Photographer's Note

Mulla Shukrullah Shirazi was the Prime Minister of Mughal emperor Shah Jehah and also a famous poet. He composed poetry under the pseudonym of 'Allami'. He took fancy to building his own mausoleum in 1639 with elaborate ornamentation. He chose glazed tiles as his medium to create the masterpiece that would enshrine his tomb forever. Every portion of this unique monument is profusely adorned with bright color schemes, known as 'Chini ka Rauza'.
Chini Ka Rauza is so named because of its glazed tile ornamentation believed to be imported from China. The unique architectural artwork that graces the exterior and interior of the building uses the spaces such as chajja, brackets and balconies creatively with color embellishments. The inscription in blue-colored tiles on each side of the central arch of the building is bordered by blue, yellow and green tiles set in beautiful patterns while the spandrels of the arches are decorated with blue and orange tiles set in arabesque and floresque patterns. The zigzag pattern in the shafts on sides of the arches set off crimson, orange and white tile combinations while bands of blue tiles adorn the chevrons of the pinnacles. Panels with vermilion, orange, blue and green floral designs fill the remaining spaces on each facade. The dome is covered with blue and yellow square tiles in diagonal bands. Glazed tiles of all the shades and hues cover almost every inch of the building, which is now partially damaged and yet has retained a part of the glory of its past.
Originally, the monument had high walls surrounding it, two main gateways in North and South, two three-storeyed octagonal towers and a masonry ghat near the riverbank along with the main tomb building. However, only the ruins of the main tomb with a simple square plan and almost no architectural ornamentation have survived. Each side of this square tomb building is about 79 feet in length. The central chamber is octagonal in shape with eight arched recesses including four pentagonal arches and four square openings in all four directions. This central chamber is inter-connected to the four square chambers in the corners with the side halls or porches. The upper part of the tomb has been so constructed to give a double storeyed effect to the tomb building. The shallow dome crowning the building has inverted lotus and a kalash finial on its top and pinnacles on all the four corners.
The adjoining waterbody is the river Yamuna.

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Additional Photos by Mohd Tabrez Alam (doctabrez) Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 16 N: 12] (405)
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