Chini ka Rauza

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Chini ka Rauza, Agra Overview

Dedicated to the memory of the Prime Minister of the court Allama Afzal Khan Mullah, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Chini ka Rauza is a funerary monument situated on the eastern bank of the Yamuna river in Agra. Also known as China Tomb, ‘Chini’ meaning ‘from China’ and ‘Rauza’ meaning ‘tomb’, the shrine is the final resting place of the Persian scholar and poet. Built between 1628 and 1639, the architecture of Chini ka Rauza is a marvellous fusion of the Indo-Persian style.

The monument located 1 km north of Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb, is hidden away in an alcove of trees and is usually an unusual but a happy discovery among tourists. It is supposedly the first of its kind to be decorated by glazed tile work. The tiles are known to have been imported from China which makes the monument even more striking with their colour embellishments and artwork. Although the enamels and inlay work is wearing off due to climatic conditions and absence of renovation, the Chini ka Rauza is a fantastic example of long-gone style and architecture.

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The rectangular building of Chini ka Rauza has striking features, most alluring of which are the turquoise, orange, yellow and green coloured tiles also known as kashi or chini. Its dome has been elevated to give a two-storeyed effect to the building. The chief chamber is octagonal in shape, has eight arched clefts and is connected to the four side halls. Built-in Afghan style architecture, Chini ka Rauza is believed to be the only building in India with Persian architectural designs. The interiors of the shrine are adorned with intricate paintings and inscriptions from the Quran.

The Chini ka Rauza is the mausoleum of Afzal Khan who was a Persian poet and a scholar in the court during the reign of Jahangir. During Shah Jahan's rule, he was promoted to the title of Wazir. When Afzal Khan passed away in 1639, he was buried at Agra and the Chini ka Rauza, also known as China Tomb, was built here facing the holy city Mecca.

The tomb is situated very close to Taj Mahal and just 1 km away from Itmad- ud- Daulah Tomb in Ram Bagh, and can be reached in auto rickshaws, or electric rickshaws or local rickshaws easily. Agra also has the option of covering small distances in tongas; you can avail that. If you are slightly far off, you can hire a taxi cab or use interstate buses running from everywhere to everywhere across the city.

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