The Glorious Chausath Khamba Boasts 64 Pillars & Is Intricately Made of White Marble

Delhi Dweller 16 Apr 2020

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The most prominent part of Mughal heritage is their architecture. In the process of building glorious tombs, they inspired many contemporary architectural patterns of the world. Delhi is bursting with many such sprawling structures of this long era that withstood the test of time and became immortal in the hearts of all art lovers.

The Mughals built many forms of structures like palaces, gardens, forts and tombs; out of these structures, the most popular ones are the tombs. There have been so many built by Emperors, ministers and commanders during the Mughal era, to celebrate the deaths of loved ones; one of these was built by Mirza Aziz Koka as a mausoleum for himself during the reign of Emperor Jehangir. Koka was the son of the Prime Minister of Akbar. This structure, though not built on the orders of an emperor, still shows signs of skillful craftsmanship. It is amazingly innovative in terms of architectural patterns.

Yes - A Whopping 64 Pillars!

This monument is known as Chausath Khamba which literally translates to 64 pillars. Its interesting but complex design consists of 64 pillars supporting 25 bays, rested on which are domes. This structure was built in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti close to the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya; this could’ve been one of the reasons for Mirza Aziz Koka to build Chausath Khamba here, to lie near the holy shrine. 

And The Masterpiece

Picture Credits: varunslens

As one enters the tomb, one gets amazed by the complexity in the way these domes are structured. Each dome is made up of precisely 68 pieces of marble. You can only wonder who would have thought about building it like this and why! From the inside, it all looks like an intricate enmeshed web and the viewer definitely needs some time to understand the structure. 

If you’re seeing it from outside, you would have no idea as to how different it would be from the inside. The roof of this structure is flat and rectangular; you can only see these arches coming out in groups standing next to each other. There are graves inside that are believed to be of Mirza Aziz Koka and his family. 

Picture Credits: Delhi Explorer

Like other Mughal structures, there are fine carvings on the marble pieces. There are two other monuments near this complex, Urs Mahal courtyard and Mirza Ghalib’s tomb that mark a period of renowned art, architecture, music, literature and religion. 

Delhi and its history is surrounded by ghosts of the past and it is this history and heritage that makes it truly unique. Out of all the dynasties that ruled Delhi, the Mughals gave it its real identity. In fact, most of Delhi's culture is based on what became of it during the time.

Once the lockdown is lifted and it’s safe to head out, don’t hesitate to go over and take a look-see at this ancient structure!

Where | Chausath Khamba - Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, South District