Khuldabad is a hallowed village, where all the pious holy saints lie in deep slumber. It is also known as the Abode of Eternity. A 22 kilometre run from Aurangabad, Khuldabad to most tourists is famous as the last abode of Aurangzeb. As a large number of saints have chosen this place for their last resting place it is also known as Rauza or the Garden of Tombs.
The Great and the last Mughal ruler Aurangzeb who spent the last 25 years in the Deccan was according to his will buried in the courtyard of the tomb of Shaikh Zainuddin at Rauza in sepulchre built by the Emperor in his own life time. On Friday, 21st February, Aurangzeb died and after Prince Azam Shah his son arrived on Saturday, 22nd February, 1707, Aurangzeb's bod} was carried to Khuldabad. Zinat-un-nisa Begum his second daughter was also with him. The red stone platform (Chabutra) over his grave not exceeding three yards in length, two and half yards in breadth and a few fingers in height, has a cavity in the middle. It has been filled with earth in which fragrant herbs have been planted. He is now remembered under the title Khuldmakan.
Originally, the tomb consisted only of a wooden slab with the Persian inscription. "No marble sheets should shield me from the sky as I lie there one with the earth."
There is a legend connected with Aurangzeb's tomb well-known for his diligence and piety, the emperor on his deathbed decreed that only Rs. 14 and 12 annas should be spent on his grave. This was the sum he had earned himself by stitching caps. He had also earned Rs. 350 from Quranic inscription, but he said, "Don't use this money in case I have made a mistake in copying the Quran, as I will be answerable to Allah for that."
Since then the tomb has been embellished in 1921, the Nizam of Hyderabad and Lord Curzon had it covered with marble and surrounded with a pierced marble screen. But a patch of earth with a small sabza plant remains on top, it is covered with a plain white sheet, and it is still roofed only by the vault of the sky.
Khuldabad is more famous as pilgrimage centre as the venerated saints lie here. More important than ever the saints are the Prophet's 'divine robes' and the 'prophet's hair' which is specially preserved for worship. The sacred robe, or Pairahan-e-Mubarak' is shrouded in mysterious obscurity and not many people are really aware of the extreme significance of this robe. The history of Prophet Mohammad's robe was narrated to me by Mr. Abdul Hai , an authority on Khuldabad.
The history of 'Pairahan-e-Mubarak' is associated with 'Shab-e-Meraj' - an important event in the life of Prophet Mohammad, when he was invited by Almighty Allah for a trip to heaven and at the gateway was presented a robe by Allah as a gesture of welcome. While receiving this precious gift the Prophet thought of his devout followers, who he wished too could benefit from this divine present. When Prophet Mohammed was on his deathbed he was instructed to choose a Khalifa to take his place. Hazrat Ali was singled to succeed the Prophet and was gifted with the sacred robe and also directed to pass the robe to the right heir.
Some of the important Khalifas to whom this 'Pairahan-e-Mubarak' was passed were Hazrat Ali, Khwaja Hasan Basri, Hazrat Osman Haroon Chishti, Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer, Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar and Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi.
Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi later conceded the robe to Burhanuddin Garib who was directed to proceed towards the Daccan with a Palki of 1400 saints. During the leave taking ceremony he gave him five important injunctions. 1. This robe was keepsake to be passed on to Hazrat Zainuddin Shirazi. 2. Mother's happiness be given priority. 3. Friday namaz is binding. 4, Celibacy should be adopted throughout his life. 5. His Pirzadi Saheba Bibi Ayesha should be under his protection.
The two dargahs are situated on lofty platforms lying exactly opposite each other. The Moo-e-Mubarak (the sacred hair) lies in the shrine of Hazrat Burhanuddin Garib which is located to the left afer entering the main gate to the village. While the Pairahan-e-Mubarak (sacred robe) lies in the Maqbara of Hazrat Zainuddin Shirazi who was the last Khalifa or more popularly known as the 'Bawees Khwaja', whose edifice houses the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Presumably due to its ethereal origin, where the entire area is covered with the mystical presence of so many saints a number of crown members preferred to be buried at this place. Besides Aurangzeb, the other royal members who lie here peacefully are the first Nizam Asaf Jah, his son Nasir Jung, Abul Hasan Tana Shah, the last King of Golconda, Aurangzeb's son Prince Azam Shah his wife and other princely members. Both the Dargahs consist of many rooms, dormitories for the pilgrims, large open spaces and tanks of clear water for ablution. At the main entrance is the Nakkarkhana where the Naubat is played during the auspicious occasions of an Urs held annualy at Khuldabad.
This sleepy, peaceful hamlet during the Urs suddenly awakes and stirs with excitement. The inhabitants start buzzing, humming, dressing, adoring and embellishing the entire place. Garland of flowers consisting of rose, marigold, mogra, mango leaves, rose petals and shining coloured papers are woven around in loops and circles and hung around in the entire area when the village appears to be decked up like a newly wedded bride.
Devout pilgrims from all the States of India collect to view the relics of the Holy Prophet. This place also abounds with the tombs and mausoleums of nearly 1400 saints who had accompanied Burhanuddin's Palki and selected the vicinity of Daulatabad and Khuldabad for a final settlement.
Khuldabad's stories do not end here..Another legend is associated with Burhanudin's younger brother who preceeded him in the Deccan. Hazrat Khwaja Munteja-buddin Zarzari Zarbaksh Dulah Miya- to accord him his full title, also a Chisti saint he was the Khalifah or most mature disciple of Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi, who ordered him to go to the Deccan with 700 pious men to combat evil. Taken aback, he asked his master "I am a poor man, how will I provide for 700 men?" To which Nizamuddin countered: "When you were in your mother's womb, how did you get sustenance? Proceed on your way and leave the rest to God." Zarzari Baksh obeyed and found each day that after the Tahajjud or 2 a.m. Namaz, a small box of gold lay where he had bowed his head. Because he never married his name bore the appendage Dulah Miya.
To the northwest, another group of tombs are more simpler. That of Malik Ambar, his wife, son and daughter-in-law. These are square, stone, structures, topped with large domes, but embellished with jalis or screens. But it is doutful if Malik Ambar was actually buried at Khuldabad. It is more possible that Malik Ambar's tomb lies not at Khuldabad but at Aurangabad, in Medical Campus near Makai Gate.