This blog began as a preliminary proposal on the form, function, meaning, and symbolism of Khusro Bagh, Allahabad. I would like to begin by thanking Prof. Dr. Ebba Koch, who first suggested this topic and generously allowed me the opportunity to explore my ideas before embarking on a detailed study of the tombs within this mausoleum complex. At the same time, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Anthony Welch, my M.A. supervisor, for pointing me in the right direction. This blog attempts to summarize some of the major issues surrounding the construction and reception (both contemporaneous to its time and from a modern perspective) of Khusro Bagh. The questions that I highlight were in many ways influenced by the seminal work of Dr. Koch, especially her groundbreaking study on the Taj Mahal, which forms a methodological model for my own exploration of this Mughal garden-cum-tomb complex. Moreover, her work on Mughal Architecture, provided me with a framework to compellingly deploy and utilize images within the larger context of my argument, an experience that I will continue with in my other project.
Thus, the Khusro Bagh Project attempts to briefly summarize the extant condition of the monuments, provide a cursory overview of the reasons behind its construction and what meaning that might have, illustrate the complexity of Mughal artistic practice – calligraphy, monumental architecture, wall painting, inscriptions – by a series of detailed and distortion free photographs, list some of the questions that must be addressed in any academic study of these monuments, and finally, provide plans of sites and buildings within the complex. After initially setting up this blog, I intend to return with regular posts on particular aspects that impact not only these tombs but also Mughal architecture in general, as a way to connect my scholarship to the larger and as Dr. Koch would agree rather underrepresented field of Mughal Studies.
I would also like to acknowledge the help of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), especially Mr. Ajay Srivastav (Sarnath Circle) and Mr. P.K. Tiwari (Agra Circle) for their assistance, which made my research at Khusro Bagh possible.
Note: All photographs, videos, sketches, and architectural plans are mine unless explicitly stated.