Bibi Ka Maqbara is a magnificent mausoleum, situated at a distance of approximately 5 km from the Aurangabad city of India. It entombs Rabia-ul-Daurani, alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The construction work on the mausoleum was started in the year 1651 and it took approximately 10 years to complete it. Prince Azam Shah, the son of Aurangzeb, got the tomb built in the memory of his mother. The main entrance door of Bibi ka Makbara is adorned with an inscription.
This inscription tells us that the tomb was designed by Ata-ullah, an architect, and constructed by Hanspat Rai, an engineer. The marble used in its construction is said to have been brought from the mines situated near the ‘Pink City’. The design of the Bibi Ka Maqbara has largely been based on the Taj Mahal of Agra. However, it could not rival the magnificent ‘Monument of Love’ and was reduced to a poor imitation. Still, the mausoleum is today known as the ‘Taj of Deccan’.
The reason for this is that, despite the fact that it could not be an adequate competitor for the Taj, it is still a magnificent monument. Bibi Ka Maqbara has been set amidst picturesque surroundings, with the mountain ranges providing the perfect backdrop. In the center of the north, east and western part of the enclosure wall of Bibi ka Makbara, one can find pillared pavilions. Its gardens follow the typical Mughal Char-Bagh pattern in their layout, adding to the splendor of the mausoleum.
The main entrance to it is provided by the gate, situated in the south and adorned with a brass plate having beautiful foliage designs. After crossing the entrance, one comes across a small tank and a screen wall that ultimately leads to the main structure. As one moves through the screened pathway, the series of fountains at the centre some into view – adding to the tranquility offered by the place. Supporting the base of Bibi Ka Maqbara is a square platform, with four minarets at its four corners. To the west of the tomb is a mosque, added much later.
The mortal remains of Rabia-ul-Daurani have been placed in a chamber, below the ground level. Surrounding them is an octagonal marble screen, which has been adorned with beautiful designs. The roof of the chamber coincides with the floor of the ground floor and stands pierced by an octagonal opening. This was done so as to ensure that the tomb remains visible from the ground level also. Adorning the top of the Bibi ka Makbara is a huge dome, pierced with trellis works and adorned with panels having floral designs.