Zebunnisa’s Tomb & Garden

Tomb_Zaib_un_NisaTo locate this 17th century Mughal tomb, you will need to travel south on Multan Road, well past the junction known as Samanabad Mor, or Samanabad Junction. Since it is hemmed in between shops on the left (east) of the road, it is easy to miss the tomb attributed to the eldest and most celebrated daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. The tomb itself is set back from the road, behind an iron fence with a large tree standing guard.

The tomb is rare for its plan and design of roof. The pyramidal dome, curvilinear externally and hemispherical internally, is a specimen of its own class.

There is some controversy as to who is buried in this tomb which is commonly ascribed to Zeb-un-Nisa, the eldest daughter of Aurangzeb. Zeb-un-Nisa would have been only eight years old during the last days of Shah Jehan and could not have conceived and executed the construction of a garden tomb of this scale. Besides, there is evidence that Zeb-un-Nisa had died in the Salim Garh Fort, a residential area of the Red Fort at Delhi in 1701 and was buried in the garden of “Thirty Thousand Trees” outside Kabuli Gate. In 1885, her tomb was shifted to Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandra when the railway like was laid out in Delhi. Most historians suggest that the tomb may actually belong to the same Mian Bai (also known as Fakhr-un-Nisa) who was gifted the Chauburgi garden by Jahan Ara, the daughter of Shah Jehan. In addition to Chauburji garden, she was also entrusted to look after the Mughal garden in Nawankot and upon her death; she was buried in this tomb in Lahore.