Tomb of Nur Jahan, a famous empress of King Jahangir

Posted on Oct 26 2014 - 11:09am by visitpak

The tomb of Jahangir’s famous empress, Nur Jahan or Light of the World, lies near that of her brother, to the west of Jahangir’s tomb. Her romantic story-her wayside birth of refugee parents, her introduction to Akbar’s court, her early love for Jahangir as a prince, her marriage to a young Turkoman of the court, his violent death and her subsequent marriage to Jahangir, now emperor, her humane domination of his court and of the world of intellect and fashion, the coinage issued jointly in her name and his own by Jahangir “whereby the value of gold was increased a hundredfold”, as the inscription has it-all these things are matters of common history. She died in A.D. 1645, and is said to have built her own tomb. The tomb of Nur Jahan is situated in the historical city of Lahore.

The tomb of Nur Jahan is now a mere wreck, a brickwork shell. In plan it bears some resemblance on a small scale to that of Jahangir. It is square on plan with octagonal towers, roof-high, at the corners and a projecting entrance-bay in the centre of each side. Within are three ranges of ceiled or domed compartments with traces of honeycombed plaster cornices and painted floral wall-panels. The central vaulted tomb-chamber contains a marble platform designed for two graves, those of Nur Jahan herself and of Ladli Begum, her daughter by her Turkoman husband. Of the present simple uninscribed marble gravestones, one is ancient and the other a modern copy. On the roof of tomb of Nur Jahan is a modernized podium which may originally have carried a pavilion, although no evidence of this is now visible. Beneath the tomb, approached as usual from the south by a sloping passage, is the actual burial-vault, where the two coffins hung suspended until the violation of the place by the Sikhs. To these violators, who in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century wrecked the Muslim monuments of Lahore with the same thoroughness where-with the Muslims had themselves wrecked the monuments of Hinduism several centuries earlier, may be ascribed the removal of the marble and sandstone veneer of which traces can be seen on the exterior of the building. With the removal of its surface decoration, the Whole glory of the structure has departed.