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Safar 11, 1440

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Gates and Boundary wall

A protective boundary wall running 6,600 feet in length fences the enclosure. It consists of a basal wall, two and a half feet in height, with masonry square pillars at some interval. The space between the pillars is filled with iron grill consisting of spiked verticals strengthened by horizontal bars. All of them are painted black. At the gates, the iron spikes assume ornamental design, and the massiveness of the entrance is emphasized by the replacement of ordinary masonry pillars by a combination of strong iron uprights in the shape of a square. They add a variety to the simple piers of masonry and stand out boldly in contrast to the ordinary rails. To remove the effect of heaviness, ornamental curls have been added as an extra support to the pointed arrow. All the gates are of similar design, though they vary in size.

The main entrance on the west is the largest and opens into a pavement with the approach road gradually sloping up from the main thoroughfare. The gate consists of three wide openings of equal size in the middle with a smaller door flanking on the right and left, and a guardroom on the side. At either end, an ornamental lamp over a masonry pillar marks out the gate. The three openings in the middle are each seperated by a span of iron grills meant for receiving the doorleaves when open. The grills are comprised of spiked verticals alternating with iron rods ending in curls at either end, while a conical arrow of the spike itself is held between italic x-shaped brackets. The most prominent are the spikes over the square pillar-like formation of the iron verticles. Here a combination of curly brackets, originating from the four corners, hold the spike in position and at the same time they present a fretted design in elevation.

The ornamental form of the side lamps, which actually act as an iron frame to hold the glasses, also derives from the same motif. The entire composition of the entrance with its simple erect rods recieves a charm of its own by these graceful ornamental curls and brackets that mark its horizon. But, above all, it is through the trickery of open fencing that the vision of the main building is kept free from obstruction. Against the off-set reliefs of the battered walls of the mausoleum the grills act as a partial screen and stand out in contrast to the loveliness of its white.

Courtesy: Prof. Ahmad Hasan Dani, Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad



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