Before leaving Aurangabad and the Ellora Caves, we had more architecture to visit. Bibi Ka Maqbara is the main monument of the city of Aurangabad and is an imitation of the Taj Mahal , as you can see in these images.
Both were built as tombs by Moguls, Muslim rulers; the Taj for a wife queen and the Bibi Ka Maqbara for a queen mother.
As you can see from the side by side photograph, there are similarities such as use of while marble, the approach, but the maintenance of the building is different in scale. There were lots of locals there the morning we visited and they seemed happy to see some tourists. We were tired and underwhelmed with this site but glad to know about the second Taj. The obvious difference was that the carved marble flowers did not house semi-precious gems. It was very obvious that though the son wanted to honor his mama, he had less resources to use in construction.
Historical aside: India has been a multi-religious country all during its history. The main religion is signaled in the name of the city. All the cites that end in “bad” were primarily Muslim or Mogul cites such as Aurangabad and Ahmedabad. The cities started by the Hindus end in “pur”, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer. Today, of course, the different faiths live side by side.
One personal memory of this place was the story that the day before we visited, there was a bee attack on the porch area, just to the entrance on the right. Tourists had to visit the hospital and there was much panic. The next day, when we were there, several guards wouldn’t let us walk around the building near the nest, letting sleeping bees lie, I guess. Hindus would not have killed the bees but Muslims had no such teaching, so we have no idea if the bees were lying in wait for unsuspecting visitors. We were glad that it wasn’t wild monkeys and not curious enough to try and sneak onto that side for a peak !
Following are three other posts I have written about the Taj. Enjoy !
David says I look like Hillary dancing in the next one!