A walk through the Humayun’s Tomb – one of the most remarkable structures of the Mughal empire

Posted on November 12, 2016 by

Close to the Muslim center of Nizamuddin, Humayun’s Tomb is located at the crossroads of the Lodi and Mathura roads in Delhi. Late afternoon is the best time to visit the place. It was constructed to store the remains of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun, and was built under the guidance of Haji Begum, mother of Akbar, who stayed here for the duration and was then buried alongside her husband.

Made of red sandstone, inset with black and white marbles, it is situated in the center of the formal charbagh, looking towards the Yamuna River. The octagonal tomb is crowned with a double dome that has a height of 38m.

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The Tomb is certainly beautiful but there are several other key architectural features that make this tomb so significant in India. It was the first tomb to have been constructed on the Indian Sub-Continent. The classic four walled design was taken from Persian architecture and has been appreciated all over India. Its dome is an inspiration for many components of the Taj Mahal.

As it is a Garden Tomb, there is a large exterior wall that has an enormous entry gate.The wall covers all four sides of the compound.On the other hand, there are many apparent locals that seem to be taking in the serenity of the site.

During Partition of India, in August 1947, the Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb, became major refugee camps for Muslims who were migrating to the newly founded Pakistan and were later managed by the government of India. These camps stayed open for almost five years and caused considerable damage to the extensive gardens, water channels, and the principle structures.

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Just like other Garden Tombs, the property is divided by channels of water which represent the rivers of Paradise with the main tomb sitting at the center of the site on a raised platform. The lines leading up the building create an interesting effect that makes the building look smaller than it actually is.

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Unlike the Taj Mahal and other tombs, visitors are allowed to freely roam inside the mausoleum and click photographs. The nature of detail on the interior of the building is incredible.

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One of the most remarkable things about the site is the quality of preservation. The major part of the site was left untouched throughout history as opposed to other famous sites that were ransacked for their riches. The simplicity of the construction allowed the site to remain unique over the centuries. While the main tomb covers areas that have been fully restored from the destruction caused over time, there are some other tombs and structures on the site that have been left unharmed.If one is visiting during the summer days, they must plan their visit either early or late in the day as the mid-day heat can be suffocating. The easiest route to visit the site is to take the metro to Khan Market Metro station and then ride in an auto-rickshaw to cover the last 2.5 kilometers.

If one is visiting during the summer days, they must plan their visit either early or late in the day as the mid-day heat can be suffocating. The easiest route to visit the site is to take the metro to Khan Market Metro station and then ride in an auto-rickshaw to cover the last 2.5 kilometers.

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