News Excerpt
The Ministry of Culture has set up a seven-member panel of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), to locate the grave of the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh (1615-59). He is believed to be buried somewhere in the Humayun’s Tomb complex in Delhi.

Pre-Connect
•    He was the eldest son of Shah Jahan and was killed in 1659 after losing the war of succession against his brother Aurangzeb. According to the Shahjahannama, after Aurangzeb defeated Dara Shikoh, he brought the latter to Delhi in chains. His head was cut off and sent to Agra Fort, while his torso was buried in the Humayun’s Tomb complex.
•    No one knows where exactly Dara Shikoh was buried. All that is known is that it’s a small grave in the Humayun’s Tomb complex. Italian traveller Niccolao Manucci gave a graphic description of the day in Travels of Manucci, as he was there as a witness to the whole thing. That is the basis of the thesis.
•    He is often described as a “liberal Muslim” who tried to find commonalities between Hindu and Islamic traditions. He translated Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads (‘Sirr-i-Akbar’ or ‘The Greatest Secret’) into Persian.
•    French traveller, Francois Bernier, was briefly physician to Dara Shikoh.
•    He is said to be deeply syncretic, warm-hearted and generous but at the same time, an indifferent administrator and ineffectual in the field of battle.

About Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi:
    Humayun’s Tomb was built in the 1560’s, with the patronage of his son Akbar. It is an example of the Charbagh (a four quadrant garden with the four rivers of Quranic paradise represented), with pools joined by channels.
    The mausoleum itself stands on a platform and has an irregular octagon plan with four long sides and chamfered edges. It is surmounted by a 42.5 m high double dome clad with marble flanked by pillared kiosks (chhatris). The domes of the central chhatris are adorned with glazed ceramic tiles. The structure is of dressed stone clad in red sandstone with white and black inlaid marble borders.
    The tomb is located near the Shrine of the 14th century Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Since it is considered auspicious to be buried near a saint’s grave, the area has become the ‘dormitory of the Mughals’ as in the cells are buried over 150 Mughal family members.
    UNESCO’s  world heritage site, it is the first of the grand dynastic mausoleums; and set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture. It is seen as a clear departure from the fairly modest mausoleum of his father, the first Mughal Emperor, Babur, called Bagh-e Babur (Gardens of Babur) in Kabul (Afghanistan).