The Tombs of Talpur Mirs are a mass complex of tombs of the ruling Talpur Mirs of Sindh province who ruled from the time period of 1784 to 1843. The tombs are also termed as Cubbas (the Sindhi word for tombs). These tombs are situated in the place of Hirabad, Hyderabad in the Sindh, Pakistan.
The tombs complex hosts huge tombs for Talpur Mirs rulers while there are various smaller tombs for their wives, consorts and infant kids. There are various graves in the external place that are uncovered and unmarked, apart from some exceptions. The graves are almost made out of marble and normally have Quranic verses inscribed on their outer surfaces.
Once an outstanding burial ground for the Talpur rulers, this place of Tombs of Talpur Mirsg now has various preservation concerns. As of the day 30 March 2011, the Culture Department, Government of Sindh retained the charge for these structures, following devolution of the government to provinces. Since then, there has been done some restoration work on securing these monuments.
Architecture of Tombs of Talpur Mirs
The architecture designs of the tombs in the complex are reminiscent of several Talpur structures; although most of the mausoleums in this complex are either square or rectangular in shape. These structures follow nearly the similar specifications as that of the tomb of Mir Fateh Ali Khan at New Khudabad.
The greatest domed structure consists of 2 graves, those of, Mir Karam Ali Khan (d. 1828) and Mir Murad Ali Khan (d. 1833). Behind this complex is a smaller building which consists of the graves of Mir Karam’s 2 wives, the wife of Mir Abdullah Khan and an infant. To the north of these structures is one consisting of the graves of Talpur rulers, Mir Nur Muhammad Khan, Mir Nasir Khan, Mir Shahdad Khan and Mir Hussain Ali Khan. It is claimed that the rulers designed their own burial places while alive.
The building in front of the last on the side of east, consists of the remnants of the wife and kid of Mir Nur Muhammad Khan and the wife of Mir Husayn Ali Khan. Other wives of 2 of these rulers and 3 young kids, repose in the small tomb in the north-west corner. Other Mirs deploy within the 2 small mausoleums at the southwest corner of Mir Karam Ali Khan’s tomb and the remaining buildings consist of the bodies of wives, daughters and kids of some of these.
In the southern group of mausoleums, 2 principal tombs that are nearest the entrance on the east and instantly behind it, contain the graves of 4 Mirs, while the rest are captured by their wives and children.
The ladies’ tombs are very significant in the sense that they appear to look like vaulted wagon structures. One such mausoleum is rectangular in plan and surmounted by 2 domes, flanked by kicks on each of its 4 corners. The façade consisting of the entrance door is categorized into 3 arched panels on each side. On the top of each arched panel, there is a rectangular panel covered with tiles in floral patterns. The other sides of the tomb contain more or less the similar arched paneling and similar decorative color scheme.
These mausoleums are famous for the tile decoration on their outside façade. The tiles are placed in several colors which significantly involve blue floral patterns over white background. Few accents of green, yellow and brown are placed in a manner so as to break the monotonous decorative appearance.
Burial traditions of Tombs of Talpur Mirs
In traditional Talpur fashion, the marble graves have the real royal turbans of these rulers placed upon a projection at the end of each. The graves are etched with Quranic verses in the language of Arabic, whilst few of the walls inside the tombs are adorned with poetry in the language Farsi. Apart from the Arabic inscriptions on the graves, they are highly unmarked and have no names to denote their occupants. The graves are normally covered in marble masonry work.
Purdah for females
The tombs of female Talpurs are made to be closed structures. These are distinctly vaulted structures with jaalison the door archways to indicate the dead buried within still observing purdah, as they would have in life. To this day, it’s forbidden for males to go inside these tombs.
Restoration and maintenance
Lately, there have been attempts to restore the tombs of Talpur Mirs rulers elsewhere, involving few of former Talpur rulers. The restoration started in the year of April 2012 and was supervised by Ishtiaq Ansari. Where there are restoration works actively in progress elsewhere, the location that is the subject of this article, has since been ignored.
The recently devolved Sindh government nonetheless shows a willingness to work towards making better these monuments.