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Tombs in Hyderabad

Hyderabad  can indeed be a tourist's delight! Yes, from monuments and heritage buildings to gardens and IT Parks, there is so much to see. Then there is also the twin city Secunderabad with its own share of sites. Did you mention the ever colourful and vibrant bazaars of Hyderabad? Oh yes, these are places you must not miss out especially during festivals.

However, after all the greenery and sightseeing, visit to forts and parks, lovely films and metro rail rides, there is still something left which you must surely make time for. Well, this is a reference to the Tombs of Hyderabad. Your visit to Hyderabad will be complete only if you peep into the history, life and legends of the Nawabs of Hyderabad. These tombs also have architectural relevance.

Paigah Tombs of Hyderabad

Paigah Tombs

Also referred to as Maqhbara Ul Umra, these tombs are located in Pisal banda suburb. They belong to the nobility of the Paigah (or Shums Ul Umrahi family). The tombs were constructed in 1787 by Nawab Taig Jung Bahadur. Later, his son Amir e Kabir took over the construction work. Much later in 1880, additional construction work was done by Sir Asman Jah, Sir Khurshid Jah and Sir Vikar Ul Umra.

These are tombs covering many generations of Paigah nobles. These include Abul Fatah Khan Shums Ul Umra I to Shums Ul Umra V, Sir Asman Jah, Sir Khursheed Jah, Sultan Ul Mulk, Lady Vicar Ul Umra, Lady Khurshid jah, Lady Asman Jah, Moin Ud Dowla and many other members of the entire Paigah family.

Santoshnagar, Hyderabad (about 10 kms. from Charminar and Hyderabad city centre.)
Entry Fees: Free
Timings: 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM

About Paigah Family of Hyderabad

The word 'Paigah' means foot stool which would mean 'right-hand man' in English language. The founder of Paigah nobility was Abdul Fateh Khan Tegh Jung who worked under the second Nizam Salabat Jang. His dedicated work led to conferring of hereditary titles on him such as Shams-ul-Doula, Sahams-ul-Mulk and Shams-ul-Umara which literally means 'sun among Nobles or masses'.

Paigah tomb in Hyderabad

Paigah nobles were close to Nizams and were given the task of managing defense and security of the state. The relationship between them was further strengthened when Fakhruddin Khan, son of Abdul Fateh Khan Tegh Jung, married daughter of second Nizam of Hyderabad in 1797. After this marriage, many more marriages were solemnized between Fakhruddin Khan's descendants and daughters of Nizams. After the Nizams, it was the Paigahs who were considered powerful. 

In the 18th century, the noble families of Paigah were among the highly influential and aristocratic families in Hyderabad. They are believed to have descended from Hazrath Omar bin Al-Khattab --- the second Calipah of Islam. The Paigah family was extremely rich and enjoyed the right to maintain their own palaces and court, large private armies.

Architecture of Paigah Tombs

The tombs are beautifully decorated with stucco work. They depict the Moghul, Greek, Persian, Deccani, Rajasthani and Asaf Jahi style of architecture. The tombs show exclusive geometrical designs. They are examples of great craftsmanship as the Paigahs were patrons of art. The mosaic tilework looks elegant on the tombs. The tombs are enclosed in pierced marble facades. They depict Indo-Islamic architecture or even Indo-Saracenic architecture --- an amalgamation of Asaf Jah and Rajputani style of architecture.

The gateway at the entrance is double storied. On the tombs, trellis-work can be seen with floral and varied geometric designs. There are unique semi-circular arches and there are walls with lattice work  - all enough to fill you with awe!

Qutb Shahi Tombs in Hyderabad

Qutub Shahi Tombs

Qutb Shahi Tombs (seven tombs) are located near Golkonda fort. These are tombs of the seven Qutub Shahi rulers. The carved stonework and blue and green tiles on the tombs look very beautiful. The cluster of dome-like tombs stand on a platform and depict a combination of Persian, Pashtun and Indian form of architecture. These tombs are surrounded by gardens.

In earlier days, there were carpets, chandeliers, canopies here and copies of Quaran were kept on the pedestral. People recited verses from the Quran. To differentiate the tomb of the Sultan from those of other members of the family, golden spires were fitted on these tombs.

Qutub Shahi Tombs
Fort Road, Toli Chowki, Hyderabad, Telangana - 500008
Phone: +91-40-23513410
Timings: 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM, Closed on Friday.

About Qutub Shahi Period

The tombs were well managed during the reign of Qutub Shahis but later, they were neglected. However, Sir Salar Jung III aided in restoration of these tombs. You will be surprised to know that all except the last of the Qutub Shahi Sultans have been buried here.

The tombs are distinct from each other yet similar in that they are either octagonal, are placed on an elevated terrace, crowned by a circular dome or decorated with shining black basalt (except for tomb of Qutub Shahi). 

Only the main tomb bears inscriptions in Naskh and Tauq scripts. It refers to Sultan Quli as Bade Malik or Great Master. It was a custom during that time that the tombs were built during the lifetime of the Sultan! Well, the tomb of Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah is considered the best and grandest as compared to the other Qutub Shahi tombs. Even the tomb of sixth sultan - Muhammad Qutub Shah looks really grand.

Tombs in Hyderabad
The tomb of Fatima Sultan (sister of Muhammed Qutub Shah) comprises of a bulbous dome very near to the entrance of the tomb-garden. even the physians of Sultan Abdullah - Nizamuddin Ahmed Gilani and Abdul jabbar Gilani which were built in 1651, have found place in this royal place. There are also tombs of two favourite courtesans and a commander-in-chief here.

Towards the West of the tombs, is the dargah of Hazrat  Hussain Shah Wali, a revered Sufi saint. He built the Hussain Sagar in the year 1562.

The garden also comprises of other monuments such as the mortuary bath and, Masjid of Hayat Bakshi Begum. Mir Momin,  the Peshwa (Prime Minister) of Mohammad Quli, detested the closeness between Sultan and Bhagmati and so he ensured that her tomb is not built here. Bhagmati was the wife of Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah.

The tombs silently replay the saga of Nizams in Hyderabad - their love for art and architecture, their customs of building tombs when they were alive and also constructing a mosque adjacent to the place where tombs were built. They actually relate to you the story behind the formation and advancement of the big city of Hyderabad under the reign of the Nizams!

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