Ideal Time: 2 - 3 hours
Open Time: 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM
Cost: Indians - INR 10, Foreigners - INR 250. Video filming - INR 25, Photography - Free
As the name suggests, Humayun's tomb is the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Located in the Nizamuddin East area of Delhi, it is the first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent. This splendid piece of architecture was commissioned for construction by Humayun's chief consort empress Bega Begum in the year 1569-70 and is one of the very few structures that used red sandstone on such a massive scale at that time. The design of Humayun's tomb pertains to typical Mughal architecture with Persian influences and was conceptualized by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. Owing to its magnificent design and illustrious history, Humayun's Tomb was featured in UNESCO's World Heritage List in the year 1993.
Post his death on 20 January 1556, Humayun's body was initially buried in Delhi's Purana Qila. The emperor's death caused great agony to his chief consort Bega Begam, who vowed to create the most resplendent mausoleum in all of the empire. The construction began in 1565, nine years after his death, and completed in 1572 AD at a cost of 1.5 million rupees at the time which was borne by the Empress alone. During India's partition, Humayun's tomb along with the Purana Qila served as an asylum for Muslims migrating to Pakistan. However, during this time, the monument was subjected to vandalism which defiled the structure greatly. Archaeological Survey of India took it upon itself to restore its former glory, and this process was accelerated when Humayun's Tomb got featured on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1993.
The structure of Humayun's tomb is a mix of Islamic and Persian architecture with smatterings of Indian elegance too. Six-sided stars that embellish the main opening on the west, are also seen on the main tomb structure, though it has been used as a patterned galactic symbol. The mosque also has the tomb of Emperor's beloved barber. The tomb built of debris of granite and red sandstone uses white marble as a covering material. It has main features of Indian - Islamic architecture like jaalis, door frames and chhajja. It stands on a leaped terrace eight-metre high and spread over 12,000-meter square. This tomb houses over 100 gravestones and the entire base structure is elevated on a stage, a few steps high.
The Char-Bagh is a Persian style garden with a geometric layout, and divided into 4 square walkways, giving it the name, Char Bagh. The four squares are further subdivided into smaller pathways, creating 36 squares. The central water system flows beneath the ground, feeding the mini fountains without appearing at the surface. The garden is enclosed within rubble walls on three sides while the fourth opening serves as an inlet to the river Yamuna, which unfortunately no longer flows here. The gardens are exquisitely maintained and will certainly transport you the times of the royalty with their charms.
Humayun's tomb has a number of other monuments leading up to it. Some of these are:-
1. Tomb and mosque of Isa Khan: This is the mausoleum complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, who was an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri's court. He was actually an adversary of the Mughals and had fought against them. The octagonal tomb was built during the reign of Islam Shah Suri, son of Sher Shah. It is surrounded by an octagonal garden and later went on to serve as the burial place for Isa Khan's family as well.
2. Bu Halima's tomb and garden: This attraction is located towards the western entry of Humayun's tomb. Information about Bu Halima is scanty, and the tomb is believed to be a later addition to this place.
3. Afsarwala tomb and mosque: Afsarwala was a noble in Akbar's court, and his tomb is located towards the southwest end of Humayun's Tomb. Adjacent to the tomb is a mosque which is also believed to be dedicated to Afsarwala. These constructions belong to the period of 1566-67 CE.
4. Arab Sarai: This was a safe house meant for craftsmen doing construction work.
5. Nila Gumbad: Right outside the boundary of the complex is the Nila Gumbad or "Blue Dome", which is embellished with blue tiles. It has a unique structure which is octagonal from the outside and is a square from within. It was built by Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana who was a courtier in Akbar's court for his servant Miyan Fahim.
6. Chillah Nizamuddin Aulia: This was meant to serve as the residence of Delhi's patron saint Nizamuddin Auliya, and is located right outside the complex.
7.Humayun's barber's tomb: This structure is located towards the south east corner within the Char Bagh. It is not known to whom does this tomb belong, however, locals believe that it is the final resting place of Humayun's favourite barber.
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Humayun's tomb is situated very near to the Nizamuddin railway station, which is 2.8 kilometres away. Taxis, bus and auto rickshaws are available outside the station. This tomb is quite near to Sarai Kale Khan Bus Depot which is about 8 kilometres away. Autorickshaws are available outside the bus stand. The nearest metro station to this destination is the Jawaharlal Nehru metro station on the violet line.
3 months ago by Kirti Dass
What beckoned me to Humayun's Tomb was the architectural grandeur - arches and beams, gigantic pillars , ornamental balconies and chhatris. I was at once captivated by the huge hallways which made me feel no less than a person of royal blood! I could not help but applaud the architectural acumen of the monument - the Char Bagh ( the main tomb is located in the centre and the area around it is divided into four squares which is further subdivided into four regions) . Plus, it provided me a great opportunity to learn about the history of Humayun. The entry fee for Indians is nominal-Rs. 30 per head. Also, according to me February- March is the best time for visiting this place when the temperature is moderate and the partially misty domes look aesthetically splendid.
3 months ago by Soumita Ghosh
Humayun’s Tomb is situated in the middle of Delhi, and is hence easily accessible by buses, taxis, metros and auto-rickshaws. The entrance fee to Humayun’s Tomb has been recently updated to Rs. 30 for the citizens of India and Rs. 500 for foreigners. To avoid the crowd, set out for this place at around 6.30 in the morning. Avoid going there in the afternoons or you will fall a victim to the scorching heat. Winter afternoons are, however, quite pleasant. Make sure to eat before you go since this place does not allow any food items inside. If you wish to thoroughly explore this attraction, spare an hour or two for it. Wear slippers or crocs to be comfortable during the long walks around the tomb. Carry water with you and keep yourself hydrated.
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