Humayun’s Tomb Delhi – The First Garden Tomb of South Asia – The Inspiration behind Marvellous Architecture of Taj Mahal

If you are travelling in Delhi, you will surely come across ancient historical monuments on the way. The national capital has a rich history and there are several historical buildings which date back to several hundred years old. One of such building is Humayun’s Tomb. Located in Nizamuddin East, this is a tomb of Mughal Emperor Humayun. Mughals have ruled over Delhi and thus India for a long period of time. During their regime, they built several monuments and tombs which are now our preserved, maintained and these buildings add a great significance to our ancient culture. So, one fine day, I decided to visit some ancient structures of the city. After spending an hour or so at Agresen ki Baoli, I headed towards Humayun’s Tomb Delhi. Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

My Visit to Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Last month, it was pretty hot and I was all drenched in sweat. I took a metro from Rajiv Chauk and got down at Jor Bagh metro station. From there, I walked for a while but it was too hot and I couldn’t manage thus, I booked an Ola and made my way to Humayun’s Tomb. It was already 4 and I needed to get there as soon as possible. Through thick traffic of Delhi, the driver finally made me reach Humayun’s Tomb Delhi. One has to take a short walk to reach to the main premises from the first entrance through the parking area. Humayun’s Tomb Delhi is a famous tourist attraction in the city and experiences travellers from different corners of the world.

I got the entry ticket which costed me 30 INR. For DSLR video recording, you need to pay extra 25 INR. Phone recording or recording with a small Point & Shoot or compact camera is free. I carry compact camera so I saved the extra fee.

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History of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb is a tomb of Mughal Emperor which was commissioned by first wife Bega Begum. She was also known as Hazi Begum. The tomb was built in 1569 – 70. It was designed by Sayyid Muhammad and his father Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. This tomb is the first tomb ever to be designed as garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. When Humayun died on 27th January 1556, at first his body was buried in Purana Quila. Nine years after his death in 1565, the constructed began for his tomb commissioned by Bega Begum. It was completed in 1572 and costed around 1.5 million rupees at that time.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Architecture of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

The tomb was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. He was brought here from Herat (third largest city of Afghanistan). He was a fine designer who had designed many buildings in his city, also in Bukhara. The tomb is designed in Persian architecture style. Unfortunately, he died and couldn’t complete the work. So, his son Sayyed Muhammad ibn Mirak Ghiyathuddin took over the work and finished it in 1571. The tomb was surrounded by Charbagh, four square gardens, which were spread in more than 12 hectares. But it got reduced in later years. Agra was made the capital of India in 1556 and the whole attention was focused on Agra leaving Delhi. By the time it was 18th century, people started to reside around the tomb and the lush green gardens turned into vegetable gardens of the people living there. When Bahadur Shah Zafar was caught in the 1857 Indian Rebellion, along with the premises, the British complete captured Delhi. After that the Mughal gardens were then made into English gardens. But later on in 20th Century, Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, ordered to restore the gardens in the same Mughal design during a restoration project.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

India experienced the Persian and Central Asian style of architecture and design during Mughal and Turkish regime. This started with Turkish Slave Dynasty. Qutub Minar was built during their regime. If we look at the monuments built during the Mughal Dynasty in Delhi Sultanate period, we will find a combination of white marble and red sandstone. Humayun’s Tomb Delhi is believed to be the inspiration behind the world famous mesmerizingly beautiful Taj Mahal.

The tomb hits 47 metres in height and has a width of 91 metres. This was the first building in India which used Persian double dome on a high neck drum which has a measurement of 42.5 metres. The same is topped by 6 metres high brass finial ending in a crescent. This is very commonly seen in Timurid tombs.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Main Structures Inside Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Mosque of Isa Khan and Tomb

When you first enter the main premises, on right side you have Isa Khan Niyazi’s Tomb. It was built during 1547-48 AD. He was an Afghan noble who served in the court of Sher Shah Suri and also fought against Mughals. This is an octagonal tomb and is located in octagonal garden. The entire family of Isa Khan is buried here. This tomb clearly resembles with the tombs of Sur Dynasty made in Lodhi Gardens.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhihttp://foodravel.com/2018/07/28/things-you-dont-know-about-qutub-minar/

Afsarwala Tomb & Mosque

This tomb belongs to a nobleman in Akbar’s court. There is a marble grave in the tomb from 1566 – 67. Looking at the constructing and other parameters, the mosque itself can be related to the same time.

Char Bagh

The tomb is situated in the centre of Char Bagh which has an area of 30 acre. The garden made in Persian style, shows quadrilateral symmetry. This was the first tomb to be built in such design in South Asia.

Nila Gumbad

Nila Gumbad or Nila Burj is located outside the complex boundary. This has been named Nila Gumbad (Blue Dome) due to the blue gazed tiles used in it. The son of Bairam Khan, Adbul Rahim Khan – I – Khasa built this dome for his servant Miyan Fahim. Fahim grew up with Rahim’ son and died along with his son Feroze Khan, while fighting against the rebellion of Mahabat Khan (Mughal Emperor) in 1625/26. This happened during the rule of Jahangir.

Bu Halima’s Tomb and Garden

When you enter the main complex of the tomb from West side, you first enter Bu Halima’s Garden. Not much is mentioned about her in the history and hence we lack knowledge.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Arab Sarai

Arab Sarai is built adjacent to Afsarwala mosque. It was built by Bega Begum during 1560 – 61. It is said to be built for the craftsmen who used to come here for the purpose of construction.

Chillah Nizamuddin Aulia

It is considered to be the residence of the famous Delhi saint Nizamuddin Auliya (1325AD). This is located outside the complex.

Tomb of Barber

There is a Nai – Ka – Gumbad, which is located within in Char Bagh. This dates back to 1590 – 91 and belongs to royal barber.

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Restoration work of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb Delhi has gone several restoration works. The restoration work of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi has been undertaken by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC). Both the bodies did research work in 1997 and the work started in 1999. This project of restoration was finished in March 2003. As per the restoration work of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi, more than 2500 trees and plants were planted and 12 hectares of lawns were re-established. The plants included lemon, mango, neem, jasmine, hibiscus etc.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

Both the organization worked on the on-going project of restoration of Humayun’s Tomb Delhi in 2009. They removed a thick cement concrete layer from the roof. This layer had been putting a pressure of almost 1,102 tons on the entire structure. This layer was put here in 1920s to avoid the water seepage. So, a new layer was built whenever there was leakage and it reached to 40CM.Humayun’s Tomb Delhi

How to reach Humayun’s Tomb Delhi?

Humayun’s Tomb Delhi is a famous tourist location and is easily accessible. The nearest metro station to the tomb is JLN Stadium or if you are on Yellow line metro station, you can get down at Jor Bagh metro station and from there you can hire a cab or auto riksha.

So, this was my visit to Humayun’s Tomb Delhi. I hope you enjoyed it. Do share your journey and some beautiful photographs to get featured here. Let’s have a photo – walk…

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