After the death of Aurangzeb, the only significant
structures raised were the Tomb of Safdarjung, who was the prime minister
of Delhi under Muhammad Shah. Built in 1753-1754, the
tomb lies at the head of Lodi road. Described as the "last flicker in
the lamp of Mughal
architecture" it is clearly decadent in style. Mehrauli village
also has the Zafar Mahal, a summer place of the last Mughal.
The memorial was built by Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah who was the son of Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan popularly known as Safdarjung (1739-54) who was the governor of the province of Awadh under Muhammad Shah (1719-48) and later became his prime minister. The tomb is roughly on the plans of Humayun's tomb, though much scaled down. It is set in the middle of an extensive garden, which spreads over an area of over 300-sq-metre.
The garden itself is on the pattern of the Mughal 'Chaharbagh' style. In the center piling up with effortless arrogance is the massive gateway to the enclosure which rises to two levels. Inside there is the tomb, the courtyard and a mosque. On either side are beautiful pavilions known as "Moti Mahal" or the pearl palace, "Jangli Mahal" or the sylvan palace and "Badshah Pasand" or the emperor's favorite.
The mausoleum built with red sandstone and buff stone is faced with marble and stands squarely in the middle of a garden. There are two graves here, one of Safdarjung and the other presumably his wife's. The square central chamber of the mausoleum is surrounded by eight rooms all around. All the apartments, except the corner ones are rectangular in shape, the corner ones being octagonal. The dome of the tomb rises from a sixteen-sided base. The tomb has been criticized for its weakness in proportions hence a lack of balance in its make-up.