Finding the grave of Dara Shikoh at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

If you are in Delhi then you simply have to visit Humayun’s Tomb. It’s one of the most spectacular buildings in Delhi. I am not going to go in its history of the building (you can read about it in more detail here) but will simply ask you to go around the various tombs in its garden and try to find the tomb of Dara Shikoh.

Most tourists to India will have not have heard of him before so here goes! He was the elder brother of Aurangzeb and to-be-heir of the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (the one who built the Taj Mahal). Dara Shikoh was Shah Jahan’s favourite son and the fanatic brother Aurangzeb was jealous and wanted to become the Emperor himself. Dara Shikoh was a mild mannered person and unlike his predecessors was not a fanatic and even had translated many Hindu holy books into Persian. This is why he was considered a heretic in the eyes of his brother Aurangzeb and other nobles of the court.

Dara Shikoh at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

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Had he become India’s Emperor, I am sure the history of the Indian subcontinent would have been different.  But anyway, war broke out over the Mughal Empire between the two brothers in 1657 but eventually Dara Shikoh lost. He was brought to Delhi in chains and paraded all over Delhi supposedly on a dirty elephant and humiliated. His head was then cut off and sent to Agra Fort where his father had been imprisoned overlooking the Taj Mahal he had built for his wife Mumtaj. Shah Jahan died a broken man while Aurangzeb took over the reins of the Mughal Empire. Dara’s remains were buried in an unidentified grave somewhere at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. See if you can identify it!

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