Takht-e-Akbari, the throne from where it all started for the greatest emperor of Mughal Empire Jalal Ud din Mohammad Akbar. Takht-e-Akbari is located in Kalanaur city of Gurdaspur district in Punjab state. Despite being supremely significant historical spot, it is not known to many and is one of the neglected monuments. Kalanaur and its special monument Takht-e-Akbari might not make it to the itinerary of most visitors of Punjab but it is important to know the relevance of this place.
As opposed to its current state, during the rule of Mughal Era, Kalanaur was a prosperous city. Today, it has lost the glory that it once commanded, and now is lying beneath the sand of neglect and forgetfulness.
Takht-e-Akbari in Kalanaur, Punjab is the exact spot where the greatest king of Mughal Empire ‘Jalal Ud din Mohammad Akbar’ was crowned emperor at the age of 13 by his mentor Bairam Khan a few weeks after the death his father Humayun.
Death of Humayun and Akbar’s succession to the throne:
On 19 January 1556 then emperor Humayun died leaving the seat of Delhi in a vulnerable situation, prone to the attacks of his enemies.
Emperor Humayun died after suffering a fall from stairs of his library (Sher Mandal ) in Purana Qila. In this accident emperor, Humayun sustained fatal injuries which after a few days became the cause of his death. As he died a sudden death Mughal empire was not ready for succession. At this point, Humanyun’s heir and the eldest son Jalal Ud-din Mohammad was on a military expedition in Kalanaur with his mentor Bairam Khan.
As News of emperor’s death and successor not being around could have caused unrest in the empire and would have given a chance to enemies to take over the seat of Delhi.In order to avoid such a situation, his loyal courtiers decided to conceal the fact that the emperor was no more. So, for a few weeks, a look-alike of Humayun was presented in the court every day as Humayun, to avoid any unwanted situation.
As soon as Bairam Khan learned about the death of Humayun he decided to crown Jalal a.k.a. Akbar the emperor. For the coronation of next king of the Mughal Empire, he ordered the construction of this brick and stone throne and this was the spot where coronation ceremony was held. This brick and stone platform later came to be known as Takht-e-Akbari.
Takht-e-Akbari – The monumental throne of Akbar:
Takht-e-Akbari is basically a double tired brick and mortar throne which also had a water tank perhaps for cooling purpose.
Apparently, there was a water spring and stunning gardens with gorgeous flowers near the monumental throne of the emperor Akbar. The beauty of the place had eroded long back and now instead of the beautiful garden you see cattle sheds that are considered private property.
Today the coronation site of the greatest Mughal emperor does not look majestic at all. Forget about majestic this place is so neglected that this spot is not even connected well with the main city. It is practically tough for one to even to locate Takht-e-Akbari. Today you’ll hardly find a signboard for this historical monument.
But its condition was not like today in Mughal Era. In the 16th century, Kalanaur was a flourishing city. And the site, in particular, had a beautiful garden surrounding the throne, making it look like a sight to behold.
Other than Takht-e-Akbari there is another monument that stands as witness to starting of Golden era of Mughal empire. To commemorate the crowning moment of Akbar, Mughals had built a mosque near Takht-e-Akbari. Like the throne, the mosque is also lying in despair.
Takht-e-Akbari – Monument in Despair:
Considering its historic relevance Takht-e-Akbari has been categorized as Monument of National Importance by the Archaeological Survey of India. Despite that the monument is ignored an ill-maintained. The maintenance authority of the site is the Archaeological Survey of India and even they seem to have forgotten to take care of this monument.
Takht-e-Akbari lacks security; seemingly not even a single security staff is employed in this site. The roads leading to this historically significant monument are bumpy and it is not easy to find this place. It lacks proper linking to the road, awareness among people, security and much more.
I wonder why this place is lying in such a pitiful condition. Maybe because it is lying alone in one corner of the country, near the border of India and Pakistan amidst the field and also because no one ever talks about it. Or because the concerned authority has not bothered developing this site as a tourist spot. Or because no authority including its primary caretaker the ASI is willing to spread awareness about this monument.
Well whatever may be the reason for its condition today, there is no denying the fact that the site of Akbar’s coronation holds great historical significance and hence it worth mentioning and telling people the story behind it.
If this site is developed, not only it will increase tourism in the area but result in the overall development of the town, its people and employment. We hope that needful steps are taken soon and this sites also gains the importance it deserves.