Bhul Bhuliyan – A tomb of Akbar’s Foster Brother

It was a chance meet.  We went looking for something else and this fell into our lap!

 We were out looking for Zafar Mahal and we came up on this lofty structure.  While it was a complicated exercise locating Zafar Mahal, Bhul Bhuliyan as it is popularly called, was standing tall right in the middle of the Mehrauli Square.

Facing the Mehrauli Bus Terminal and the myriad labyrinth of lanes that goes into the bylanes of Mehrauli, this structure is difficult to miss.    This structure is right in the middle of the throbbing and pulsating market of Mehrauli and you can see many people perched on the walls and taking a little rest in and around the structure.   If you ask anyone around of the historical significance of this structure, you would not get a satisfactory response.   In fact, there is not too much written about this anywhere around the building too.

As we set out to unearth the intriguing history behind this building,  we got to know that this was the tomb built by Akbar for Adam Khan and Maham Anga.

Now who is Adam Khan and Maham Anga?

Akbar Nama  gives an account of this tale.   Maham Anga was the foster mother of Akbar.  She brought up Akbar under her care while Akbar’s mother Hamida Banu Begum accompanied her husband Humayun who travelled a lot.  When Humayun died, Akbar was just 13 and Maham Anga acted as the Regent of the Mughal Empire after the death of Bairam Khan.   Adam Khan was the son of Maham Anga and therefore foster brother of Akbar.

Adam Khan was a youth intoxicated by power and politics.   He served as the general in Akbar’s Army.  It is said that Maham Anga and Adam Khan wanted to usurp Akbar and take over power in their hands.   So, Adam Khan attacked Atga Khan, the Prime Minister appointed by Akbar and would have even killed Akbar if he was not caught in time.  Akbar commanded his officers to immediately throw him down from the fort.  He finally died after he was thrown the second time.   When Maham Anga heard the story of her son’s fate, she retired and withdrew into herself.   She died after 40 days of lamenting for her son.

Akbar had great compassion on Maham Anga and built this tomb for both of them.


The building is located right next to Qutab Minar.  It is an octagonal structure with eight entrances to the tomb.   It is said that Octagonal structures were assigned to the tomb of traitors and consiprators as per early Lodhi and Sur Dynasty.

Constructed in 1561 AD, this building comes under the preservation of Archeological Survey of India.

This is bang opposite the Mehrauli Bus Stand and nearly impossible to miss. Check out the location on Google Maps.

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