The tombs of the seven Qutub Shahi rulers in the Ibrahim Bagh are located close to the famous Golkonda Fort. The galleries of the smaller tombs are of a single storey while the larger ones are two storied. In the centre of each tomb is a sarcophagus which overlies the actual burial vault in a crypt below. The domes were originally overlaid with blue and green tiles, of which only a few pieces now remain.
Before we visit the tombs lets understand the history of Hyderabad and the Qutub Shahi Dynasty
The birth of Hyderabad began with the Golconda Fort, perched on a hillock overlooking the city. It was built in the 11th century by the Kakatiya dynasty of Warangal, and at the time, it was just a simple mud fort. About 300 years later, the region briefly became a part the Delhi Sultanate. But soon, a commander named Alauddin Hassan Bahman Shah declared independence from the Sultanate, and founded the Bahmani Sultanate, with its capital in Bidar. This was the first Muslim kingdom in the Deccan.
About two centuries later, the kingdom splintered into the five Deccan Sultanates of Ahmednagar, Berar, Bijapur, Bidar and Golconda. The first ruler of Golconda was Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk, who came to Bidar all the way from Iran, and quickly rose through the ranks of the Bahmani court from a courtier to the governor of the Golconda province.
Sultan Quli and seven of his successors ruled Golconda for nearly 175 years. Most of them kept making improvements to the simple fort, transforming it over time into a formidable, impregnable citadel. Under their patronage, art, architecture, literature, poetry, music and dance flourished, and Hyderabad’s treasured Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb began to take shape with the synthesis of Hindu and Muslim traditions.
The fifth ruler, Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, is considered the greatest of them all. As a young man, he fell in love with Bhagmati, a Hindu girl from the village of Chichlam, to the south of the river Musi. As people from different parts of the world thronged to Golconda, a space crunch and outbreaks of a cholera-like disease prompted the Sultan to establish a brand new city.
The site he chose was around Chichlam, and the city, was none other than Hyderabad, named after Hyder Mahal, Bhagmati’s title.
The last Qutb Shahi ruler was Sultan Abul Hassan Tana Shah. In 1687, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb turned up with his army in Golconda. After an eight month long siege, a traitor opened the Fateh Darwaza of the fort, and let the enemy in. Tana Shah was taken away and imprisoned in the Daulatabad fort, where he died more than a decade later. The kingdom was under Mughal occupation for a while, until the rise of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, or the Nizams, who ruled over the princely state of Hyderabad.
All the rulers of the Qutb Shahi dynasty except the last Sultan, are buried in a sprawling garden near the fort, along with their family members. Tana Shah was laid to rest in a modest grave in Daulatabad, where he died alone.
The tombs form a large cluster and stand on a raised platform. The tombs are domed structures built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches, a distinctive style that blends Persian, Pashtun and Hindu forms. The tombs are structures with intricately carved stonework and are surrounded by landscaped gardens.
The tombs were once furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Copies of the Quran were kept on pedestals and readers recited verses from the holy book at regular intervals. Golden spires were fitted over the tombs of the sultans to distinguish their tombs from those of other members of the royal family.
The seven tombs are made by the kings of hyderabad, in the tombs the grave of the king and the grave of the kings companion, all the king’s graves are present in the seven tomb.
Tomb of Hayath Bakshi Begum
Tomb of Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
It rises to a height of 42.5 meters, topped by a large dome. 28 open arches are located on each side. The tomb was constructed on a two-tiered terrace designed to look like a captivating gallery, complete with false openings and two central pillars. Minarets and rich ornamental parapets complete the Islamic architecture.
The architect has judicially planned it on a double terrace, rising to a height of 6 metres from the ground level. The lower one is 60.8 mts. square supported by a facade of 28 open arches on each side and the upper terrace is 38.3 metres square. The tombs were furnished with carpets, chandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches
Arches of Hayath Bakshi Begum Tomb
Tomb of Kulsoom Begum and Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah
There are tombs that belong to non-ruling members of the royal families
Tomb of Mirza Nizamuddin Ahmed – incomplete Tomb
Tomb of Abdullah Qutb Shah-Ruler VII of Qutb Shahi Dynasty