far and can be reached within 20 minutes through a taxi on a normal day.
- The nearest metro station is SJ Madrasa, about 370 meters from the tomb. This metro station lies on the Yellow Line of Delhi Metro. Another metro station nearby the monument is Jor Bagh, about 450 meters away.
- Various DTC buses are also available from throughout the city to reach the destination in the cheapest costs of travel.
Hotels and Restaurants Nearby-
Ashok Hotel of Sagar Ratna Restaurant Chain, The Nineteenth Hole, Sidework Restaurant and Vijay Restaurant are some of the restaurants present near the destination.
A huge number of 5-star hotels are present nearby the Safdarjung Tomb like The Claridges, Samrat Hotel, and The Leela Palace. You can find out more hotels nearby according to your comfort of expenses and requirements.
- For Indian, SAARC, and BIMSTEC visitors the entry fee is INR 20 per person.
- For visitors from other countries, the entry fee is INR 250.
- No fee is charged to children below the age of 15 years.
- INR 25 is charged as a fee for videography cameras.
Timings of the Tomb-
The opening hours of the tomb are from 7 am to 5 pm on all the days of a week.
It takes around 1-2 hours to explore the place, so one should visit the nearby attractions on the same day like India Gate and National War Memorial (3.5 kilometers) and Lodhi Gardens (750 meters). The place is best suitable for photographers and those who have a keen interest in history and wandering. Avoid the visits during the afternoon hours, especially in the summers, as they are very much exhausting.
|Constructed in Year-||1754|
|Address-||Sri Aurobindo Marg, Airforce Golf Course, Jor Bagh, New Delhi, Delhi 110003|
|Timings-||7 am to 5 pm|
|Tickets-||Indians- INR 20, Foreigners- INR 250|
|Special Fact-||It looks similar to Humayun’s tomb.|