Indoislamica

art and rare books relating to India, Central Asia and the Islamic world

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Photographs

Charburgi (Chauburji) Ruins: Entrance to Begum’s Garden.

Albumen print. Mounted on an album leaf and titled in a contemporary hand. 205 x 280mm. (8.25 x 11.25ins).

The Chau (four) Burji (towers), Lahore, with its brilliant tile work, was originally the entrance to a garden. The gateway bears an inscription that the garden was laid out in 1646 by a lady, a Mughal grandee, identified only as ‘Sahib-e-Zebinda, Begum-e-Dauran’. ‘One endowed with elegance, the lady of the age’.

According to Sir Mortimer Wheeler's book, 5000 Years of Pakistan – an Archaeological Outline, Royal India and Pakistan Society, London 1950 ‘The story goes that the garden was laid out under the supervision of the princess' favorite female attendant, Mian Bai; that it thus became known as Mian Bai's garden and was on that account given to Mian Bai by (her) royal mistress’.

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