Travel

Roam through the ruins of Safdarjung Tomb – Delhi, India

Safdarjung Tomb - View from entry

A TOMB MARKING THE END OF MUGHAL EMPIRE IN INDIA…

Safdarjung Tomb – A 17th-century mausoleum built in a typically Mughal style with marble and red sandstone, enclosing two more pavilions including Jangli Mahal and Moti Mahal. Usually not included in the must-see places in Delhi, but being from Delhi knowing the city’s history, I highly recommend visiting one of the best historical places in Delhi.

The main Safdarjung tomb is encompassed with huge garden divided into four section depicting the Mughal Charbagh style and water channels for each garden. Acquiring its name from Mughal prime minister of 17th century India ~ original name “Mirza Muqim Mansur Khan” or Safdarjung. 

Safdarjung Tomb

The Safdarjung tomb is built on the similar lines of Humayun Tomb but severely lacks the splendor of the later. Even I was little under-whelmed in first look!! Nonetheless, each monument is unique, shaping up in a different timeline, each with its standout historical significance. Despite its flaws, the Safdarjung tomb’s is still one of the most visited historical places in Delhi. 

Safdarjung Tomb Entry Gate Panoramic view

Safdarjung Tomb Entry facade

The huge facade at the entry gate of the Safdarjung Tomb standing in way till the main tomb blocking the view was a pleasant surprise!! The vestibule itself is made up of reddish yellow sandstone with distinguishable carvings. The ticket counter for visit to the Safdarjung Tomb is on the right side of the entry building easily visible from the main gate.

Safdarjung Tomb garden path

Stairs to Safdarjung Tomb

Walk your way through the gardens along the water canal till the main Safdarjung Tomb and you will be welcomed with the rooms in the basement and a subverted staircase to ride upstairs towards the main grave. 

Safdarjung Tomb - The Grave

The Safdarjung Tomb marks the decline of Mughal empire in India standing high as the last monument of the era. After the death of the minister, his son Nawab Shajaud Daula was allowed to construct a tomb in Safdarjung’s name. The interiors of the Safdarjung Tomb are dark, with baroque work on ceilings of each of the nine rooms whose rococo plaster seems to have been faded bearing the brunt of time. 

Safdar Jang Tomb - Vintage

However, being such an eminent historical monument the Safdarjung Tomb evidently lacks the symmetry easily found in its inspirations from Humayun Tomb and Taj Mahal. The dome seems to be more stretched out from the corner angles giving easy hints at its architectural flaws. 

Safdarjung Tomb - A corner view from ground

Safdarjung Tomb- Grave

The rear end of the Safdarjung Tomb holds a direct view to Jangli Mahal which earlier used to showcase pictures and paintings from history but now is closed for tourists. I completely understand why many tourists as many give it a pass as the only people found there were either a group of friends targeting photography or couples looking for a quiet place. Well, none was the reason for me to visit one of the renowned monuments of medieval period in India!!

Safdarjung Tomb Facade

Safdarjung Tomb - View from Rear

Although I was a tad disappointed considering my perception of the Humayun Tomb,  the kind of restoration the later have received while this has not!! The wreckage of the Safdarjung Tomb building is indubitably out in open with little evidence of reclamation work. One of the greatest historical places in Delhi and yet the water canals are deprived of water and dried up!! I got talking to a security personnel wherein he told me that rehabilitation is in progress.. no matter how slowly & steadily, more due to lack of funds from the government. It actually saddened me to see such an architectural gem and one the prominent historical monuments in Delhi is brought down to almost ruins while the other monuments are given ultra priority!!  

How to Reach –

Safdarjung is also a known name in Delhi for its historical and now a VIP airport – Safdarjung airport. Considering the Safdarjung airport was an important airport set up during the British rule in India used as a major transport media while the WWII, the Safdarjung airport is still a landmark in Delhi. 

  • Metro – There’s no Safdarjung metro station and rather the nearest metro station to Safdarjung is “Jor Bagh”. Use Yellow line (Samaypur Badli to Huda City Center) – Take the metro going towards *Huda City Center* (or Qutub Minar as few metro going only till here)  and get down at Jor Bagh station and exit towards gate no 2. The tomb is located at hardly less than 2 km so if you prefer walking, just keep walking straight to the exit and you can see the tomb on first red light on your right. If confused – ask any street vendor the route or better Google Maps. If you fancy it in Delhi style – you will surely be welcomed with a bunch of auto-wallahs asking you to take either to Lodhi Garden or Safdarjung tomb – board the auto and it wouldn’t take more than 5 mins to reach there. 
  • Uber/ Ola – As the Safdarjung tomb is pleasantly located in central/south Delhi, you wouldn’t find much traffic here and cabs are another comfortable medium for reached here. 

Related Read – Top 10 insider tips for first-time travel to Delhi, India!!

Safdarjung Tomb from water channel

Any of the historical monuments in Delhi or anywhere in the world I visit is mainly in regard to my deep interests towards history and capturing it in best possible manner. I also have a profound inclination towards the imaginative doors existed in that era which is why I have an eye for them. 

Have you heard about – Safdarjung Tomb – one of the famed historical monuments in Delhi? Did you get a chance to see the Safdarjung tomb in your visit to the Indian capital?? Do share your experience with me!!

Like it?? Save it for later…

– The Wanderer

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63 comments

  1. I definitely had never heard of this. It’s quite beautiful, despite being in ruins. Fascinating how reminiscent of the Taj Mahal it is, on a smaller scale. I would love to visit.

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  2. I can definitely understand why your first impression was that it lacks splendor – I’ve definitely seen more spectacular tombs and sites throughout historic India, though it is still quite a beautiful, and as you said, pleasant, structure, and there’s definitely some interesting architecture around.

    Thanks for your honest recount of your experience – maybe I’ll visit Safdar Jang Tomb first, and then Humayun Tomb, so I get my expectations around the right way!

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  3. Have not been to India yet, so reading this was quite interesting and informative. The architecture is magnificent. This is one place I will put on my must-visit list when we finally make it to India. Thanks for the story behind the magnificent architecture. By the way, love your photos of the doors. I love unique doors too 🙂

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  4. Nice to read about the Safdar Jang tomb, one of the lesser known monuments of Delhi as compared to the more hyped Qutub Minar and Humayuns Tomb. Delhi is indeed a treasure house of archaelogical and architectural wonders and if on were to look carefully, there is something fascinating around every corner.

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  5. Lately I’ve seen many stories about India keep appearing in my feed. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell me it’s time for me to travel to India. I really love ruins! Somehow it keeps a lot of interesting stories behind. I’d definitely put Safdar Jang Tomb on my list. Thanks for sharing ! 😀

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  6. Gosh, you really know your tombs. Love your detailed commentary. I don’t think I’d be underwhelmed – the tomb itself looks like lace. I do know what you mean about proper restoration being so essential to preserve monuments like this. I do hope it gets the attention it deserves.

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  7. This place looks really nice. And it appears to have far fewer people than the Taj Majal. I always like to visit this kind of location in my travels, and I’ll keep it in mind when I finally make it to India.

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  8. Despite being to delhi a trillion times, Never explored it throughly. Always been a huge fan of the city of Djinns and the Mughal architecture 🙂 You have captured it so perfectly!! Love the arches and the doors:)

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  9. What a beautiful tomb! I always only heard about the Taj Mahal, but I think this one is almost as beautiful, just in a different way. It reminds one more about the transience of life. I’d definitely love to see this place when we’ll go to India!

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