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Government panel inspects Humayun’s tomb to locate Mughal prince Dara Shikoh’s grave

Sanjeev Kumar Singh, a civil engineer with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation who claims to have identified the crypt of the prince killed by his brother Emperor Aurangzeb, was also present.

Published: 12th January 2021 06:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th January 2021 10:24 AM   |  A+A-

Panel members inspecting the grave at Humayun's tomb which is believed to be Dara Shikoh. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A seven-member committee set up by the Union Culture Ministry to locate the exact burial site of Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh examined a set of graves inside Humayun’s Tomb Complex to reach a conclusion on the issue.

The members are likely to submit individual observations in a couple of days.

Sanjeev Kumar Singh, a civil engineer with the South Delhi Municipal Corporation who claims to have identified the crypt of the prince killed by his brother Emperor Aurangzeb, was also present.

During an on-site discussion with the panel, Singh presented his extensive research based on references in historical records to prove that the prince was buried in one of the chambers below the dome of Humayun’s Tomb along with Emperor Akbar’s sons Daniyal and Murad.

Syed Jamal Hasan, retired director of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and a member of the committee, sought more clarifications and sources of his study. Apart from other members of the committee—BR Mani, KN Dixit, BM Pandey, Professor Ashwini Agrawal, and its head TJ Alone, several ASI officials were also in attendance.  

The group inspected the symbolic graves on the platform of Humayun’s tomb including the one, which is believed to be of Dara Shikoh, and also original burial sites in the chambers below its main dome.

They spent almost two hours in the complex. After the visit, Hasan said it was difficult to locate the cenotaph of Dara Shikoh in the absence of any inscription as he had already been saying.

“Alamgirnama (the court history of Aurangzeb) says that Dara was laid to rest next to Daniyal and Murad. According to Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri, the autobiography of Emperor Jahangir, both the sons of Akbar died in Deccan because of excessive consumption of alcohol. There is no reference of bringing back their bodies to Delhi. The mere design of the graves can’t establish their period of construction,” he said.

Singh’s findings heavily rely on Alamgirnama and the design of the graves. There are about 140 graves of Mughal descendants in the Humayun’s tomb campus. 

“If there is no reference about a fact then it is fine but Alamgirnama mentions Dara’s burial and its site. Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri is silent on this issue. Now, it is up to the members to draw a conclusion. I have submitted my studies. I am hopeful that I will stand vindicated,” said Singh.  

KK Muhammed, former regional director (North) of the ASI, earlier told TMS that Singh’s study looks impressive and promising. However, he was not present during the visit.



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