THE ENIGMA OF THE ATTOCK MAQBARA IN ATTOCK KHURD – IS IT MAUSOLEUM OF FAVOURITE CONCUBINE BIBI MARIAM, WIFE OF EMPEROR AKBAR AND MOTHER OF PRINCE DANIYAL.
In the autobiography of Emperor Jahangeer, the Emperor writes:“After this he had a son by Beeby Mereiom who was placed under the care of Rajah Baharmul.” That is Shahzada Danial! The Prince died around the age of thirty only, because of his over indulgence in alcohol. His mother Bibi Mariam died in 1596. Shireen Moosvi thinks of the royal concubine as Daulat Shad. Both were royal concubines. But Bibi Mariam was related to the wife of Raja Baharmul, and the reason Daniyal was given into her care.
There are a number of ways in which we can study it:
Architectural analysis: The area has been touched by many civilizations. But prominent amongst the same are the Mughals, and in that respect Emperor Akbar, who built the Attock Fort in 1593. Bibi Mariam died in 1596. The timing matches our analysis.
Historical analysis: The architecture of this strange out of the way monument is unique in many ways. It is based on a square plinth, compared to octagonal base on most Mughal monuments. It has concept of some storeys in its construction, and there is a balcony at the top. Why? Obviously that the monument was under caretakers (the many graves around the monument prove same) and this place was open to Afghan aggression. So, the Mughals had to keep the construction of same like a check post or small fort able to defend itself. It was probably made in a hurry, for possibly in a visit by Emperor Akbar, the concubine died a natural death. And no chance of transporting her body back to her usual domain. The dome is totally different from the usual domes. It is a double dome but the upper part is not like a dome. The reason was timing, available expertise, and the lack of top-of-the-line architects, like Qasim Khan.
Identity analysis: It is famous as Maqbara Kanjri, or monument of the prostitute. In no way a prostitute could make Akbar have this built for her. And not all concubines. Only a Royal concubine is possible. And who befits most, but the mother of Prince Daniyal. The interesting part is that this is the same concubine, which bastard William Finch, narrates as the beloved of Akbar’s son Jahangeer, or in other words Anarkalli. That Anarkalli, Akbar’s reputed to have buried alive, and the actual Anarkalli (according to Finch), Akbar had a Mughal monument built on her remains. What hypocrisy of the bigoted Britishers here? Turning street gossip into historical narrations. It is worth remembering to take western assertions with a pinch of salt.
Can there be any conclusions? To such narrations, one can never come to fool proof endings. Match empty speculations with logic is the only way. The end nobody knows. Pages of history always hide things in time. This we can understand the place was fortified with time as suggested by closed vents to the mausoleum. And the work of archaeological department to hide their dirt under wall of bricks.