The mosque of Shah Jahan in the Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur, a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Contributor:B.O'Kane / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:63.3 MB (2.1 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5759 x 3840 px | 48.8 x 32.5 cm | 19.2 x 12.8 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:August 2013
The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur, is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur. The gardens are thought to have been developed around 1528 AD (935 AH) when Babur gave orders for the construction of an ‘avenue garden’ in Kabul, described in some detail in his memoirs, the Baburnama. It was the tradition of Moghul princes to develop sites for recreation and pleasure during their lifetime, and choose one of these as a last resting-place. The site continued to be of significance to Babur’s successors, and Jehangir made a pilgrimage to the site in 1607 AD (1016 AH) when he ordered that all gardens in Kabul be surrounded by walls, that a prayer platform be laid in front of Babur’s grave, and an inscribed headstone placed at its head. During the visit of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1638 (1047 AH) a marble screen was erected around the group of tombs, and a mosque built on the terrace below. Shahjahani Mosque This white marble mosque was commissioned by Shah Jahan I (1628-1657) during his visit to Babur's grave in 1645 (1055 A.H.). The mosque stands on the thirteenth terrace of the garden below Babur's grave, and comprises three bays. It is open on three sides with archways -- three to the east and one to the north and south -- that feature cusped horseshoe arches. The fired brick structure of the mosque is faced with white marble and decorated with carvings on the parapet and plinth and small roundels above each arch. Large marble slabs, one of which has been replaced, span the three structural bays. The marble elements of the mosque remained disassembled, in preparation for restoration, for about three decades before being restored in 1964-66 by the Italian Archaeological Mission led by B. C. Bono. It suffered damage during subsequent fighting and was restored again by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) between 2003 and 2006.