1. Arab Serai: Restoration by ASI
  2. Rani ki Vaav, Patan
  3. Bara Imambara shrine
  4. Bidriware Metal craft

Arab Serai: Restoration by ASI

Why in news? Because Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began its restoration along with Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)

  • A traveller’s lodge / inn (Serai) located near Humayun’s tomb in New Delhi.
  • It has 150-feet high gateway and chambers on either side of the entrance
  • Humayun’s first wife (Haji) Bega Begum built Arab Serai (1560-61 AD)
  • Had barrack for Persian scholars and craftsmen. But local people used the noun “Arab” to describe every alien. Hence the name “Arab Serai”.

Culture Arab Serai Delhi

  • Arab Serai Served as halting point for people travelling to Agra via Grand Truck Road.
  • Later Humayun married again to Hamida Banu- who gave birth to Akbar.
  • During 1857 mutiny, Bahadur Shah Zafar was given advice to hide in this Arab Serai. But he chose to hide in Humauyn’s tomb along with his three sons.
  • Rudyard Kipling also visited Arab Serai.
  • During Akbar’s reign the Persian craftsmen also lived in Arab Serai, while building Humayun’s tomb.

Humayun’s Tomb

Culture Humayun's tomb Delhi

  • UNESCO Cultural heritage status? YES
  • has ~150 graves of ruling family. Hence called the NECROPOLIS OF THE MUGHAL DYNASTY
  • Financer: (Haji) Bega Begum (Humayun’s widow and Akbar’s step mother)
  • Architect: Mirak Mirza
  • Time: 14 years after Humayun’s death. (~1570)
  • Material: red sandstone + marble borders
  • Humayun’s tomb is prime example of Mughal Architecture. Mughal Architecture was inspired from Persian Architecture.

Mock MCQ Questions from above topics

Q1. Correct statements about Arab Serai

  1. Sher Shah Suri built it on grand truck road as a halting point between Delhi and Kabul.
  2. It’s a prime example of Arab Architecture in India.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Q2. Find incorrect statement(s)

  1. While both Humayun’s Tomb and Arab Serai were built by Humaun’s widow, the former enjoys UNESCO cultural heritage status but the later doesn’t.
  2. Arab serai is called the necropolis of mughal dynasty because during 1857, at this place, British murdered three sons of Bahadur Shah Zafar & deported him to Burma, thus putting a full stop on Mughal dynasty.
  3. Both A and B
  4. Neither A nor B

Correct Answers:

  1. D neither A nor B right.
  2. B is wrong. (question asked you to find wrong statement)

Rani ki Vaav, Patan

Why in news? Because Government nominated this site + Himalayan park for UNESCO heritage site status.

  • Vaav= stepwell.
  • Patan, was capital of Solanki dynasty(chalukyas) in Gujarat.
  • 1063: Quyeen Udayamati built this Rani ki Vaav, in memory of her husband Bhimdev Solanki, the founder of Solanki dynasty.
  • The step well was used for collecting water, socialisation and spiritual bathing.
  • has sculptures of Vishnu.

Update: yes, it won the UNESCO heritage status.

Bara Imambara shrine

Why in news? Because shrine administration made a new dress code- women must cover their head while entering this place. Critiques say the timing of this ‘dress code’ was politically motivated.

  • Bara= big and Imambara = shrine
  • During Muharram, Shia muslims mourn at this shrine.
  • Located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • built by Asaf-ud-daula, son of suja-ud-daula (nawab-wazir of awadh) in 1784
  • The complex includes large Asafi mosque, tomb of Asaf-ud-daula and a step-well.
  • The architecture reflects maturation of Mughal design.

Bidriware Metal craft


Bidriware, Irani, Bahmani Kings, Bidar, Karnataka

Topic in news because this Ancient map of Bidar found in London.

  • 12th Century, Irani artists came to India, with Khwaja Moinudin Chisty.
  • Some of them found patronage under Bahmani kings of Bidar, Karnataka.
  • They make vessels of Zinc-Copper alloy.
  • Decorate it with gold and silver engravings, finally a special treatment with local mud.
  • Thus, these vessels have a magnificent black color.
  • Famous monuments in Bidar: Ahmad Shah Wali’s Bidar fort, Rangin Mahal, Bahamani tombs, Gurunanak Zira.

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