One of the most historic figures of his time remains buried in the outskirts of the city Lahore in a place called Shahdara. Near the banks of the mighty Ravi in the northwest of the city lies the great Jahangir’s Tomb and his final resting place. Here lies the emperor was considered "one of the mightiest Princes in Asia" by Thomas Roe, the first English ambassador to the Mughal court.
This particular area has been known as one of the favorite places of Jahangir's and his wife Noor Jahan for having the true essence of the majestic Lahore. It is also said that this specific place was the point of departure for travels to and from Kashmir and Lahore prior to the construction of the tomb. The Great Jahangir died in 1672 and as per his last wish, he was fortunate enough to get buried in Dilkusha Garden. The tomb stands tall in the centre of the garden and is considered to be the "finest ornament of Lahore," and the "most magnificent edifice in the subcontinent after the Taj and the Qutub."
Construction of Jahangir's Tomb
The Jahangir's tomb is the second-most magnificent Mughal structure and was built under the observation of his wife Noor Jahan who outlived him by eighteen years but it was Jahangir’s son, Shah Jahan ascended to the throne, and ordered to build this magnificent tomb to honor his father. The mausoleum took a total of ten years to be constructed but as soon as it was built it was definitely a sight for sore eyes.
In the suburbs of Lahore, this tomb is not only a reminder of the emperor Jahangir but a forlorn reminder of their passionate relationship. Although, there still remains confusion whether the tomb was funded by imperial treasure or by Noor Jahan but the Persian influence of Noor Jahan can be clearly seen in the structure of the tomb. It was the Empress’s outstanding vision that was the real reason that this ensemble became one of its kind.
The entire complex measures about five hundred meters and is divided among three main areas; the exterior, the gardens, and the inner chamber. The structure has a tall tower with a projecting entrance from all 4 sides. The 4 corners of the tower are 100 feet high and give a spectacular vision from a distance. Interestingly, the Mughal architects used a quadrangle design scheme at that time, which made the tomb to be further subdivided into four-part gardens.
The architecture of Jahangir’s Tomb
Surely, this historical site is an outstanding piece of Mughal Architecture. Each of these four-part gardens officially called “Chahar baghs”, have a central fountain. All the people coming in must walk in through a western gate, called the “Akbari Sarai”. As you walk through this gate, you’ll see a tiny mosque as well as a tomb dedicated to Asif Khan, Jahangir’s brother-in-law. Visually the first thing you see is the four minarets on top of the exterior. Each of these minarets measures around 100 feet in height and are made of brilliant white marble.
Admire the exquisite symmetry and geometrical perfection the ancient Mughal architects used to construct this masterful exterior. Through the beautiful garden, you can see the actual Jahangir's tomb.
The Jahangir’s Tomb was constructed in such an artistic way to give the impression of Islamic paradise on earth to the people who see it.
The Tomb is in an octagonal chamber that measures around eight meters in diameter. This has central marble on which 99 traditional attributes of Allah are written. At its foot, an inscription is written in Persian, that reads, “This is the illumined grave of His Majesty, the Asylum of Pardon, Nooruddin Muhammad Jahangir Padshah 1037 AH.”
Then further down are the bricked canals in which a number of fountains were there but ruined completely a few years back. But the tomb still has a lot to show to its visitors. Glorious and royal structure of Jahangir’s tomb is far more superior to that of Noor Jahan’s tomb. It’s sad to see that the women who stood hand in hand with the great emperor couldn’t get the same amount of respect and attention as him but she still has a tomb not too far away from Jahangir’s and you must pay a visit to this woman too! One can’t ignore the beauty of expensive marbles used in and outside the tomb.
The Jahangir’s Tomb showcases the aesthetic brilliance and artistic mindset of people in the Mughal era. It clearly shows the potential and set of skills as well as the glory and pride of Mughal rulers. The structure faced a lot of disrespect at the hands of the British and Sikh’s both who did their fair share in damaging the site but the government of Pakistan has since its establishment been dedicated to protecting all of its historical sites as it is their connection to their roots.
As you visit the Jahangir’s Tomb it has a story of its own to tell that can never be written in words. The mausoleum’s white marble walk away will give you a once in a lifetime experience.