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Tombs of Jahangir, Asif Khan and Akbari Sarai, Lahore

Date of Submission: 14/12/1993
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO Ministry of Education
Coordinates: 32°20' latitude north - 31°38' longitude east North of the City of Lahore
Ref.: 1279

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Jahangir's tomb

The Monument, a single storey structure, square in plan, consists of a platform with tall octagonal corner towers and a projecting entrance bay in the middle of each side. The exterior of the monument including the lowest stage of the towers, has a red sandstone facing with rich panel decoration inlaid with marble decorative motifs. The four corner towers, with white marble cupolas, rise in five stages to a height of 100 feet with a zigzag inlay of white and yellow marble : the building is divided into a series of vaulted compartments. The interior is embellished with floral frescoes, delicate inlay work (pietra dura) and brilliant marble intersia of various colours. The marble cenctaph with its delicate and colourful pietra dure is engraved with the ninety-nine attributes of Allah.

Asif Khan's tomb

The tomb, an octagonal structure with a high bulbous dome stands in the centre of a vast garden divided into four squares once set with reservoirs, fountains and pathways. The exterior was originally adorned with rich stone inlay work and the interior decorated with very bold stucco tracery, tile mosaic and ghalibkari. The high bulbous double dome was originally covered with marble veneering.

Akbari Sarai

The series of tombs called Akbari Sarai, is situated between the tombs of Jahangir and Asif Khan. The open courtyard of the Sarai is flanked on all sides by a raised terrace where are built rows of small cells, numbering 180, fronted with a verandah and a common open passage. The corners of the Sarai are graced by burjis. The Sarai has two stately gateways of usual Mughal style, one on the north and the other on the south. These gateways are beautifully decorated with frescoes and ghalibkari. From the decorative elements, the style of the structure and the size of bricks, the Sarai and the entrance gatoway to the tomb seem to have been built in the same period apparently parts o single building complex of Shah Jahan's Tomb. To the west of the Sarai in the middle of the row of cells is a mosque with three splendid domes. It is graced with red sandstone facing decorated with inlay work.