The Tomb Of Shah Rukn-E-Alam Located In Multan, Pakistan, Is The Mausoleum Of The 14th-Century Punjabi Sufi Saint Sheikh Rukn-Ud-Din Abul Fateh.
The shrine is considered the earliest example of Tughluq architecture and is one of the most impressive shrines in the Indian subcontinent. The shrine attracts over 100,000 pilgrims to the annual yours festival that commemorates his death The tomb is located in the ancient city of Multan, in central Pakistan. The tomb is situated at the northwestern edge of the Multan Fort The tomb, built-in 1320-24 A.D., lies inside Multan Fort.
This elegant building is an octagon in plan with a diameter of 15′ 9ù and a side measuring 20’6″. It is the first octagonal tom in the South Asia subcontinent. The special features in the construction of the Shrine are the tapering walls, horizontal wooden beams embedded at the exterior of brickwork and a wooden frame built with horizontal and vertical beams. One of the main important features of the Shrine is the carved wooden Mehrab, a delicate and intricate piece of work, which is the earliest specimen of its kind in the whole South Asian Sub-continent. The structure is built entirely in red brick, the whole exterior elaborately decorated with glazed tile panels in string courses and merlons.
The colours used are Indian blue, Persian blue and white, which contrast with the red of the finely dressed bricks. The enamelled tiles of this tomb are of a special type having relief patterns, raised from half an inch to two inches from the background. The second storey, also octagonal, is elaborately decorated with geometric, floral and arabesque designs. It is further beautified by calligraphic motifs, brick design in relief pattern of caustic tiles and ornamental brickwork The shrine’s layout is typical of Suhrawadi tombs, with three entrances, a western-facing mihrab, and an original main entrance on the southern axis that featured a small vestibule. The main entrance has since been shifted to the east, in an attempt to align the shrine’s axises with Mecca, in accordance with orthodox interpretations of Islam.
The mausoleum is a three-tiered structure. Though the second octagonal tier is typical of Multan, the first tier in the shape of an octagon differs from the nearby Shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya and other earlier shrines which rests upon a square-shaped base. The first tier is 15 metres in diameter and features walls 4 feet thick. The first tier features bands of timber that create a visual break in the exterior brickwork. The octagonal first tier is buttressed by small minaret-shaped towers in each of its 8 corners that provide support to the structure, and narrow as they rise and surpass the height of the first tier. A second octagon rests upon the first tier that features small domes in each of the eight corners of the building. A third tier rests above the second and is formed by a dome of 15 metres in diameter.
The entire structure is 35 metres tall, with sloping walls. The dome is capped by a structure similar to an amalaka found in Hindu temples. The mausoleum is built entirely of red brick, bounded by beams of shisham wood, which have turned black over the centuries. The exterior is elaborately ornamented with carved wooden panels, carved brick, string courses and battlements.
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at the top of the shrine reflect the influence of Tughluq military architecture on even non-military buildings The exterior is further embellished with regional-style tile-work in floral, arabesque, and geometric motifs with dark blue, azure, and white tiles – all of which contrast the deep red finely polished bricks.
The white dome is decorated with blue tile-work along its lower perimeter. The shrine’s vast interior features no internal buttresses, nor any interior structural elements to support the interior space, which results in a vast interior space.
The interior was initially decorated with elaborate tile work, which was subsequently covered in plaster, though vast interior of the mausoleum is now largely bare. Niches at the ground level serve to enlarge the interior space further.