OUR HISTORIANS USUALLY THINK OF MAQBARA OF NUR JAHAN
AS HAVING NO CLUES TO ORIGINAL STRUCTURE BUT ARE WRONG
BADSHAH NAMA OF ABDUL HAMID LAHORI GIVES US THAT VIEW
The absolute truth of various notions of ours is not there. Research about long lost monuments is like working for a needle in a haystack. We have great love and respect for historian Anjum Rahmani, and feel sad that he dissects Dr Abdullah Chaghatai in his latest book on Lahore, at times right, at times with vindictiveness. That is not fair. We can all be wrong at moments. The correct way is to keep on learning.
Anjum Rahmani says that there is no reference about the Maqbara of Nur Jahan in contemporary times. We attach here two pages (from the printed book in 1867) from the Bahshah nama of Abdul Hamid Lahori (the official history) and it give us a clear cut description of same. Foregoing the details, three things we find clear in it:
1. There is a reference to a huge DOME on the maqbara.
2. There is a reference to a single grave in the maqbara.
3. The reference is to a mosque which is not there. And it had a jawab balancing mosque structure to same.
It is up to the experts to comment on same. Our job is to present the reference from the book as well as loosely translate same for use of our readers. That is:
“This Maqbara is situated gharb of Rauza Jahangeer. Its DOME is far high above the normal level Its circumference is 15 yards, framework octagonal, with eight nashman and outside eight entrance gateways. Every gate is seven by four and with eleven yards height, in guise of archways. Inside the building there is marble and outside is Sang Abari. Sang marmar and sang zarda and different kinds of precious stones are there. On the high plinth and chabootra, there is the inside building of the grave. The grave is embellished with countless precious stones in parchan kari. Ayats Quranic as well as the names of Allah in parchan kari abound inside. The floor inside the building is embellished with precious stones in gara bandi. The chabootra outside the DOME has a measurement 60 yards and is made of sartappa sang surk. Outside the chabootra on all four sides are fountains and measure 9 by 7.5 yards. This maqbara and Rauza Jahangeer sharqi wall is the same, meaning that the wall of Maqbara Jahangeer and Serai and Maqbara Asif Khan surrounds them. Same wall surrounds Maqbara Nur Jahan which is with Rauza Jahangeer. There is a mosque in the western district and on the east is another mosque which is not a mosque but the jawab of that mosque to balance it. In the janoob of the bagh there is a gate to all this building. Maqbara, and Bagh Nur Jahan were constructed by Nur Jahan in her lifetime at expenditure of three lakh rupees and in four years.”
The Diwan Masnavi of Nur Jahan was discovered recently. It also mentions a MASJID NAHR WALI in the vicinity of her maqbara. More research is required there. Anjum Rahmani is welcome all the time! Our archives are open to him.