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Abdur Rahim khan-i-khana’s tomb Walking history in Delhi

Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. It covers more than 50 schools in Delhi and NCR.

Written by Expressnewsservice | New Delhi |
December 4, 2008 12:51:13 am

Students of Cambridge School, Indirapuram, take the heritage walk conducted by The Indian Express in association with intach

A schools’ initiative from The indian Express
Quest is a project conducted by The Indian Express in schools in and around Delhi. It covers more than 50 schools in Delhi and NCR.

Quest aims at stirring awareness and opinions. Today, when all that children see are shopping malls and cineplexes, we at The Indian Express want to show a completely different picture of this city to them. Delhi has changed beyond nostalgia and recognition since Independence. How many of these kids know of the ‘Seven Cities’ of Delhi or the stories of the pigeon fliers of Old Delhi?

The idea behind such an activity is to create awareness about the various structures and monuments that the students do not know about.

We invite schools to be a part of this Express Group initiative. For queries mail to

600 years, and still going strong
A heritage walk was held at the ruins of Rahim Khan-i-Khana’s tomb in Nizamuddin to evoke students’ interest in history. Two guides from INTACH accompanied us and gave us interesting information about the monument. We came to know that Mirza Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana was the son of Bairam Khan and served both Akbar and Jahangir. He was a great scholar who knew several languages and wrote couplets in Hindi. As a poet he became famous as Rahim. He constructed the tomb on his wife’s death in 1598 and was later buried in it on his death in 1627.

A beautiful specimen of early Mughal architecture, the tomb was decorated with stucco work on red sandstone, Delhi quartzite and marble. Its structure is similar to that of Humayun’s tomb. In 1753, the tomb was stripped of its precious stones and marbles to build Safdarjung’s tomb.

From Rahim Khan-i-Khana’s tomb we walked to the Blue Dome via Arab Ki Sarai, which was built by the wife of Humayun, Haji Begum, for the 300 people she brought from Arabia to recite the Quran.

It was a wonderful experience to know and learn about our rich heritage in such an interesting manner. The students enjoyed the trip and asked the guides numerous questions. Overall, it was a remarkable experience for all of us and made us realise that these precious historic monuments must be preserved for posterity.
— ANUPAMA RAWAT, Teacher (T.G.T- S.Sc.)

Poetry in architecture
On November 20, class IX students of Cambridge school went for a heritage walk to

Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana’s tomb in Nizamuddin. The tomb was built by Rahim with red sandstone and Delhi quartzite in memory of his wife in 1598. The grave of Rahim, who died in 1627, is carved with stucco work and intricate patterns. On the first floor of the tomb, there is a cenotaph of Rahim.

From the tomb we went to a site which was a market during those times. It had many gates and one of the southern gates was called Arab Ki Saraai, built by Haji Begum for the 300 people she called from Arabia to recite Quran.

Then we went to Neela Gumbad, a dome made with blue tiles and carved with beautiful flowers and other colourful patterns. The trip was a remarkable experience for all of us and made us aware of our heritage.
– Himanshi Gupta, IX B

In memory of a wife
A heritage walk was organised to Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana’s tomb on November 20. Brimming with energy, we started at 8.15 am, and made our way to Nizamuddin. There we came to know that Abdur Rahim was the son of Bairam Khan, Akbar’s chief minister and also his guardian. Rahim learnt Sanskrit and wrote many poems; he was also known as Rahim Das. One of the books he wrote was called Khet Khathukam. After the death of his wife, he got the tomb constructed in 1598 with red sandstone and Delhi quartzite. Upon his death in 1627, Rahim was also buried at the tomb, which has a marble dome. Some stones and marble from the tomb was used for the construction of Safdarjung’s tomb in 1753. We enjoyed the trip a lot and look ahead to more such walks.
— Sakshi Dhawan, IX B

Every tomb tells a tale
We were very excited when we heard that the school had arranged a heritage walk to Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana’s tomb in Nizammuddin. On reaching there our guide told us about Rahim’s father Bairam Khan, who was Akbar’s guardian and was assassinated when he was going for Haj.

Later, Rahim became the wazir of Akbar and Jahangir. He learned languages like Arabic, Turkish, and Persian and soon became famous as a poet. He also wrote two books on astrology in Sanskrit. Rahim built the tomb in his wife’s memory in 1598. Later, on his death in 1627, he was also buried there.

I was fascinated by the stucco pattern on plaster, which had symmetrical shapes. I also came to know that in Muslim architecture only flowers and other natural figures were carved because it was considered that God has made all creatures and we cannot go against him by drawing human beings and animals. I came back enriched by the experience and decided to go to Humayun’s Tomb with my family to know more about our rich past.
— Sonakshi Nevatia, IX B

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