Historic Landmarks of the Deccan/Chapter 3

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

CHAPTER III.

AMONG THE TOMBS.

I. — RAUZA.


THE small town of Khuldabad, better known as Rauza or "the garden," is situated about seven miles from the old fort of Daulatabad, in the Nizam's dominions, on an undulating plateau overtopped again by higher hills, and is probably best known to Europeon travellers as the halting place whence the caves of Ellora may most conveniently be visited. The tombs of saints sent forth as missionaries in the days when the Deccan was a land little known by the followers of Islam, earned for the town its original name of Rauza which has special reference to the garden of Paradise, and its selection as the last resting place of the greatest save one of the Mughal emperors of Hindustan, known after his death by the title of khuld makan ("he whose abode is heaven") gained for it the title of Khuldabad, or the heavenly abode. Most visitors, probably, include in their round of sight-seeing the tomb of the great emperor, though not a few perhaps, omit it, as being destitute of architectural grandeur or beauty. It is, indeed, mean in the extreme as compared with the tombs of his predecessors or with those of the kings of Bijapur and Golconda, but its very meanness and obscurity invest it with a melancholy interest. The great conqueror would have no splendid mausoleum. "The rich," he said "build lofty domes to cover their remains, for the poor the blue vault of heaven, suffices." A sneer at "the pride which apes humility" may be allowed, but if Aurangzib was a hypocrite he was at least a consistent hypocrite, and purchased by a long life of unremitting labour and austerity the power which he loved to acquire and to wield. His reign of fifty years was one long period of warfare, principally in the Deccan. He left his capital in 1679, never to return, and died at Ahmadnagar at the age of ninety. From Ahmadnagar his body was carried, in accordance with his will, to Rauza, there to be buried in a humble grave on which the grass should always grow, surrounded by the tombs of saints of whose company he professed to be unworthy, and whose holiness is now over-shadowed by his greatness. Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/69 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/70 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/71 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/72 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/73 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/74 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/75 Page:Historic Landmarks of the Deccan.djvu/76