Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad, India – The poor man’s Taj Mahal 2


Everyone has heard of the Taj Mahal. It brought Shah Jahan, its creator, everlasting fame and respect. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that others tried to emulate Shah Jahan’s idea. That is exactly what Shah Jahan’s grandson, Azam Shah, attempted with Bibi Ka Maqbara, a mausoleum for his mother, built in the city of Aurangabad, in the state of Maharashtra in India.

Azam Shah wanted not only to copy the Taj Mahal, he wanted to better it.

Did he succeed? You can decide for yourself (compare it to the real Taj Mahal here).

Bibi Ka Maqbara

Bibi ka Maqbara, Aurangabad, India

The tomb of Bibi Ka Maqbara, in Aurangabad, India. Photo credit: Benjamin White

Azam Shah certainly succeeded in creating a beautiful monument. But does it rival the Taj Mahal? I doubt many people would think so.

The title poor man’s Taj Mahal may sound cruel and unwarranted, but money was a major factor in its creation. Bibi Ka Maqbara was built for a fraction of the cost of the Taj Mahal – 700,000 rupees, versus the 35 million rupees spent on the Taj Mahal. The central dome was the only part of the monument Azam Shah could afford to have made of marble.

Thus, while no destitute individual could ever truly produce a monument of this stature, Bibi Ka Maqbara will forever remain the poor man’s Taj Mahal.


Practical information and how to reach Bibi Ka Maqbara:

The tomb of Bibi Ka Maqbara is located in the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra state. Aurangabad is on the rail network with direct trains to Delhi and Mumbai. More transport info here.


More on Maharashtra:

Kailasa Temple, Ellora Caves – largest monolithic building in the world

Daulatabad Fort – momentary capital of ‘the Mad King’


More on India:

The Taj Mahal, Agra – mausoleum for the beloved Mumtaz

Udaipur – Venice of the East

Jodhpur – the Blue City

Hadimba Temple, Manali – dedicated to Hidimbi Devi

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