Bibi ka Maqbara or the Tomb of the Lady was built by Aurangzeb as a memorial for his wife Dilras Banu Begum. She was the chief wife of the emperor. The structure of the tomb is same like that of Taj Mahal and so it is called Dakkhani Taj or the Taj of the Deccan. Aurangzeb did not build many monuments as he had no interest in architecture.
Aurangabad was established by Malik Amber in 1610. The city is popular for Ajanta caves, Ellora caves, Bibi ka Maqbara and other structures. The city got its name after it was captured by Aurangzeb. The original name of the city was Khadki and Malik Amber made it his capital.
He was the prime minister of Murtaza Nizam who was the Shah of Ahmednagar. The name of Khadki was changed to Fatehnagar when Fateh Khan succeeded Murtaza Nizam. Finally, the city was captured by Mughals and Aurangzeb named it as Aurangabad.
The tomb is opened for the public from 8:00am to 8:00pm. The tomb is opened on all the days of the week including the public holidays. It takes around one to two hours to visit the tomb.
The tourists have to pay an entry fee to visit the tomb. The cost of tickets for domestic tourists is Rs. 10 per head and foreign tourists have to pay Rs. 250 per head. Children below age of 15 have free entry.
The period of June to March is the best time to visit the Bibi ka Maqbara and Aurangabad as the climate is very pleasant. In the remaining months of April and May, the temperature is very hot and the climate is unsuitable for visiting the tomb.
There are more than 200 hotels in India and tourists can enjoy their stay according to their budget. The hotels available in the city range from inexpensive hotels to expensive five-star hotels. Some of these hotels are as follows −
VITS Hotel located at Station Road
Welcom Hotel Rama International located at Chikhalthana
Ambassador Ajanta located at Cidco
Vivanta by Taj Aurangabad located at Rauza Bagh
Hotel Silver Inn located Seven Hills Flyover, Jalna Road
Hotel Platinum Inn located at Cidco
The Meadows located at Mitmita
Lemon Tree Hotel located at Chikkalthana
Hotel Windsor Castle located at Cidco
Hotel Krishna Inn located at Khadeshwar
Hotel New Bharti located at Station Road
Hotel Girnar located at Adalat Road
Hotel Kohinoor Plaza located at New Samarth Nagar
Hotel Ira Executive located at Samarth Nagar
Budget or Two-Star Hotels
Hotel Atithi located at Jalna Road
Hotel Darshan Executive located at Manjeetnagar
Hotel The Leaf located at located Besides HPCL, MGM Road
Hotel Preetam located at Station Road
Hotel Shiv Tej Residency located at Padampura Road
Cheap or One-Star Hotels
Hotel Shangrila Executive located at Mayanagar
Hotel Tourist Ashoka located at Station Road
Hotel New Ludhiana Dhaba located near Kangar Chowk
Hotel Morya Palace located at Station Road
Hotel Holiday Era Lodging located at Disha Nagar opposite Railway Station
Bibi ka Maqbara was built in the memory of Dilras Banu Begum, wife of Aurangzeb. She was the first wife of Aurangzeb whom he loved very much.
Dilras Banu Begum was the daughter of Mirza Badi-uz-Zaman Safavi who belonged to Safavid dynasty. His other name was Shahnawaz Khan and he was the viceroy of Gujarat. Aurangzeb married her in the year of 1637. She was his first and the favourite wife.
Dilras Banu Begum gave birth to five children whose names are as follows −
There were complications during the birth of Sultan Muhammad Akbar which led to Puerperal Fever and then death after one month. Aurangzeb was aggrieved at her death and after three years he constructed the mausoleum in her memory.
The tomb was constructed between 1651 and 1661AD with a cost of around Rs. 6.6 lakhs whereas Aurangzeb gave Rs. 7 lakhs for the construction. Ataullah designed the monument while Hanspat Rai was the engineer as told by an inscription at the entrance. The tomb is constructed by the use of marble which was brought from mines of Jaipur.
Around 300 carts each pulled by twelve oxen were laden with marble and were brought to Aurangabad for the construction. The builders tried to make the monument similar to Taj Mahal at Agra but due to low budget and architecture declination, it could not be achieved.
Bibi ka Maqbara was built on the basis of Mughal architecture. Aurangzeb constructed the monument in the memory of his wife Dilras Banu Begum. The mausoleum was built in the centre of the garden.
