Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Delhi Persian 613 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Taj Mahal, history and details, 2 items (a-b)


Summary of Contents: Collection of two works describing the historical background and physical details of Agra’s monuments, with special reference to the Taj Mahal mausoleum, written as a guide for touring English officers. Volume not dated; datable to the early nineteenth century, probably written in Agra. Scribal nastaʿlīq and naskh; interlinear raqm annotations. Intermittent foliation in pencil. Lacking original binding. Folios bound; stains and wormholes. Seal erased at beginning.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

1. ff. 1v-47r
Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Untitled pseudo-historical biographical account by an unnamed author on the subject of Mumtāz al-Zamānī Arjmand Bānū Baygum Mumtāz Maḥall, principal wife and empress-consort of the Timurid (Mughal) Emperor Shāh Jahān I, augmented with further descriptions of their offspring; verses in praise of Mumtāz Maḥall attributed to Emperor Shāh Jahān I; inscriptions on the gates of the Sikandarah complex, including the tomb of Emperor Akbar I; inscribed cannons of Agra Fort; inscription on Prince Salīm’s black marble (sang-i Mūsá) throne in Agra Fort; inscriptions on the cenotaphs of Mumtāz Maḥall and Emperor Shāh Jahān I; inscriptions on the Motī Masjid of Agra Fort; lists of precious stones used in the Rawz̤ah-'i munavvarah or Tāj Maḥall; the names of various artisans; the total weight of precious stones; the total weight of wood; inscribed gates with lists of sūrahs of the Qurʾān; Agra’s climate and location; history of Agra; Emperor Akbar I’s Chishtī associations; birth of Prince Salīm (Emperor Jahāngīr); selections of poems by Princess Zīb al-Nisāʾ bint ʿĀlamgīr I; genealogies of ‘Mughaliyah’ kings with coin legends, especially sajʿ verses, mentioning at end Navvāb Ghāzī al-Dīn Ḥaydar of Avadh (d. 1242/1827).

Not dated at end.

Nastaʿlīq, with some Arabic quotations in naskh; interlinear raqm annotations.

2. ff. 47v-114r

Untitled treatise assembling measurements and statistical details of the Rawz̤ah-'i munavvarah or Tāj Maḥall, written at the request of the ‘ṣāḥibān-i Angrīz’ (English officers), by an unnamed author.

Not dated at end.

astaʿlīq, with some Arabic quotations in naskh; interlinear raqm annotations.

Language(s): Persian and Arabic

Physical Description

Form: codex
Extent: 114 ff.
Dimensions (leaf): 273 × 165 mm.



Origin: 1818 - 1827 CE ; India, Agra?

Provenance and Acquisition

Purchased by the Government of India at sale organised by Delhi Prize Agents, 1859; administrative deposit India Office Library, 1876


Government of India


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