The Mausoleum of Marium-uz-Zamani is a famous monument built in the memory of the Indian queen Jodha Bai, the wife of Akbar. Located in Agra, this tomb depicts Mariam-uz-Zamani and Akbar love story. It is a matter of fact that you would be stunned with the architectural design of the tomb when you move across the monument. Each and every bit of the memorial is brilliantly put together and composed in an outstanding manner, which will be a treat for the travelers. In the course of this article, you would come across every bit of essential information associated with the monument that would also help you in planning a trip to this amazing place of historical importance.
The tomb of Mariam uz Zamani is located in the suburbs of Sikandra city, in the outskirts of Agra. It is the place where tombs of two great personalities, Akbar and Jodha Bai are coexistent. The site is located by the side of the highway that connects Delhi with Agra. The Mariam uz Zamani tomb lies at the south-west of the tomb of Akbar. This is not only a place that talks about the times gone by, but it also has got remains of the glorious past that India once had. When you would come to this place, you will undoubtedly feel a sense of peace and happiness in the air. The floral gardens all around the tomb will keep you awestruck. No one ever imagined that the transformation of an open pavilion would turn out to be a place such beautiful. In the year 1495 A.D., it happened to be one of the garden houses of Sikandar Lodhi.
Jodha Bai wished to stay close to her husband even after her death. In order to fulfill one of her last wishes, Jahangir converted the garden house of Sikandar Lodhi into the tomb of Mariam uz Zamani. The tomb of Jodha Bai and Akbar are merely 1 km away from each other.
The mausoleum of Marium uz Zamani is one such place that would keep you amazed until you come out from the monument. The minute detailing on the walls of the tomb would ask your sense to pause for some time and feel the work of the artisanship. All that is inscribed on the wall are floral designs and some mix of cultural influence from both Islamism and Hinduism. Even though Jodha Bai married Mughal emperor Akbar, she never changed her religion and followed Hinduism until her last breath. This is one of the reasons for the presence of crafts from both religions. The tomb is undoubtedly one such monument in India, that expresses the feeling of true love. Depictions of Mariam uz Zamani in Akbarnama throws light on many occurrences of those times.
The tomb of Mariam Uz Zamani happens to be one of the most renowned tourist attractions in the city of Agra. It is the tomb of Jodha Bai, who was the daughter of Raja Bharmal Kaccwaha, a Hindu Rajputana King. Jodha Bai was married to Akbar in 1562 A.D. After tying the nuptial knot with Akbar, Jodha Bai started being recognized as Mariam Uz Zamani.
Akbar has been one of the most powerful Mughal emperors of all times. To improve his influence all over the country politically, he decided to marry Jodha Bai. Jodha Bai had a keen interest in war skills, and she had acquired knowledge of all fighting and strategic planning techniques. All these skills profoundly impressed Akbar to tie a nuptial knot with the Hindu Princess. At the time of marriage, Jodha Bai had put specific terms and conditions. She wanted to follow Hinduism even after marriage. Akbar allowed Jodha Bai to continue her religious practices after marriage and permitted her to take part in the activities of the court.
Akbar and Jodha gave birth to Jahangir in the year 1569 A.D. at Fatehpur Sikri. After the birth of Jahangir, Akbar conferred the name Mariam uz Zamani on Jodha. The literary meaning of Mariam uz Zamani is ‘Mary of the Age’.
Conferring names to wives has been one of the traditions of the Mughal Sultanates. Almost all the Mughal emperors have conferred some title to their beloved wives. In those times, this happened to be one of the ways to appreciate certain qualities like kindness, bravery, intelligence, beauty, etc. Their son Jahangir also turned out to be one of the fierce Mughal rulers of all times.
Jodha Bai aka Mariam uz Zamani breathed her last breathe in the year 1623 A.D. After the death of Mariam uz Zamani; son Jahangir had built Mariam uz Zamani tomb in her loving memory. The tomb was built in between 1623 A.D. and 1627 A.D.
A significant part of the life of the queen has not yet been researched and recovered. There’s no such evidence available that talks about Mariam uz Zamani death reason. They are still in shadows. Though it is not known how Mariam uz Zamani died, the only thing that is remaining in the present day is the truly mesmerizing tomb built in her memory.
The design of the tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani carries a mix of traditions. The architecture of the tomb signifies the combination of Islamic and Hindi design and thinking. The tomb’s architecture gained a lot of popularity and became the most looked up to construction all over the world during its initial days. It was very popular in the course of the reign of Akbar and Jahangir. In the initial days, it was not a full-fledged tomb. It was built as an open pavilion, which was known as Lodi Barahdari.
