Narnaul has quite a few Akbari-era structures and many of them are relatively well maintained. Though, it cannot be strictly said so regarding the Tomb of Nizam al-Din, while fortunately, the Mosque opposite is undergoing repair works. One reason for the density of Akbari-era structures here could be Narnaul’s strategic location on the route from Delhi/Agra to Marwar, while the other could be its association with Sufism, to which Akbar ardently subscribed. Moreover, Narnaul had a mint during the Emperor’s reign. Islam had established itself here almost half a century before it did so in Delhi (more on that in a later post). One of the most revered saints, Shaikh Mohammad Turk Narnauli had a 13th Century shrine whose devotees spread across faiths, and where religious sojourn culminated.
In Akbarnama, it is mentioned that Akbar met Chishti Shaikh Nizam al-Din in Narnaul. The Saint breathed his last in 1589 CE, and was buried here in this Tomb, a square-shaped stucco-covered funerary. Interestingly, this structure, though of Akbari-era has significant traces of Lodhi-era architectural styles, overshooting the Sur architectural elements that had come to dominate and subsequently branching off towards the earlier Mughal construction patterns.
The Tomb measures 9.5 m by 9.5 m. All the four portals of the tomb have deep recessed arches divided into two parts, which contain arched openings. Its corners have arched squinches. The walls are divided into two parts. The upper part is having four intersecting arches which are interlocked to make plain pendentives at each corner. On both sides of the main portals, there are two blind niches. The parapet covering the whole structure is made up of bricks and rubble. The opening is decorated in lintel style, which is attached in a Lodhi style.
The terrace of the tomb is accessible by steps and on the terrace there is no balustrade around it. In the centre of the terrace, there is an octagonal drum, plaster of which is almost chipped off and is exposing the skeletal rubble masonry. The octagonal drum is having a single domical roofing, and is crowned with a finial rising from an inverted lotus and made of rubble masonry. The chamber is decorated, most of which is fading.
The inscription on its doorway, which is now missing, reads, according to Subhash Parihar’s Muslim inscriptions in Punjab Haryana and HP, (3.86, pp 48-49)
“Alas! The leader of the world, the administrator of religion, has passed away, whose holy nature was kneaded out of pure light. The exalted Shaikh, as he had an angelic disposition, so when I counted the date of his death, it came out, “He was an angel.” 997 AH (1589 AH).”
The Mosque opposite was built by one Niamatullah in 1622 CE, which is a single-aisled three-bayed Mosque. Next to the Tomb are two canopy-like tombs on extreme need of attention. A madrassa runs adjacent to the Tomb in the complex.