The mausoleum is a structure of sandstone and marble built in the year 1754. The slabs that were used in the construction of the mausoleum was from the tomb of the great Mughal poet, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, who was also one of the Navratnas in Akbar’s court. The architectural design of the tomb is such that it includes 4 impressive characteristics like the 5 part facade, a large podium with a concealed stairway, a central mausoleum and a 9 fold floor plan. The entrance of the tomb is two-storied with high built walls. The gates are embellished with intricate architectural patterns, adorned with purple shades. A translated version of an Arabic inscription is etched on its surface which reads: "When the hero of plain bravery departs from the transitory, may he become a resident of God’s paradise". The posterior part of the tomb contains a library and several other rooms. A mosque exists on the right side of the entrance gate.
The central mausoleum is the main tomb of Safdarjung and is built over a terrace. The main mausoleum measures 92 feet and the materials used were red buff stones. Its square shaped central chamber has a centrally placed cenotaph and 8 partitions. Rococo plaster is used in the embellished interior of the mausoleum. Four polygonal towers with kiosks are placed at each corner of the main tomb. The actual graves or burial chambers of Safadrjung and his wife Amat Jahan Begum are placed in an underground chamber of the monument.
The huge garden encompassing the mausoleum, designed in line with the conventional charbagh garden style of the Mughals, is segregated into 4 squares with footpaths and water canals around them. Each square is again divided into 4 smaller gardens. One of the water canals leads to an elegantly decorated gateway while the other leads to 3 pavilions in the western, northern and southern directions namely Jangli Mahal or Palace in the Woods, Badshah Pasand or The Emperor's Favourite and Moti Mahal or Pearl Palace. These pavilions which according to historical data were once used as residences by the family of Safdarjung, at present house offices of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The entire mausoleum is presently under the control of the ASI which also maintains the library located over the main gate.
However, the tomb lacks a proper symmetry despite having followed the architectural style of the Taj Mahal, since the vertical axis has been emphasized upon. A taller 'Pishtaq' is present in the middle portion of the elongated dome. The 4 tomb minarets belong to the main mausoleum which makes it slightly different from the style of the Taj Mahal whose towers are not attached to the main structure. Historians have admired as well as criticized the architectural style of Safdarjung's Tomb. It was derided due to the fact that inferior quality materials had been used for its construction.
Visiting Information on Safdarjung’s Tomb
Located in Delhi, the nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport at a distance of 17.5 km from the tomb. The Delhi railway station is the closest at a distance of almost 9 km from the tomb.
(Last Updated on : 27-08-2018)