UNKNOWN CONSTRUCTION OF LUTUFULLAH AHMAD;
BAGH MAUSOLEUM OF PRINCESS ROSHAN ARA BEGUM.
Roshan Ara Begum had her Bagh constructed in Delhi in 1075 A H, or 1664 AD. She died in 1082 A H, that is 1671 AD. The present structure is just a small remnant of one of the biggest Mughal Garden in Delhi. No contemporary source has seemed to mention it, but with the discovery of the poetic Diwan of Khairullah Muhandis, son of Lutufullah Muhandis (dated 1089 AH or 1678 AD), the secret oozed out of history books. A background study is essential for same. After all Roshan Ara, herself was daughter of Arjumand Bano Mumtaz Mahall and Emperor Shah Jahan. Sister of the immortal Jahan Ara. However she is only mentioned twice in Shahjahan nama, at time of her birth, and some allowance made to her, along with her brothers and sisters, out of a total sum of two lakh rupees. Nothing more is known, except from accounts of foreigners who write about her. The most ridiculous and scandalous things about her are written by Bernier, Mannuci and Tavernier. Without any proof, these gossip makers had the harsh eye of weaving falsehood. It is strange that nobody has the guts to tell these gossip mongers to bring proof of their statements. Instead of any verbal truths, they lie as affront to history. Under Islamic law without proof of four witnesses they deserved to be beheaded all of them. And yet Western writers as well as Indians revel in their statements. These kind of people do not tell the truth even today, how is it possible that they spoke the truth then? I detest to repeat their calumny even, but to put it on record, one says that Roshan Ara had nine young men in her harem to satisfy her sexual instincts. Beheading and flogging was required for them.
There was a plan by Shah Jahan to assassinate Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb was invited by the Emperor to facilitate him but in reality, a murder was being planned. Shah Jahan was hopelessly in love with the arrogant Dara Shikoh and knew that his elder son was no match for the fighting skill of Aurangzeb. The plan came to the knowledge of Roshan Ara Begum and she intimated her brother Aurangzeb of this dreadful plan. Aurangzeb stayed away from his father and as a result his life was saved. Shah Jahan was even using Jahan Ara to lure his son into the said trap. As Roshan Ara Begum had saved the future King, she became the favourite of Aurangzeb. She had her garden and pavilion constructed outside the consigns of Delhi. Who did that? Nobody knew. But a poetic collection of Khairullah Muhandis revealed a few pages of the details of the Garden, which included things like a pool, and even an Aaina Khana of its own. Many of its features were a source of marvel, and Khairullah has written about them in detail. The burial itself was one of a kind. Catherine B. Asher writes:
“The garden maintains none of its original appearance, and only the tomb among the several structures once there remains. Approached by causeways, the pavilion containing her grave is in the midst of a small tank. The uncovered central portion of the pavilion contains Raushan Ara’s grave; the surrounding flat-roofed galleries have cusped arches supporting bulbous baluster columns, generally an imperial perquisite during Shah Jahan’s reign. Paradoxically however, her simple cenotaph remains open to the air, indicative of her role as God’s mere slave.”
Catherine B. Asher presumes the construction date to be around 1650 AD, when it is actually 1664 AD. She borrows information from Carr Stephen, who wrote about the Gardens of Delhi. Roshan Ara was not financially solvent to do so in 1650 AD.
He has also mentioned many personal details that nobody else put down. It seems that even Khairullah had taken refuge in Gul bahar area near Kabul as a refuge when the family was under the animosity of Qazi Abdul Wahab Gujarati, the Chief Qazi of Aurangzeb. Suffice that it is not our concern here of those details. Till another relevant blog on same.
5 thoughts on “UNKNOWN CONSTRUCTION OF LUTUFULLAH AHMAD; BAGH MAUSOLEUM OF PRINCESS ROSHAN ARA BEGUM.”
Very detailed account. Thank you again for sharing Sir
The whole Mughal kingdom was inter connected as one. Delhi and Lahore are well knit with each other. The architects also shared dwelling in two cities but are always called LAHORI in origin.
Angrez ka complex is still there from colonial rule, and imagined benefits from selling your soul and being a munafiq.