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Chini Ka Rauza Agra

Built Heritage of Agra & Fatehpur Sikri
CHINI KA RAUZA

Mausoleum of Mulla Shukrullah Shirazi, is one of the masterpiece of glazed-tile decoration. Uniqueness of this monument, lies in the fact that every portion of this building is enriched with profuse decoration in variegated schemes of colours due to which the monument is popularly known as 'Chini ka Rauza'.

Main view of Chini-ka-Rauza 

The monument was built in 1639 A.D. by Mulla Shukrullah Shirazi, in his life time, who was the Prime Minister of Shahjahan. He was also a famous poet of that time and composed several poetry under the pen name of 'Allami'.

GENERAL PLAN AND LAYOUT

General plan Chini-ka-Rauza

The main tomb building is very simple in plan and lacks architectural ornamentation. According to 1871-72 survey report, the monument originally enclosed by high walls, having gateways on North and South direction, two three storyed octagonal towers and a ghat of stone masonry near the river bank, but now only the main Tomb building, in partially damaged state, has survived.

The main tomb is square in plan with 79 feet (8.48m) side. The central chamber is in octagonal plan having diameter of 27'10" (8.48m), with eight arched recesses. Out of these eight arched recesses, four are pentagonal arched which are close and rest of the four are square which provides openings on all four sides. There are four square chambers, one at every corner, which are inter connected with the side halls or porches on all four sides.

The upper part of the tomb contains an arched passage which is three feet (94 cm) wide and opens on all the four corners into four rooms just above the lower corner chambers and gives a double storyed effect to the tomb building. This passage was accessible by a stairway on the southern side which ultimately leads to terrace. The superstructure of the building includes a shallow dome which is crowned by inverted lotus and kalash finial, and pinnacles on all the four corners.
 

Glazed tile work on the wall of Chini-ka-Rauza.

ORNAMENTATION

The most exquisite feature of this monument is its, glazed tile decoration, which is so profuse that it dominated the architectural composition of the exterior and interior of the building. The monument was designed in such a way, that it may provide spaces for colour embelishments. Use of architectural ornamentation like chhajja, brackets and balconies were restricted to provide enough space for glazed tile decoration.

The sides of central arch, on each side of the building contains inscription in blue coloured tiles which is bordered by stylized design in blue, yellow and green tiles. The spandrels of the arches are decorated with arabesque and floresque patterns, laid in blue and orange tiles. The shafts on sides of the arches contains zig-zag design in crimson, orange and white colour. Chevrons of the pinnacles are decorated with bands of blue tiles. The remaining spaces on each facade is divided into panels each having floral designs in variegated colours like blue, green, orange, vermellion etc. The Dame of the building is decorated with blue and yellow square tiles in diagonal bands.
 

Almost every inch of the building is covered with glazed tiles of wide variety of colours and shades. Although the building is in dilapitated condition, yet it is worth visiting because of its unique glazed-tile decoration.

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