Junagadh’s Mahabat Maqbara is a stunner to behold

This photo essay was first published in Indian Express


Standing forgotten on the dusty streets of Junagadh in Gujarat, stands the 19th century mausoleum of Nawab Mahabat Khan II. Called the Mahabat (not Mohabbat) Maqbara Palace, also Mausoleum of Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai, is a mausoleum in Junagadh, India, that was once home to the Nawabs of Junagadh. (Text and photos: Shruti Chakraborty)


This stellar example of Indo-European architecture — as the rusty, spotty iron information board informs visitors, whose faded words stand testament to the ravages of time and neglect — has now been declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India, and quite justifiably so. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)



Even if you’re not an architecture student, you can instantly spot the various influences on the building. You have the Islamic domes and arches, you have the jharokha-type windows on the top and the very European lines, especially the carving above the main door. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


Though the layout has a resemblance to the Taj Mahal — complete with four minarets — the European influence gives a very gothic feel. The construction of the Maqbara started in 1878 and finished in 1892. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


The Maqbara was constructed by Sheikh Bahauddin with his own funds during 1891-1896. The monument is located inside the city in a very busy area, with the High Court situated just across the street. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


Just adjacent lay the Jama Masjid, while the Vazir’s maqbara is located on the other side. The architecture for the Masjid is very similar to the old building. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


The doors of the main building are decorated in silver, and the minarets have rich stone carvings and large silver doors as well. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


According to the marble information tablet, which forms a part of the Magbara’s front wall, the Nawab’s family has set aside Rs 8,000 a year that’s given to the village for the upkeep and maintenance of the Maqbara. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


The best time to visit Junagadh is between October to April when most of the tourist locations/spots are open. (Source: Shruti Chakraborty)


How to Reach Mohabbat Maqbara — By Air: The nearest airport is at Rajkot which is just 99km away. There are frequent flights from all major cities in India. By Road: Junagadh is well-connected to all major towns in Gujarat and has good transport facility. As Jungadh is a historical town, buses frequently ply from all part of the state. Junagadh is 99km from Rajkot, 184km from Jamnagar, 54km from Sansar Gir, 88km from Somnath and 327km from Ahmedabad. By Train: The main railway station nearby is the Junagadh railway station, which is well-connected with other cities and has frequent trains.

(Source: Junagadhonline.in; photo: Shruti Chakraborty)


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