The decorations of the interior, for the season of Mahurrum, were on a scale of grandeur not easily to be conveyed by description. The walls were well covered with handsome glasses and mirrors; the splendid chandeliers,—one containing a hundred wax lights,—in every variety, and relieved with coloured lamps—amber, blue, and green,—mellowing the light, and giving a fairy-like effect to the brilliant scene. In the centre of the building stood the green glass Tazia, surrounded by wax lights; on the right of which was placed an immense lion, and on the left, a fish, both formed of the same bright emerald-green glass as the Tazia. The richness and elegance of the banners,—which were numerous and well arranged,—could be equalled only by the costliness of their several mountings.
In Asiatic buildings niches and recesses prevail in all convenient situations, and here they are appropriated for the reception of the relics of antiquity and curiosities; such as models of Mecca, the tent of Hosein, the gate of Kraabaallah, &c.; these three are made of pure silver, and rest on tables of the same metal. Many curious sabres, of all ages, shields, chain armour of the ancients, lances, &c., arranged with much taste, adorn the interior.
The pulpit (mhembur) is of silver, and of very handsome workmanship; the whole of the fitting up and arrangements had been made under the eye of his Majesty, and to his good taste may be ascribed all the merit of the well-ordered display for these occasions. He delighted in visiting this place, which he not only designed as a tribute of his respect to the Emaums, but as the future repository for his own remains, when this world should cease to be his place of joy, or anxious care. His intention has been fulfilled—he died in 1827, aged fifty years, much and justly beloved and regretted by all who knew him; his funeral obsequies were impressively grand, according to Mussulmaun custom. This good and amiable King was succeeded by his only son Nusseer ood deen Hyder, who had just completed his twenty-second year when he began to reign.
On the evening of Mayndhie, the crowds of admiring people were admitted to view their Paidshah’s (King’s) exhibition; until the distant sounds of musketry announced the approach of the spectacle, when the multitude were desired to quit the Emaum-baarah. Hundreds still lingering, could not be prevailed on to depart, except by the stripes dealt out unsparingly from the whips of the hurkaarahs and peons, appointed to keep order on the occasion. The place cleared, and quiet restored, I had leisure to view the fairy-like palace of splendour, before the bustle of the procession reached the building. I could hardly persuade myself the picture before me was not a dream, instead of a reality.