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Why Tomb of Bahadur Shah Zafar is special ?
A place of pilgrimage for Indians, Muslims and others interested in the history of the Raj, this functioning mosque houses the mausoleum of India's last Mughal emperor. Bahadur Shah Zafar II was exiled to Rangoon along with his wife (who is also buried here) and family in 1858 following the failed Sepoy Rebellion in Delhi.
The ex-emperor, who had a reputation as a talented Urdu poet, died four years later in November 1862.
William Dalrymple, who chronicles Bahadur Shah Zafar’s life in The Last Mughal, writes of how his shrouded corpse was hastily buried in an anonymous grave in his prison enclosure, so that, as the British Commissioner in charge insisted, ‘No vestige should remain to distinguish where the last of the Great Mughals rests.’
A mausoleum was later built on the location of the prison, but the grave itself remained a mystery until 1991 when workmen discovered it 3½ft underground during excavations for a new structure at the site. Today it is covered in silks and strewn with sweet-smelling petals.
- A piece of history
- The last emperor of India
- The last Moghul rests in oblivion
- Historical significance
- Excellent if you know the history
Zi Wa Ka St Yangon Myanmar (Burma)
Tips for you
For those familiar with Dalrymple's The Last Mughal or with India's history in general this is a must-see. It is a simple masjid/dargah but well-kept with a well-informed and caring care-taker who will happily show you the site and inform you of the site's significance. Please don't forget to make a small donation which helps those in charge to upkeep the site and pay the bills (whether it's the site's or their own).