The last king of Burma was transported to Ratnagiri where he lived to the end in abject poverty. Aibert, Prince of Wales and heir was confined to an abandoned Scottish palace and starved to death. His remains were placed in a vault behind the family dining room on the third floor at Windsor, ringed by a high metal barrier. At Westminister, Elizabeth lies buried, only a few feet from Queen Mary who she had beheaded.
AURANGZEB’S TOMB atKHULDABAD (a village a few kms from Aurangabad) It was perhapsthe Mughals who first conjured up the concept of a mausoleum to symbolize thepower and glory of their empire. Each of the Emperors constructed magnificentmonuments as their mausoleums, each in his own style. From Humayun’s Tomb inNew Delhi, Akbar’s Tomb in Sikander, Jehangir’s tomb in Lahore and culminatingwith Shah Jehan’s Taj Mahal in Agra, each mausoleum has tried to outdo its predecessorwith its beauty, artistry & craftsmanship. The populacemay well have wondered what the Emperor Aurangzeb would leave behind as hismausoleum when his time was up. That he was parsimonious was well known seeinghow he had skimped and forced his son Azam Shah to scrounge in order tocomplete the construction of the ‘Bibi ka Maqbara.’ It must have surely have come as agreat shock when the Emperor, in tune with his puritanical Islamic beliefs,prescribed for himself burial in a common graveyard in an impoverished littletown called Khuldabad. He decreed that no structure of any kind should be builtupon his grave. The graveyard has mausoleums dedicated to Sufi saints whopassed away here, but the emperor’s grave site remains unbuilt. In time the location of the tombitself might have been lost, but it seems that many decades later, the Nizam ofHyderabad ordered the construction of a marble platform surrounded by a marbletrellis around the tomb. A few visitors take time out from their itinerary totake the diversion from the road that leads to Ellora. A guide stationed insidethe complex, keeps parroting the full name of the Emperor and requesting donationsin a metal box by the side, for the maintenance of the site. For some reason, a blurb credits theconstruction of the platform and trellis to Lord Curzon, the English Viceroy. Itseems doubtful to me that an English Viceroy would spend any part of hiscolonial budget to commemorate a Mughal Emperor from before his time. More sowhen you consider that the last of the Mughals, the Emperor Bahadur Shah Dafarwas banished from India in chains and died in prison in the Andamans. Whether it was the Nizam or theunlikely Lord Curzon, the marble platform and trellis have provided this littletown with its unusual tourist destination.