Bibi ka Maqbara - Taj of Deccan

Everyone knows about Taj Mahal, symbol of love. Shahjahan built Taj Mahal for his beloved wife but do you know there is similar monument exist in Aurangabad, Maharastra, built by Shahjahan's grand son to show love for his mother. Bibi ka Maqbara (Tomb of  the lady).

This mausoleum was built by Azam Shah in memory of his mother Rabia-ul-Durani. She was wife of Aurangzeb. Let me give you some more background on this.

Shahjahan built the famous Taj Mahal. Aurangzeb was son of Shahjahan and Mumtaj begum. Shahjahan was later confined by Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb had three son and one of his son Azam Shah built the Bibi ka Maqbara.

This was intended to rival the Taj Mahal of Agra but decline in architecture and severe budgetary constraints had resulted in a poor copy, but this decline cannot stop any one appreciating the setting of the tomb complex. Most part built with marble, with some great carving, garden with the mountain range behind. For many its known as poor man's Taj Mahal and for many its Taj of Deccan. I dislike the term used poor man's Taj and I would prefer Taj of Deccan, which is more correct.

I went there in year 2012..Pune has been always perfect weekend gateway for me..The traveling is easy , take a overnight Volvo bus from Bangalore and next morning you will be in Pune. Rohit lives there so no problem with accommodation :-) . Vijay also joined me for this trip and we both reached Pune first. Rohit then joined us in Pune. Idea was to visit Bibi ka Maqbara, Ajanta Ellora, Shani Signapur and Sirdi. Looked like so many places to cover but we ended up visiting all the places in one day!!!

Rohit's car had some issue that day, so we decided to book one car. Distance from Pune to Auranbadad is around 220 km and can be reached within 4-5 hours. The timing was prefect, we started very early in the morning (I think it was 4 or 4:30 AM), and reached Aurangabad around 8:30 AM. Morning tea, heavy breakfast and then we were at our first destination Bibi ka Maqbara.

Hardly there were any visitor or may be we reached very early there. Whatever reason it could be but the place looked like deserted.

Here is the entry gate and information board

Once you cross the entry gate, you can see structure. At the first glance you will think about Taj Mahal but then you start seeing difference. The first difference is the size. You would almost feel that someone has squeezed the Taj and kept it here. Another difference you will see the quality of marble used. Taj has pure white marble but here you could see marbles, not so high quality and some lime plaster. The ignorance during making of this structure can be easily seen.

One interesting information I got is, Taj Mahal was built in about 3 crore Rs while only 7 lakhs spent on Bibi ka Maqbara. now you can understand why its mostly known as poor man's Taj and reason behind such ignorance.


Bibi ka Maqbara stands in the middle of a spacious and formally planned garden with some ponds, fountains, and water channels. Similar to Taj Mahal.


Mausoleum is built on a high square platform with four minarets at its corners, One of the minarets

There is also one Mosque, built on the platform of tomb, believed to have been constructed by Nizam of Hyderabad.

Bibi ka Maqbara is around 400 years old, still surviving time and weather. ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) trying their best and we could see that restoring for some parts of the structure. Sad that there was no crowd to see this historical monument, place is not well known, quite. I think there is effort required to make this place well known.

We were there for around one and half hour. Next destination was the UNISCO world heritage site Ellora caves (35 km from Aurangabad). Will write about it next blog..


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  2. hi,