On an unassuming street in dusty Junagadh, lie two of India’s least celebrated architectural marvels. The Mahabat Maqbara (mausoleum) and the adjoining tomb of Bahar-ud-din Bhar are two unusually stunning structures. The former is the tomb of Nawab Mahabat Khan II of Junagadh – a distinctly Islamic building with European flourishes. The Nawabs of Junagadh were staunch supporters of the British and had a taste for the finest of Europe. Something that lingers even in his death. His vizier Bahar-ud–din’s mausoleum takes cues from the Taj Mahal, replete with the four minarets, but with Gothic touches.

Though declared protected monuments by the Archaeological Society of India, they lie in distinct neglect, crumbling in disrepair. Local boys play cricket in the courtyard in the evening. The odd tourist who stumbles upon these marvels, tries to find space among their rabble for a shot that does justice to their lost splendour.


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