As per the Mughal architecture, the garden in which the monument exists is divided into four parts and is called Charbagh. The garden increases the beauty of the monument due to its symmetry and layout. In order to provide water, many water channels were built in the garden. There is a fountain which is connected to the central water channel on the southern part of the garden.
The monument was built at the centre of an enclosed wall whose dimension is 458m x 275m. The wall has pillared pavilions also known as baradaris located in the east, north, and west portion of the wall. The wall has arched recesses which are divided by pilasters or supporting columns.
The recesses have small minarets. Besides the recesses, there are bastions and the recesses and the bastions are built at regular intervals. The wall is built on a square platform and there are four minarets, one each at the corner of the platform.
The entrance gate is at the southern part of the mausoleum whose exterior is covered by wood. Brass plates are inlaid on the wood having many designs. There was also an entrance at the west but due to the construction of the mosque, the gate was closed. The mosque was built by Nizam of Hyderabad.
The mausoleum was built with marble till the lower part of the wall called dado level. After this level, basalt was used in the construction till it reached the dome. The dome was built with marble. The basalt area is plastered to give a polished finish and decorated with stucco.
The grave of Dilras Banu Begum can be found in a chamber below the ground level and people can go there through a staircase. The grave is surrounded with jalis made up of marble and are octagonal in shape. The roof of the chamber has octagonal opening from where the grave can be viewed.
Bibi ka Maqbara is 5km away from Aurangabad which is connected to many cities by road, rail, and air transport. People can go to the mausoleum by the local transport like autos and taxis which are available from the city.
The approximate distance of Aurangabad from various cities is as follows −
Aurangabad to Mumbai
By air – 265km
By rail – 253km
By road – 327km
Aurangabad to Jalgaon
By rail – 273km
By road – 161km
Aurangabad to Hyderabad
By air – 433km
By rail – 508km
By road – 540km
Aurangabad to Bhusaval
By rail – 272km
By road – 164km
Aurangabad to Nagpur
By air – 426km
By rail – 621km
By road – 487km
Aurangabad to Pune
By air – 212km
By rail – 426km
By road – 230km
Aurangabad to Manmad
By rail – 52km
By road – 114km
Aurangabad has an airport which is 10km from the city and its name is Chikkalthana airport. The airport is well connected to Mumbai, Jaipur, Udaipur and Delhi. People can reach Aurangabad through flights and hire a cab or take a bus to Bibi ka Maqbara.
Aurangabad is well-connected to major cities of India through railway network. Many trains of long and short routes have stoppage here and people from various cities can come to Aurangabad by train and then take a bus or taxi to visit Bibi ka Maqbara.
Aurangabad bus station provides buses to many major cities. The bus stand is located on Jalgaon road in front of Lemon Tree hotel. The buses connect Aurangabad to Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and other major cities.
Tourists can move around Aurangabad through auto rickshaws and local buses. Besides these, there are various agencies in the city from where tourists can book taxis for a fixed period of time and move in and around the city.
There are many places nearby Bibi ka Maqbara which the people can see. Some of these places are as follows −
Goga Baba hill is popular for its environment and a good picnic spot. The lovely thing that the people can enjoy is the sunset. A small temple is another thing that is located on the footsteps of the hill and people can reach on the top from behind the temple.
On reaching the top, people can see the city of Aurangabad. At the top of the hill there is another temple which is so small that only two people can go inside at a time. The temple is coloured in white and nobody knows about its history.
Aurangabad Caves are situated between Satara and Sihyachal mountain ranges. These caves have the temples which were built in between 6th and 8th centuries. The temples in the caves were built on the basis of Buddhist architecture. There is a popular shrine that is based on Sutosama Jataka.
Daulatabad Fort is situated on a 600 feet high hill. The construction of the fort is based on the forts constructed on ground and hills. Three walls, known as kots, surround the fort so the fort is considered as one of the most powerful forts.
Panchakki or water mill was built during the medieval period to generate energy from water. There is a dargah of Baba Shah Musafir to which the monument is attached. Panchakki was built by Turktaz Khan in 1695AD. Jamil Beg Khan added a reservoir and fountains after 20 years. The water mill was used to grind grains for the pilgrims.
Jama Masjid in Aurangabad was built in 1612 and Aurangzeb extended it in 1692. Malik Amber constructed the mosque after establishing the city of Aurangabad. The masjid is located nearby Killa Arrak which was constructed by Aurangzeb.
The mosque has 50 polygonal pillars arranged in five rows and connected by nine arches leading to the division of the mosque into 27 equal compartments.