Memories of Emperor Babur and King Amanullah

Here lies Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad Babur, the first of the Mughals. Though he died in Agra in 1531, his remains were transferred here, to the Bagh-e-Babur (Babur Gardens), in 1540 as per his last wishes. The marble headstone was commissioned by Emperor Jehangir, Babur's great grandson.

This mosque was erected in the Bagh-e-Babur by Emperor Shah Jahan during his visit to Kabul in 1638. For those who don't know, Shah Jahan was the one who built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz.

The Bagh-e-Babur, built in 1528. Notice the median and the water channel, a precursor of the famous 'char bagh' design that the Mughals used for all their landmark constructions.

The once magnificent and still imposing Dar-ul-Aman (Palace of Peace), built by King Amanullah about 90 years ago. The palace was destroyed twice -- once by the Soviets in 1978 and once in the 1990s during clashes between warlords.

The bullet holes and gaps punched into the walls by rockets are still visible at the Dar-ul-Aman.

Kabul is dotted with localities such as this, illegal homes precariously perched on rocky hillsides. In that, they resemble some of the shanty towns in Mumbai, though the houses look very different.

The Deh Afghanan (Village of Afghans) square. This is considered the city centre and is normally pulsating with hawkers, shoppers and businessmen. It was navigable when I went there because most shops were shut for the Friday holiday.

Mosque at Deh Afghanan.

An Iranian Shia mosque not far from Deh Afghanan.


7 thoughts on “Memories of Emperor Babur and King Amanullah

  1. Bagh-e-Babur, Dar-ul Aman… Just the names sound so beautiful and evocative. Babur’s mausoleum looks magnificent in its desolation. So this is how great emperors end up 🙂
    Give us more

  2. lovely pix, Ashraf. made me think of Babur’s Afghani wife Mubarika Bibi, the ‘Afghani Agacha’ as her stepdaughter Gulbadan called her, who took Babur’s remains from Agra to be re-interred in Kabul. Also saw Babur’s birthplace in Andijan in Ferghana (Uzbekistan), where they have made a garden in his memory after going especially to fetch soil from his graves in both Kabul and Agra. Damn, that lovely blue Shia dome in your last pic makes me restless to be roving again, to be off with the raggle-taggle gipsies.

    • 🙂 Thanks, Renuka. By the way, I haven’t contacted Mr Praveen Kumar yet. Got too caught up in things. Will do so today.

  3. Pingback: Kabul |

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