THE IMPRESSIVE ARCHITECTURE OF TALPUR TOMBS, KHUDABAD

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THE IMPRESSIVE ARCHITECTURE OF TALPUR TOMBS, KHUDABAD

Khudabad was once believed to be the capital of Talpur dynasty before they moved to Hyderabad city. Khudabad is situated 2 miles (4 kilometers) northwest of Hala, and the ruins were once the favorite residence of the Talpur Chiefs of Sindh province. There are various Talpur tombs of neat but plain construction, involving the resting place Mir Fateh Khan from the year of 1824.

Architecture of Talpur Tombs

The Talpurs took due advantage of the several styles of architecture prominent in the periods prior to their rule in Sindh province. Their domed mausolea were much inspired by the Kalhorah funerary architecture, which owes its origin to pre-Mughul architectural traditions. At few places, there are stone pavilions, enshrining the mortal remnants of certain Talpur chiefs and nobles, which serve as an entrance to the burial chamber. On the top of the niche, there is an inscription tablet consisting of a chronogram in Persian. On each corner of the parapet, turrets have been provided. In the interior, there are 3 graves on a raised platform. There is a railing all around the platform, built with perforated stone slabs (jalies) and supported by pillarets at intervals. The jaali contain both floral as well as geometrical motifs. Internally the dome chamber is octagonal in plan.

The most important mausoleum at Talpur tombs is that of Mir Fateh Ali Khan (d. 1802), the founder of the Talpur dynasty. It is square in plan and is crowned by a hemispherical dome having three tiered glazed tile finial emerging from an inverted lotus type base. On the top of each corner, there is a solid kiosk, surmounted by a domlet with a miniature finial. Each side of the kiosk consists of an arched panelling. The facade of the tomb has been built in such a way as to give an impression that the building has got more than one storey. This has been done in dividing each side of the facade in three ornamental storeys. Each side of the facade on its right and left consists of single blind arches one upon the other. The notable feature of the tomb is its well designed entrance – a rectangular frame with a decorative scroll all around in floral patterns.

The octagonal drum consists of arched windows (clerestory) in an alternating order. These have been covered with enamelled lattice work. The interior is embellished with colorful fresco paintings. Three graves are those of Mir Fateh Ali Khan (d. 1802), his brother Mir Ghulam Ali Khan (d. 1811) and his son Mir Sobdar Khan (d. 1846), confirmed by the inscription tablet on each grave.

Over few graves, standing on rectangular stone platforms, pavilions have been built. They are basically square in plan and are supported by 12 or 8 pillars. The 3 pillars in the corner make a triplet and take a cross lintel thus turning the square into an octagonal base for the ultimate dome. The parapet is crowned by a series of pointed merlons having several decorative motifs. The chhajja (eave) protruding from the parapet is also embellished with attractive carvings. In certain pavilions, spandrels carved in attractive designs have been inserted. They provide the appearance of an arched opening. Similar arches are noticed in the tomb of Isa Khan Tarkhan II, Makli Hills Thatta, and the pavilion in the graveyard of Jams at Bela. On the top, there are kiosks, one on each side. The pillars, platform, cenotaph etc. are bedecked with mesmerizing carvings in geometrical and floral patterns. The graves at Talpur tombs are inscribed with the name of the deceased, date of demise and few verses from the Holy Quran. The pavilions with their head gear in the sort of a dome reflect, in a way the personality of the deceased.

 

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