The Mughals, who adopted the structure in the near future, converted it into a tomb. In the course of the conversion, they brought certain changes in the design of the overall set
ting. They started with creating a crypt below the central compartment. Then they proceeded ahead with reconstructing the four porticos of the building. The porches were finished with red sandstone blocks. Then a Chajja was crafted out in addition at the corners.
The next thing that was constructed by Mariam uz Zamani’s son was superstructures with Chhaparkhats and chhatris. The chhatris have been finished with red sandstones. This great piece of architectural marvel is surrounded by greenery all around. As per the design, there are two corridors situated at regular intervals. The corridors divide the entire monuments into nine sections. The larger section is in the middle, and the four smaller sections are placed in the four corners. Then the rest four oblong ones are present in the middle of the four sides.
The tomb has many big and small arches. In order to provide the necessary support to each one of them, the designers have made the use of massive piers. These piers are well connected to the big and broad arches and vaulted ceilings.
The overall construction is made from brick and mortar. The upper layer is finished with the help of stucco. The tomb has three storeys, with the bottom-most one being a grave. The middle floor is a cenotaph, and the top level is the terrace. The terrace houses a garden. This tomb is spread across a vast area. The ground floor itself houses almost forty chambers. All the pillars provide adequate support to the roof and have an inverted lotus design on the top.
This tomb carries a distinctive signature of its own. The designers thought of keeping its design elements singular. For this reason, they did not add any dome to the tomb. In the era of Mughals, all the monuments used to have a dome. Dome was considered as one of the signature design of the Mughals. However, the tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani does not have a dome on the top.
One more thing that makes it different from all other Mughal architecture is the fact that it has a real entrance in the rear unlike a dummy entrance in many other Mausoleums. The Mariam uz-Zamani’s mausoleum is just different from all others.
Things do not end here. The tomb has many architectural marvels, which talk about the Mughal culture and artistry. The craft of those times was something that made the monuments look appealing and glorious. Even if you can find from the minute detailing of the artisanship from the remains of the present-day tomb. The outside walls are finished with sandstones that are filled with floral design elements.
Some of the unique design patterns of the tomb include wine vases, geometric patterns and many other standard design elements that are inspired by the Islamic origins. You can easily find many hexagonal bases inside the tomb. All these structures were carved out from larger pieces of stone. The floor of the tomb is layered with white marble. Last but not least, the tomb is identical from either side. It looks like a mirror reflection.
Ticket Price/Entry Fee
The entry into the tomb of Mariam uz Zamani is not free. As per the pricing of the tickets specified by the authorities, you need to pay a charge of 10 INR if you belong to India or any of the SAARC countries. The amount of the entry ticket is 100 INR for foreigners. The entry for children below the age of 15 is exempted from payment of entry ticket fee. The tomb remains open all days including Sunday. So, you can come down to this amazing place with your loved ones and take away zillions of good time and memoirs.
Timings [Opening Hours]
The tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani is open from dawn to dusk. You can head over to this architectural marvel from the era of Mughal from sunrise and spend time witnessing the work of the artisans until sunset. In regular days, the visitors start coming to this place from 7:30 in the morning and leave the site by 5:30 in the evening.
Best Time to Visit
The tomb of Mariam-Uz-Zamani looks glorious in the midst of greenery and floral elements in the winter season. You can visit this place from October to March. If you wish to capture some snaps that you can keep as a memoir, then arrive at this place at either sunrise or sunset. In order to cover all the major and minor aspects of the tomb, you would need at most two hours.
You must now be wondering as to where is Mariam uz Zamani’s tomb located. Well, the tomb of the Indian queen is situated just a kilometer away from the tomb of Akbar, in Sikandra, Agra. This tomb is located by the side of the Delhi-Agra highway. Sikandra is one of the small suburbs of Agra. However, it has witnessed some of the flourishing dynasties of the times gone by. It is now one of the major tourist hubs for people coming to Agra.
How to Reach
The tomb of Mariam Uz Zamani is located in the heart of Sikandra. It happens to be only 11 kilometers away from Agra Cantonment. The place is well connected with the rest of the city. You can quickly get cabs to take you to the tomb. You can also make use of public transport. The tomb of Mariam Uz Zamani is almost 17 km away from the Taj Mahal and 24 km away from the Agra Fort. When you think of visiting the Mariam Uz Zamani tomb, you should also think about visiting Akbar’s tomb, which is just a kilometer and a half away.
Things to do Around the Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani
When you make plans to visit the tomb of Mariam uz Zamani, you can also choose to spend some time in the places nearby this monument. Some of the most popular sites here are Sikandara Tomb, Dayal Bagh, and numerous art galleries. You would fall in love with the art galleries that display Indian art and crafts from the times gone by. You can also go to Fatehpur Sikri, which happens to be one of the most renowned places in Agra.