Saturday, August 5, 2017

Mian Khan Tomb


This well preserved baradari is located at Shiwala Chowk in Singhpura area of Bhogiwal, Lahore, Pakistan. According to Kanhaiya Lal's Tarikh-e-Lahore written in 1884, it is the same baradari that houses Mian Khan's grave. Nawab Mian Khan was the son of Nawab Saadullah Khan who was the Prime Minister of Lahore under Shah Jahan.

Main Khan died in 1671 during the reign of Aurangzeb and was buried inside this baradari. Since he hailed from Chiniot in Punjab, and Chiniot being famous for having black stone, he used the same black stone in all of his constructions. At the time of its construction, hundreds of thousands of rupees were spent on this tomb. During the time of Sikh triumvirate in Lahore, this tomb and its garden became desolate. The marble and other precious stone were removed and bricks were stolen by brick sellers.

For some time, the tomb structures came under possession of Sheikh Imam-ud-Din who removed a large number of black stone slabs from the main podium on which the baradari stands and used them in his haveli. By the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the structure was in ruins but had still retained some beauty. Having found it without an owner, Raja Suchet Singh occupied it, repaired the surrounding walls, and planted a garden in its grounds. During his life-time, the place was known as Raja Suchet Singh's Bagh. During the

British rule, it was put on auction and was bought by Nawab Ali Raza Khan Qazilbaksh for 2200 rupees.
Many a changes have taken place in the buildings that originally occupied the tomb garden. Some were taken down and rebuilt by Raja Suchet Singh while others were renovated by Nawab Ali Raza Khan. There was a gateway to the south which is no longer extant. Also lost are a square water tank with running waterfall and a beautiful mosque supporting a dome. There was also an "answering mosque" on the eastern side in exact same dimensions and style as the one on the western side. Only the mosque on the western side was used while the one on the eastern side was only for architectural symmetry. 

On all four sides of the baradari, there is a large podium which is the height of a man. The floor of the podium is made of large slabs of black stone and infact, the whole podium including the sides are constructed of the same Chinioti black stone. In the middle of the main podium, there is another black stone podium of the height of 1/2 a yard on which the building of the baradari stands.  In the middle of the baradari, there is another podium of the height of 6 inches upon which stood the marble sarcophagus of Mian Khan which was removed by Raja Suchet Singh and now only the podium remains.

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