City Monument – Muhammad Shah Rangila’s Tomb, Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Dargah
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
He was known as ‘Rangila’, the colourful, but his grave is white.
Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila‘s marble tomb lies in the central Delhi sufi shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. The grave is enclosed within a small roofless chamber—its stone door is beautifully sculpted with marble flowers. Rangila’s qabar is surrounded by five other graves. One of them is so small that it could only be of a child. Another has cracked into small fragments that makes it look like a shattered mosaic.
Hazrat Nizamuddin lived as an ascetic long before the ostentatious Mughals arrived in Delhi. Thousands pray at his grave daily but barely any of these pilgrims stop to offer flowers to Rangila (1702-1748), even though he ruled for almost 30 long years, a reign in which his decadent Delhi climaxed to a flamboyant cultural sparkle.
Since it is traditionally considered auspicious to be buried close to the tombs of celebrated Sufi saints, Hazrat Nizamuddin’s shrine is ringed with the resting places of quite a few notable figures of history. A few of these monuments, such as Humayun’s Tomb, are celebrated for their architecture. Rangila’s tomb is not at all grand but he is in a way luckier than Humayun, the more famous Mughal. For Rangila sleeps closer to the great sufi mystic.
The emperor’s grave chamber is easy to spot. It lies on the northern end of the shrine’s courtyard, ignored and in peace.
Rangila at rest