Monday, July 31, 2017

Asaf Khan Tomb, Lahore, Pakistan

0

Asaf Khan was the brother of Nur Jahan, foremost of Emperor Jahangir's twenty wives. He was also the father of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Emperor Shah Jahan and the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built.
Asaf Khan's clan rose to power as his sister gained entry into Jahangir's court.

Jahangir had long been addicted to opium and alcohol, and as his addiction worsened he relied more and more on his close aides for day to day governing of the empire. Asif Khan's sister, Nur Jahan, used the opportunity to take power for herself. In 1625 she used her influence to obtain the governorship of Lahore for her brother, Asaf Khan. He held the position for a mere two years before Emperor Jahangir died in 1627. In the struggle for succession that followed, Asaf Khan broke ranks with his sister and sided with his son in law, the future Shah Jahan, in his bid for succession.

When Shah Jahan emerged victorious Nur Jahan was placed under comfortable house arrest and lived out the remainder of her days as a poetess and sponsor of the arts.

Asaf Khan was placed in command of an army attacking Bijapur in 1632 but he failed to take the city. Shah Jahan retained him in the court but he never reached the heights of power that he had previously enjoyed. He died in June 1642 while fighting the forces of the rebel Raja Jagat Singh Pathania.

He was accorded high honors in the placement of his tomb just a few hundred meters to the west of Emperor Jahangir's own tomb.

Octagonal tombs were never used for emperors but they were commonly employed for burial of high-ranking noblemen such as Asaf Khan. The bulbous dome that crowns the tomb is an innovation of Shah Jahan's era that was used to great effect at other sites such as the Taj Mahal.





Portrait of Asaf Khan

 
Author Image
AboutHTV Pakistan

HTV Pakistan

No comments:

Post a Comment