Bagh-i Dilkusha

Bagh-i Dilkusha., originally uploaded by Commoner28th.

Jahangir’s tomb was built on the site of Bagh-i Dilkusha, a garden previously laid out by his wife, the empress Nur Jahan. The tomb was constructed on orders from Shah Jahan after his father’s death in Kashmir in late 1627. It took ten years to complete the project. The name of the architect is not known, but Chandar Bhan, a historian and writer of the Char Chaman, also served as a supervisor of the site for some time. The walled tomb-garden is entered from the Akbari serai on the west side. The monumental entrance has extensive muqarnas (an architectural element with niches) executed in red sandstone. The Akbari serai has gateways on the north and south and a pre-Mughal period mosque on the west. At the center of an approximately 600-gaz-square garden lies the tomb building clad with red sandstone and inlaid with marble. The tomb rests on a high podium and is surmounted with tall minarets on all four corners. Inside, Jahangir’s sarcophagus is decorated with a vegetal pietra dura design and the ninety-nine names of God. The dado on the walls inside the corridor is done with tile mosaic in floral designs.

The square garden was divided into four parts (the chahar bagh pattern) with water channels. There were fountains set in pools, and water flowing over the chutes provided a dazzling effect. Water for the tomb-garden was lifted from eight wells located immediately outside the enclosure wall. The water was lifted by means of Persian wheels to aqueducts running on top of the wall, and then into terra cotta pipes feeding various fountains and tanks. The original plantation is now gone but there are fine fruit trees from colonial times. Today, it is a favorite picnic spot for the city of Lahore.


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