Tomb of Safdarjung
After the death of Aurangzeb, the only significant
structures raised were the Tomb of Safdarjung, who was the prime
minister of Delhi under Muhammad Shah. Built in 1753-1754, the
tomb lies at the head of Lodi road.
Described as the "last flicker in the lamp of Mughal
architecture" it is clearly decadent in style. Mehrauli village
also has the Zafar Mahal, a summer place of the last Mughal. The
memorial was built by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah who was the son of
Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan popularly known as Safdarjung
(1739-54)who was the governor of the province of Awadh under
Muhammad Shah (1719-48) and later became his prime minister.
The tomb is roughly on the plans of Humayun's tomb, though much
scaled down.It is set in the middle of an extensive garden, which
spreads over an area of over 300-sq-metre. The garden itself is
on the pattern of the Mughal 'Chaharbagh' style. In the center
piling up with effortless arrogance is the massive gateway to the
enclosure which rises to two levels. Inside there is the tomb,
the courtyard and a mosque.
On either side are beautiful pavilions known as "Moti Mahal" or
the pearl palace, "Jangli Mahal" or the sylvan palace and
"Badshah Pasand" or the emperor's favorite. The mausoleum built
with red sandstone and buff stone is faced with marble and stands
squarely in the middle of a garden. There are two graves here,
one of Safdarjung and the other presumably his wife's. The square
central chamber of the mausoleum is surrounded by eight rooms all
around. All the apartments, except the corner ones are
rectangular in shape, the corner ones being octagonal. The dome
of the tomb rises from a sixteen-sided base. The tomb has been
criticized for its weakness in proportions hence a lack of
balance in its make-up.