Bharat Virasat-Safdarjung's Tomb - Delhi

Safdarjung's Tomb - Delhi

Historical Monuments. Tombs and Mausoleums


Safdarjung's tomb was built in 1753-54 CE by Nawab Shuja-ud-daulah as a tribute to his father, Mirza Abul Mansur Khan, whose official title was 'Safdarjung'.

The double-storeyed mausoleum has a square base of about 25m and rises to a height of 27.43m. The corners of the mausoleum have polygonal towers, each covered by chhatris topped by a miniature dome. The bulbous central dome which dominates the structure rises from a sixteen-sided drum. The dome is topped by a deep finial base of the lotus pattern supporting a marble pinnacle. The tomb is built of rubble, and clad with red sandstone. The geometrical ornamental patterns are of inlaid white marble.
The Tomb has entrances from all four sides provided with covered stairways located within high-recessed engrailed arches. There is an arched opening with an inscription in Arabic on top, through which the central chamber can be accessed. The spacious central chember is about 6m square, and has a highly polished and intricately carved marble cenotaph. Its ceiling is profusely ornamented with incised geometrical and floral design in plaster. There are eight cells or apartments around the central chamber having walls with a base of marble - four octagonal apartments on the four corners of the central chamber, with red sandstone ceilings, and four rectangular apartments with ornamental ceiling in plaster equipped with floral and geometrical designs.

The mausoleum stands on a 3m high, 54m square platform which has a number of cells with arched doorways beneath it. There are two graves in the underground chamber covered with earthen mounds - presumably those of Safdarjung and his wife, Khujista Banu Begum.

The Tomb stands in the middle of a Mughal Garden of the typical chaar-bagh style. The garden is divided into four squares by side pathways and tanks. These four quadrants are in turn divided into smaller squares by pathways.

The monument is entered through an ornamental painted gateway on the East. This double-storeyed gateway has several apartments, a courtyard, and a Mosque. The raised central bay is built of red sandstone ornamented with typical Mughal architectural featyres, and roofed by an open loggia of three bays. The rest of the structure is externally finished in plaster. The central bay leads into a domed chamber surrounded by smaller apartments on both the upper and lower storeys. The facade of the central bay was originally lavishly painted.

The enclosure walls which have channels over them to carry water to different pavilions, contain a series of recessed arches on the interior and octagonal towers at the four corners. There are multi-chambered pavilions in the center of the enclosure walls on the West (Jangli Mahal), North (Moti Mahal), and South (Badshah Pasand).

Constructed in:

18th century CE


30 m


54m x 54m

Local Language(s):

Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, English


Safdarjung was the Governor of the province of Awadh (Lucknow) from 1739 to 1748 during the reign of Muhammad Shah 'Rangila' , and was the Prime Minister for the Mughal Empire from 1748 to 1753.



Children under 15 years


Indian Citizens

25 /-

Time required

2 hours

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