Rauza in Maharashtra
, now known as Khuldabad, contains a number of religious monuments which are of major importance to the Deccan Muslims. Located 14 miles North West of Aurangabad
, Maharashtra it was originally known as Rauza meaning the garden of paradise. Khuldabad is often referred to as the Valley of Saints or the Abode of eternity because in the fourteenth century many Sufi saints of the Chisti order used to reside here.
Khuldabad was once an important and prosperous town and today it retains between fifteen to twenty five domed tombs. Also found herein are 1400 plain sepulchres. The town is picturesque, enclosed by a high fortified wall built by Aurangzeb
, with seven gates: the Nagarkhana, Pangra, Langda, Mangal-peth, Kunbi Ali, Hamdadi and a wicket called Azam Shahi.
Khuldabad contains a number of religious monuments holy to the Muslims. The dargah of Shaikh Burhan ud-din Gharib Chisti along with the tomb of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and his trusted general Qamar-ud-din Khan, Asaf Jah I are located in this town. A number of other Dargahs, mosques and tombs are to be found at Khuldabad.
The tomb of Aurangzeb is one of the most famous monuments found here. Midway between the North and South Gates is the Tomb of Aurangzeb
. It is situated within a simple enclosure approached by a steep path. The gateway and domed porch were added in 1760. Within is a large quadrangle with open-fronted buildings. On the south side is a delightful Nakkar Khana or Music Hall. To the west is a mosque with scalloped arches. Opposite the north end of the mosque is a gateway leading to an inner courtyard, in the south-east corner of which is Aurangzeb`s burial place. The grave is simple, set in the centre of a stone platform on a marble floor and open to the sky. The marble screen was erected by Lord Curzon
and the Nizam. To the right are the tombs of Azam Shah, his wife and daughter.
Between the tombs of Aurangzeb and Azam Shah lies the Dargah of Sayyad Zain-ud-Din
, a Muslim saint. Built in 1370 AD it is set in the quadrangle with two gates inlaid with brass, silver and bronze and steps enriched with highly polished semi- precious stones which were donated by the wandering fakirs, or Muslim ascetics, who used to come here on pilgrimages. The grave is richly embroidered, with a string of ostrich eggs suspended above it. In a small room in the angle of the courtyard is the Robe of the Prophet, which is exhibited once a year.
Another building is located opposite the tombs. This also has a large quadrangular courtyard and a Nakkar Khana. In the courtyard are two large drums. The west end is used as a school and leads to an inner courtyard. Facing the entrance is the Tomb of Sayyad Burhan-ud-Din
, built in 1344 AD. The shrine is alleged to contain hairs from the Prophet`s beard. The doors are richly ornamented with wrought silver inlay. A mosque stands in front of the dargah, and within the town are other dargahs to Muslim saints, such as, Muntajab-ud-Din and Sayyad Yussuf.
Lying to the right of the mausoleum are the tombs of Asaf Jah I
, and Nasir Jang built in the mid 18th century. The tomb of Asaf Jah I is surrounded by a screen of red porphyry on a platform of white marble. Nasir Jung`s tomb lies to the left. The Maqbara of Bani Begum
lies to the West of this group of tombs. Bani Begum was the consort of one of Aurangzeb`s sons. It stands in a large garden enclosed by a handsome wall with corner kiosks carrying bulbous domes. The main entranced is via the North West. The Begum`s tomb lies within the central enclosure, which is enriched with pavilions, carried on slender pillars surmounted by Bengali-style domed roofs.
Aurangzeb`s foster brother, Khan Jahan, built the Lai Bagh
in the late seventeenth century. It is similar in form to the Begum`s maqbara, but is built of red porphyry and is smaller, with ornamental fountains. The Dargah of Malik Ambar
and the tomb of his wife Bibi Karima, built in 1626, lies to the North West of town. They are raised on low platforms. The main tomb is enriched with cusped arches in stucco. The tomb of Abul Hassan Tana Shah
, the last Sultan of Golconda
, lies a short distance away from town. It was built in the late seventeenth century. To the north of the town lies the Tomb of Nizam Shah Bhairi
, which was later, converted by the British, into a bungalow.
The Dargah of Ahmad Nizam Shah
is situated on a raised platform with an open court around. It is square in plan, with a projecting stringcourse dividing the facade into two, the lower part having three compartments on each side, enriched with horseshoe arches. The upper cornice is carried on brackets, with a pierced parapet above, crowned by corner kiosks. The lower part of the dome is ornamented with lotus leaves.
The Tomb of Zar Zari Baksh
lies close to the Northern Gate. It contains numerous relics, including a circular mirror of steel mounted on a pedestal presented by Tana Shah of Golconda. The earliest Muslim saint in the region, Ganj Ravan Ganj Bakhsh
, is buried to the west of the town in a tomb with piers carrying pointed arches and a horseshoe dome, dating from the early 14th century.
To the south of the town the mausoleum of Abdul Halim
and Kak Shah
contain old Hindu masonry. Apart from the various religious monuments of Muslim faith, a temple can also be seen located here. The Bhadra Maruti Temple
is also found at Khuldabad. It houses Hanuman in the Bhadra or sleeping pose. A number of devotees offer puja here on Hanuman Jayanti
and on Saturdays in the Marathi calendar month of Shravan.
Khuldabad is primarily a shrine revered by the followers of Islam, due to the many dargahs and mausoleums found here.