Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, Sasaram, Bihar
Archaeological Survey of India
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The tomb of Sher Shah Suri at Sasaram is an imposing structure of stone standing in the middle of a fine tank and rising from a large stone terrace. This terrace rests obliquely on a platform with a flight of steps leading to the waterts edge. The upper terrace is enclosed by a battlemented parapet wall with octagonal domed chambers at four corners, two small projecting pillared balconies on each of its four sides and pierced with a doorway in the east forms the only approach to the tomb. In the middle of the upper terrace stands the building of the mausoleum on a low octagonal plinth. The building consists of a very large octagonal chamber surrounded by a wide verandah on al the four sides. Internally, the verandah is covered by a series of 24 small domes, each supported on four arches but as the roof is a pillared cupola adorned by panels of white glazed tiles now much discoloured. The tomb chamber has three lofty arches on each of the eight sides. They rise 22 feet higher than the verandah roof and support the magnificent and lofty dome which is one of the largest domes in India. Surrounding the main dome are eight pillared cupolas on the corners of the octagon of the chamber walls. The interior of the tomb is sufficiently well ventilated and lighted through large windows on the top portion of the walls fitted with stone jalis in varying patterns. The jambs and spandrils of the arch of the mihrab on the western wall were once profusely adorned with verses from the Quran and inscriptions, with glazed tiles of various colours arranged in geometrical patterns and with beautiful floral carvings in stone enclosed in enamel borders. Much of this decoration has vanished already. Traces of similar decoration in enamel or glazed tile works are also to be scen on the interior of the dome, the walls and the cupolas on the outside. In a small arched recess above the mihrab on the outside wall is an inscription in two lines recording the completion of the tomb by his son and successor Salim or Islam Shah, some 3 months after the death of Sher Shah who died in A.H. 952 (A.D.1545).