Tomb of Firoz Khan Khwajasara

Tomb of Firoz Khan Khwajasara

(C. 1647 A.D.)

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This is the Tomb of Firuz Khan Khwasara (C. 1647 A.D.) who was caretaker of Shahjehan’s Harem (Raniwas) and served him faithfully. He died in 1647. It was built by Firuz Khan himself in his lifetime. It stands on the west side of the tank which now bears his name. Its plan is unique. Insteading of providing the gateway separately, it has been attached to the eastern side of the main building, and instead of an iwan leading into the Mausoleum, a broad staircase has been provided which leads above on the first floor terrace which is thus its main storey. The ground floor is only a subsidiary storey, containing the grave in the tahkhanah (crypt).

This terrace is octagonal and measures 42 feet side identical, four pillared rectangular chaukhandis are there on its north and south sides, they are protected by brackets and chhajja. Their four sided pyramidal roofs were originally glazed-tiled. The western side has a trimukhi (three-arched) mosque, with brackets and chhajja and chaukhandi roof which was also originally glazed-tiled. The central pavilion which contains a cenotaph is also octagonal. It has arched openings on all the eight sides, seven of which leaving the entrance on the south side, were originally closed by jali panels. Beautiful Arabesque, geometrical and stylized floral designs have been carved on the panels of the plinth, spandrels and dados.

Grey stone is used with red stone for a beautiful colour effect. It is protected above by a chhajja supported on richly carved brackets and is roofed by a semi-circular dome, which is flanked on the angles by pinnacles. The dome was also originally glazed-tiled. It is crowned by kalash finial. The most imposing member of this mausoleum is the two storeyed gateway attached to its eastern side. It has open arched chambers on the sides. The two chhatris of the superstructure have been destroyed. The whole of the exterior mural surface of this gate has been panelled and bears arched niches, some of which contain vase-and-foliage compositions in high relief. Particularly noticeable are the panels on its north and south sides. They depict lotus and swan wtih guldastas and vases and beautiful scroll patterns.

It is entirely built of red sandstone and there is no white marble. Stone carving is the only mode of ornamentation employed here. From the point of view of its unusual plan and use of highly stylized Arabesque and floral designs, in stone carving with total absence of calligraphic art, the tomb of Firuz Khan Khwajasara stands unique in the history of Mughal architecture. The building is protected by Archaeological Survey of India (Govt. of India).