Tomb Of Jani Khan

Qasim Khan Lahore

Tomb of Jani Khan or Khan-i-Khanan is situated south of the road to Shalimar Gardens and to the southwest of garden of Mahabat Khan in Baghbanpura. The tomb was likely constructed during the reign of Mughal Emperor Muhammed Shah or his son Ahmed Shah. The dome is decorated with porcelain tiles of blue and yellow color. Some of the tile work is still extant. The pyramidal dome sits atop a low height neck which is decorated with pottery work in beautiful floral patterns similar to those seen on tomb of Sharf-un-Nisa Begum (Cypress Tomb), built in 1745. The tomb originally stood in a garden with a beautiful gateway but no trace of them exists now, the gateway having been dismantled in the late 1800s. Today, the remaining structure is hidden between some houses on a small plot of land bounded by a wall. The door to the enclosure is locked but i was able to access the enclosure by climbing over the wall.

The building, quadrangular in form, is provided with an arched entrance on each side, with an arcaded niche on either side. The corridors or galleries are supported by buttresses of brick-work and give the edifice a graceful and pleasing appearance. The buttresses, made from burnt bricks, are painted in yellow, red, and green with simple geometrical patterns. Presently, the arched entrances have been closed up with metallic fence with a door provided through one of the fenced in arches. Inside, the floor is covered with years of accumulated dust and debris and it is impossible to see any of the original flooring. The inside walls are however; some of the best preserved of the Mughal era tombs in Lahore. One can see panels of beautiful floral frescoes on the upper portions of the walls and the corner niches. Even the domed ceiling retains good portions of its floral frescoes laid out elegantly in geometrical patterns. There are three graves inside but due to the paucity of information, it is not known as to which one belongs to Jani Khan. Furthermore, there is even confusion about the personage of Jani Khan as the historians are not clear about who Jani Khan was.

Kanhaiya Lal, in his book Tarikh-e-Lahore attributes the tomb to Jani Khan, titled Intizam-ud-Daula, son of Nawab Qamar-ud-Din Khan, and elder brother of Moin-ul-Mulk, titled Mir Mannu. According to his account, Qamar-ud-Din Khan, minister of Emperor Muhammed Shah died while fighting Ahmed Shah Durrani in 1748. Following which, Jani Khan, along with his brother Moin-ul-Mulk launched a fierce attack and forced Ahmed Shah Durrani to return back to Kabul. Moin-ul-Mulk then became the governor of Punjab and appointed Jani Khan as Commander of the army. Jani Khan died in 1778 and was buried here. Latif gives a similar account of the occupant of the tomb but refers to him as Khan-i-Khanan, surnamed Yamin-ud-Daula. Latif also writes that Khan-i-Khanan came to Lahore to settle a dispute between his sister and Nawab Zakariya Khan, to whom she was married, and fell ill and died in Lahore in 1778.

This view is incorrect because Intizam-ud-Daula, the eldest son of Qamar-ud-Din Khan was assassinated in Delhi in 1759 on the orders Imad-ul-Mulk and could not be the Jani Khan in question here. Jani Khan was infact the father-in-law of Moin-ul-Mulk on the account of his daughter Mughlani Begum being married to Moin-ul-Mulk. Mughlani Begum, herself administered Lahore from 1754 - 1756 for her infant son after the death of Moin-ul-Mulk. Jani Khan was married to Dardana Begum, sister of Zakariya Khan and was therefore also brother-in-law to one of the most powerful and influential governors of Lahore . Yahya Khan, son of Zakariya Khan, after having been defeated by his brother Shah Nawaz in 1747, initially hid at his aunt Dardana Begum's house and then escaped to his maternal uncle and father-in-law Qamar-ud-din Khan (father of Moin-ul-Mulk) in Delhi. The following year in 1748, when Ahmed Shah Durrani invaded Lahore, Nawaz Shah escaped to Delhi. Emperor Muhammed Shah sent sent Qamar-ud-Din Khan with the crown prince Ahmed Shah to drive out Ahmed Shah Durrani. Qamar-ud-Din Khan died during the battle in 1748, however, Moin-ul-Mulk (who took command after his father's death) along with his father-in-law Jani Khan managed to defeat Durrani and regain seat of Lahore from the invader. The same year, Muhammed Shah died in Delhi and his son, Ahmed Shah made Moin-ul-Mulk governor of Lahore and returned to Delhi to take the throne. Jani Khan probably also died in the same battle or possibly a year after and was buried in Mir Mannu's garden near the family graveyard of his father-in-law Abdul Samad Khan. [1]