Afternoons in Delhi are burning hot. But this day was kinda different. Thankfully, the sun was at peace with the city today and just right for a stroll through the history. I am at the gates of Safdarjung Tomb today to explore this historic corner of Delhi.
What got me to Safdarjung Tomb today?
Delhi is not a place you can complete in a day or two. It is not recommended either. The capital city has grown itself over the largest amalgamation of Indian History and Culture and one cannot relate to the sudden cultural variations that easily. I am here today to witness that I had kept for later.
I am here today to witness that I had kept for later. During my stay in Delhi earlier, the many places I went around in Delhi, made me realize that it is more about visiting places and experiencing that Delhi has to share with its travelers. It is a place that still struggles to put all the historical pieces together, as is clear from its present. From temples to mosques, gurdwaras, forts and historical monuments, Delhi is a place a traveler might take years to understand, and that applies to me too.
What Made Me Time Travel To Persia
The tomb, constructed in the memory of Mirza Muqim Ab’ul Mansur Khan, also known as Safdarjung in 1754 walks you through the Mughal Empire Style architecture. At first glance, it reminded me of my trip to Agra Red Fort and Taj Mahal, but not all the while.
What differentiates Safdarjung Tomb from Taj Mahal is the use of materials in both the structures. The former uses red sandstone for the entire part of the structure, except for the tomb inside, while the latter is completely a marble monument. The façade to the Taj Mahal is, of course, made up of red stone, however, the Safdarjung tomb has the complete external structure including the facades constructed in red stone.
What is even more intriguing is the style of landscape and cascading around the structure. Also called as the Charbagh, if one replaces the central tomb with a red-stone fortress, it resembles the Persian Architecture. The tomb is surrounded by a massive square garden separated into four parts with the central fountain channels which resemble a PLUS sign. The cascades in red stone connect the four corners of the garden in the form of a walking track. The perimeter is a two storey structure whose access gates were shut for use, from where I was expecting to explore more remarkable views of the structure.
The smooth palm trees lining the cascade and the splendid green grass lawns add to the beauty of the geometry.
Serenity in Chaos
Unlike the cranky crowd on the other side of the wall, the Safdarjung Tomb is a serene escape inside. Walking through the premises, one leaves behind all the chaos and noise of the city, outside the gates.
I made my way upstairs through the passage to climb on the elevated platform on which the tomb stands. The tomb has four doors on the four sides with entrance stairs only in front. The doors create natural air draft and cross ventilation that despite the harsh heat circulates cool and fresh air around the structure.
Pigeons always flock at places in naturally peaceful surroundings. This is clear from the fact as one witnesses large kits of pigeons moving and cooing here in circles, as their sounds echo in the mausoleum gallery.
I entered the mausoleum and my feet felt soothingly cool on the floor. The floor of the tomb as well as the tomb itself is carved out in white marble stone from inside. The grave of Mirza Muqim Ab’ul Mansur Khan intricately carved on marble stone with ornate design faces with its head towards the Qibla, the direction of Mecca.
Going Back To the Crowd
Today I unearthed something more about Delhi, that I did not in my earlier journeys. Walking back towards the gate, out there, I know I will again mingle with the crowd and escape to my regular self, but this place has taken some part of me that will stay close to me forever.
Time to try out some ice-cream now. I have to head for some more Delhi Darshan today….. 🙂