Akbari Sarai is an airconditioned Mughal-era luxurious accommodation for travellers of that time. It was as lavish as the five-star hotel of today. the British Ambassador, Thomas Roe stayed in Akbari Sarai when he came to India to obtain trade permission for the East India Company.
Akbari Sarai is a Mughal-era historical inn in the Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh. It is located in Qila Anda Bazar Mohalla of Burhanpur city. This Sarai was built by Abdul Rahim Khankhana, who was the Subedar of Khandesh province. It was built on the orders of Emperor Jahangir in the year 1621. The Sarai was built to provide accommodation to travellers, businessmen, pilgrims and other visitors. Presently Akbari Sarai is in the ownership of Burhanpur Municipal Corporation, which is being used as a warehouse.
The entrance is made of black stone. The main entrance of Sarai is about 30 feet high. There is an inscription at the top of the entrance in the Persian language, which shows that Akbari Sarai was built in 1027 AH (Islamic Calendar) under the supervision of Lashkar Khan, who was the manager of the Subedar’s Construction Department. In the inner part of the Sarai, rooms are built on both sides. There are about 110 rooms in Akbari Sarai. These rooms were airconditioned. For ventilation purposes, large iron pipes have been installed on them. Holes are made for the circulation of wind on the domes to keep the rooms cool.
Historical records say that the British Ambassador, Thomas Roe stayed here when he came to India to obtain trade permission for the East India Company.
There is also a beautiful mosque adjacent to this inn, which is also not in good condition.
The Mughal emperors had built Sarai, Kothas and Dharamshalas like today’s five-star hotels in Burhanpur during their reign. Among these buildings, the Akbari Sarai built during the reign of Jahangir is the most prominent building.
Burhanpur city, a Municipal Corporation is the administrative headquarters of Burhanpur District in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Burhanpur was developed by the rulers of the Farooqui dynasty of Khandesh in 1388, which became the capital of their sultanate. The city was named after a well-known Sufi saint, Burhan-ud-Din of the medieval period. The rulers of the Farooqui dynasty built many buildings and palaces there. During their reign, Burhanpur became an important centre for trade and commerce. It was a hub of textile production at that time.
the Khandesh sultanate was annexed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1601. After the annexation, the Khandesh was converted from a Sultanate to a province and Burhanpur became the capital of the province. During the Mughal reign, several buildings, palaces and civic amenities were constructed. The Mughal period’s historical monuments and remnants attract tourists across the globe.
PS: There is another Akbari Sarai, which is located in Shahdara Bagh in Lahore Pakistan.