Khan-I-Khanan's Tomb - Tomb of Abd Al-Rahim (Abdul Rahim)
The Tomb of Khan-i-Khanan is situated on the eastern end of Mathura Road just opposite the famous and world renowned Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. This is where Abd Al-Rahim Khan-i-Khanan was buried in 1626 AD.
Abd al-Rahim who was later conferred by the name of Khan-i Khanan was a renowned General in the Royal Courts of Emperor Akbar as well as Emperor Jahangir. He was the son of Bairam Khan, a Turkic descendant who was one of the most influential courtiers in the courts of the Mughal Empire. After the demise of Bairam Khan, young Rahim and his mother moved to Hyderabad and then travelled to Delhi where they presented themselves at the royal courts of Emperor Akbar. The Emperor conferred Rahim with the title of 'Mirza Khan' and married him to Mah Banu who was the sister of Mirza Azizah Kokal Tash, son of Ataga Khan. Later, Emperor Akbar married Mah Banu who then became his second wife for reasons unknown and Rahim became the step-son of the Emperor.
Abd al-Rahim was appointed as one of the nine most significant and important Ministers of Emperor Akbar also known as the 'Navratnas' which means the 'Nine Jewels' of the Emperor. He knew several languages including Hindi, Persian, Urdu as well as Sanskrit. He was not only a learned scholar but a skilled composer and poet who wrote a few couplets. He was also an avid Astrologer who wrote several books on Astrology in the Hindi language under his pen name 'Rahim'. He also wrote Dohas and was instrumental in translating the memoir of Babar named 'Baburnama' from the Chagatai language as well as the Turkic language to the Persian language and completed this work in 998 AH that converts to 1589 AD - 1590 AD. In fact, there is a small village situated in Nawanshahr which is a district of Punjab (Northern India) named after him as KhanKhana. Even today, his famous couplets are recited in numerous occasions and day to day language especially in Northern India. Despite being a Muslim, Abdul Rahim was an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna and penned down a few poetry dedicated to Him.
Abd al- Rahim Khan-i-Khanan died in the end of 1626 AD or early 1627 AD as the dates are clearly unknown. His Tomb has a large dome and the main body was built in the shape of a square structure that denotes that he was a high ranking officer in the Imperial courts of the Mughal Empire. The Tomb is made with red sandstone and overlaid with a trim of white marble that imitates the design of Humayun's Tomb. Unfortunately, during the 18th Century, the face of Khan-i-Khanan's Tomb which included the red sandstone, marble and several other types of stones were stripped off and used in the construction and design of Safdarjung's Tomb due to which this Tomb lost its charm, beauty and grandeur. It was also surrounded by a garden which has disappeared through these centuries.
Khan-i-Khanan's Tomb stands on a high platform pierced with arches and small cells on all sides. The entire structure measures about two storeys high and displays a central arch with deep depressions flanked by smaller arches around the structure. The massive central dome is surrounded by pavilions at all the corners with open halls that extend from the centre of each side.
The Bara-pula Bridge measuring 14 metres wide and 195 metres long is situated just a kilometre east of Khan-Khanan's Tomb and close to the Shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia. The name 'Bara' which means 'Twelve' and 'Pula' which means 'Piers' originated from its structure which is made of twelve piers that support the bridge wherein each pier is surmounted by a tall minaret measuring 2 metres each. It is also adorned with eleven arched openings that reflect the typical architectural style of the Tughlaq Dynasty. An inscription seen on one of the arches provides evidence that the Bara-pula Bridge was constructed sometime between 1621 AD and 1622 AD by Mihr Banu Agha, who was the chief eunuch in the royal courts of Emperor Jahangir.