Safdarjang’s Tomb

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Safdarjang's Tomb is not include on the usual tourist itinerary but is popular with Indians. It was built 1753-54 by Nawab of Avadh for his father, Safdarjang and is one of the last examples of Mughal architecture before their empire collapsed. The tomb is enclosed by a tall wall and entered through an imposing gateway. Along the three sides of the wall were pavilions for family members to live in.

Inside are large pleasant gardens with elegant palm lined paths with grass and trees. There were lots of squawking parrots in trees and vultures circling overhead. There were many small stripy animals very like chipmunks, with long tails running round the grass and up the trees. We asked what they were called and were told they were 'squirrels'.

We could see the remains of the derelict water courses and fountains, which had divided the garden up into squares.

The tomb stands on a high terrace in the centre of the enclosure. It is a solid square structure built of highly decorated red sandstone with a central marble dome. Inside was a single marble tomb. The body would have been buried in a vault below.

The security guard was dozing in a corner. We were approached by a gentleman with a name label who started to talk to us in a friendly manner and pointed out various things of interest. When he finished, it was obvious he expected a tip. Fortunately we had a few small coins although I don't think he was over happy with the amount. This was a valuable lesson and we learned to be wary of future approaches. Visiting other sites we soon realised some of the information he had given us about architectural styles was suspect.

This is a beautiful building and it is a shame so few tourists visit it. The gardens are quiet and a nice place to drop out.

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