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Chausat Khamba conservation

Chausath Khamba was built in AD 1623 - 24 to serve as a tomb for Mirza Aziz Koka, foster brother of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is so called on account of the 64 (chausath) monolithic marble pillars (khamba) and stands in close proximity to his father, Atgah Khan’s tomb, at the edge of the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

The tomb enclosure is entered through a lofty arched gateway and has a large sunken forecourt. The mausoleum is unique on account of it being built entirely of marble, with 25 marble domes supporting the flat roof of the structure. The plan for Chausath Khamba could have been inspired from the wooden garden pavilions from Persia - such as the Chihil Sutun, and in turn, the Chausath Khamba seems to have inspired the architectural design for Emperor Shahjahan’s Diwan-i-Aam, Hall of Audience.

Each facade of the square structure has five marble arches inset with marble jaallis or lattice screens and a doorway in the central arch providing access to the tomb. The column capitals are intricately carved with simple yet striking pendentives bridging the square floor plan to the circular dome above.