The Chaunsath Khamba, frontal view (left), The Chaunsath Khamba, an angled view (right)
Author: Metcalfe, Sir Thomas Theophilus (1795-1853)
Medium: Ink and colours on paper
[From 'Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi’, an album consisting of 89 folios containing approximately 130 paintings of views of the Mughal and pre-Mughal monuments of Delhi, as well as other contemporary material, with an accompanying manuscript text written by Sir Thomas Theophilus Metcalfe (1795-1853), the Governor-General’s Agent at the imperial court. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund and of the National Art-Collections Fund.]
The Chounsut Khumba or The Sixty Four Pillars
A marble edifice adjoining to the shrine of the Saint Nizamoodeen (the Expounder of the Faith) vide page 40 [f. 43-4] was built by Meerza Uzeez (‘Beloved’) Kokal (‘Foster-brother’) Taush (‘Personal, and in this case Royal’) Khan (‘Lord’) the son of Mohummud (‘literally, Praised’) Shumsoodeen (‘Sun of Religion’) Khan the husband of the wetnurse of the Emperor Mohummud Julaloodeen (‘Glory of Religion’) Ukbeer (‘the Great’), who was raised to the rank of the nobility by the title of Uzum Khan (‘the Chief Lord’), during the reign of that monarch and assassinated by one Ibraheem (‘Abraham’) Udhum (‘a name without any particular meaning’) Khan, also foster brother to the Emperor, from a feeling of envy on account of the rank bestowed upon Shumsoodeen.
The madman also attempted the life of the Emperor, but being rendered
[The Chaunsath Khamba, frontal view. The tomb of Mirza Aziz Koka, the foster brother of Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605) and the son of Atgah Khan, is siutated outside the shrine of Nizamuddin. It is popularly known as Chausanth Khamba and is constructed wholly of white marble, with 64 pillars inside, from which it derives its name of Chaunsath Khamba (64 pillars). It was built by Aziz Koka in his life time, and when he died in 1624 at Ahmedabad, he was brought here and buried.]
insensible by a blow from the Royal Fist, he was bound hand and foot and thrown over the walls of the Palace.
He was buried near the Kootoob (Vide Page 74 [f. 73]) and an edifice erected of his remains by his mother, called Udhum ke Goombuz, or the Dome of Udhum.
The remains of Mohummud Sheemsoudeen Khan were interred in the neighborhood of the shrine of the Saint Nizamooddeen and a suitable Tomb of Marble erected over them. Vide drawing page [left blank, f. 49].
The Emperor commiserating Meerza Uzer, the son of the deceased
subsequently denominated him his own son, and conferred on him the same titles and rank borne by his father. By this individual was the Chounsut Khumba erected, as a receptacle for his own remains, & here he was buried in the 19th year of the reign of the Emperor Juhangeer (Conqueror of the World) son of the Emperor Ukbur, about the year AD 1623.
Another view of the same building
[The Chaunsath Khamba, an angled view.]